Five months ago, Chanda Taylor, a single mother in Maryland, was slammed with the news that her sister, Tara, had drowned while vacationing in the beach town of Ocean City, Maryland. For anyone who’s ever coped with the loss of a loved one, you know that grief process alone is devastating enough.
Now add in kids. Tara was survived by eight children, ranging in age from 3 to 17.
Chanda, who grew up apart from her sister after their parents split when they were young, couldn’t stand the thought of her nieces and nephews being herded into the grossly overcrowded child welfare system or scattered between their various fathers, so she adopted them. All eight of ‘em. Literally overnight, she went from one child to a total of nine in an effort to keep her family together.
This lady gets all of my respect.
Chanda’s determination to maintain a household full of young ones under one roof, even as she deals with her own loss, is the kind of selflessness that you have to admire. This ain’t the average family adoption, and she’s doing it all on the salary of a law room mail clerk with a little bit of help from food stamps and her church.
You know, I’d love to think I’d be this giving and gracious framed by a similar scenario. It is, after all, part of the responsibility of family to step up whenever there’s a need, whatever that need is. I wonder the same thing about myself if someone in the Harris clan needed a kidney or some other donated body part, or if some other challenge cropped up to cramp my style and stretch my comfort zone. But this story just goes to show that sometimes the crappiest circumstances can bring out the best in folks. Even maybe me.
Be honest: could you take on this kind of responsibility in the face of a family tragedy?
Image via I Don't Know. Maybe/Flickr