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How Many Kids Should You Have?

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FAITH GAVE US OUR FAMILY

"I'll take as many kids as God will give us!"
Kate and Ray Vandegrift, Jenkintown, PA

Kate's story: Ray and I met when we were 16 — he was one of three kids, I was one of six, and we both knew we wanted a big family one day. We never talked about how many kids that meant. I just knew that God was calling us to be parents. As a devout Catholic, I don't believe in contraception. I believe in God's will for us to have as many children as He sees fit.

I'm so rewarded by the love I get back from my children. I just feel so blessed that God chose Ray and me to be parents of a large family. When my kids tell me how much they love me or when they smile at us and tell us how happy they are, my heart fills with joy. We have a family that's the size of a soccer team — and we actually do play soccer and lots of other team sports together! When we go to the shoe store and our 15-passenger van pulls up, the store owners get really excited; they know we'll be buying a lot!

It's not always easy having a large family; I've heard countless criticisms, such as "Don't you know about contraceptives?" or "How are you going to send them all to college?" Also, a big family is expensive: We go through 14 gallons of milk a week! But I'm happy. Even today, after having 12 children, if we were to have another, I'd feel blessed.

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