Sydney Young has five children, but she has never been pregnant. In this interview, Sydney describes her journey through four open adoptions and the assumption of guardianship over one teenager. She exemplifies devoted stewardship over children who have not been birthed to her, but who have been sealed to her.
Although Nancy McNabb lost a 22-month-old daughter to SIDS, her greatest challenge has been raising her autistic son Stewart. Nancy describes her tireless work with her 19-year-old son, her secrets to staying happily married with a special needs child, the role the gospel has played in her journey, and her work at the University of Illinois in autism education.
As a graduate of Caltech with a PhD in Chemistry, Elizabeth Krider understands science. She also understands that spiritual experiences are real. Elizabeth uses her knowledge of science and her faith in God to ask questions about how the world works, and she is now passing along that skill of scientific deductive reasoning to her children so that they, too, can understand the world around them.
Always drawn to art and the artistic process, Rebecca discovered hooked rugs when the youngest of her six children was in kindergarten. In the years since then, she has produced a large collection of rugs that reflect her spiritual searchings, her love for her children and family, and the joy she finds in creating something that inspires thoughtful contemplation in her audience.
Introduced to the gospel as a teenager in her native Hungary, Ildikó had to wait four years to be baptized due to her family’s disapproval. Ildikó discusses the challenges of joining a community that is still small in Hungary, marrying another Hungarian member and raising her three children in the Church there. She expresses confidence in the Savior’s role as head of the Church, the practical and spiritual safety that comes from living by its principles, and benefits of raising her children in the gospel.
Gabrielle Blair is best known as Design Mom, the founder of one of the most popular design and motherhood blogs on the web, named as one of Time magazine’s Top Websites of 2010. In this interview, Gabrielle reveals the spiritual and personal motivations behind the blog’s origins and purpose, as well as her own philosophies about mothering her six children and developing all mothers’ innate creativity.
Catherine Humphrey was married to her first husband for 28 years. Parents of six children, Catherine and her husband served together as mission presidents in Brazil when she was 32 years old. Their marriage slowly dissolved after she learned that her husband had embezzled from clients and been disbarred. As a single mother, she went back to school, completing a master’s degree and a Ph.D. Thirteen years after marrying her second husband, he was diagnosed with an acute brain disease that has slowly robbed him of cognition and function.
Fiona Phillips of Hampshire, England, gives us a glimpse into her life as the mother of six children, ranging in ages from 21 to 6. Her dedication to motherhood and her reliance on the Lord shine through in this interview.
This dynamic mother of five grown children shares her love of travel, of reading, of science and her admiration of her own mother. Camilla serves as the Church’s Public Affairs representative in the San Francisco Bay Area, and she further contributes to her community by being a trustee of the National Public Radio foundation, the UC Berkeley Bancroft Library, the San Francisco Interfaith Council, and Clog America.
Pauline Sanchez was born in her grandmother’s hogan on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona. From the age of eight until graduation from high school, Pauline spent her school years living with a white family in northern Utah as part of the church’s Indian Placement Program. Pauline describes feeling lost within different worlds and how her native language helped her understand the value of her experiences. She is on the Advisory board at The Anasazi Foundation, a wilderness treatment program for troubled teens and their families. She, with her husband Ezekiel, were honored as the 2001 Arizona Parents of the Year, and in 2002 received the National Excellence in Parenting Award.
Saren Eyre Loosli, co-founder of the Power of Moms website, talks about how her educational background and her personal challenges as a mother of five young children led her to create a website that seeks to empower moms by creating networks of support and meaningful mothering resources. She also talks candidly about her own struggle to balance mothering with a desire to make an impact in the world, and how, ultimately those two goals are intertwined.
Although promised in her patriarchal blessing that she would be married in this lifetime and be the mother of children, Genie turned 39 still single. Demonstrating exceptional patience and humility in her prayers, Genie then met and married the father of seven children. The couple has since adopted two abused teenagers as well. Genie talks about being a stepmother and the challenge of giving up one’s whole will to the Lord.
Vicki Dalia is the mother of eighteen children, eight of whom are adopted. She also runs a family business and a non-profit orphanage in Guatemala. She sees the hand of the Lord guiding her work helping children. In this interview, Vicki tells of the trials and rewards of establishing the orphanage and offers a helpful perspective on parenting and living a gospel-centered life.
As her name suggests, Ruth epitomizes wise, eternal choices: After being the only one in her family to join the church in her native Bolivia, Ruth came to the United States to pursue additional training as a dentist. The death of her first child was crushing, but she chose to endure two more pregnancies, each resulting in a healthy child although requiring months of bed rest. She is currently pregnant a fourth time. Ruth discusses how she uses her time while on bed rest, how she uses her dental skills for good, and how she appreciates being able to spend time with her children.
From 1975 to 1981, Saroeun Eav fought for her life and the lives of her children as she suffered under the rule of the Khmer Rouge in her native country of Cambodia. In this excerpt from her life history, Saroeun tells of death-defying escapes, bearing children in labor camps, and, eventually, her escape to the United States where she joined the Church and raised her children in the gospel.
In four years, Catherine became the mother of five children, including two sets of twins. Catherine recounts her long struggle with infertility and how time in this personal “wilderness” helped her to see motherhood differently. Catherine also shares some of the complexities, joys, and coping strategies that help her live–and love–her busy life as a mother of five under five.
With three small children and a husband in his medical residency, Emily is a busy mother. But she has also committed herself to graduate studies in choral conducting, fulfilling a deep passion for praising God through sacred music. Emily explains why music and motherhood are so important to her, and why she’s chosen to pursue her studies at this point in her life.
As a single 34-year-old, Tiffany followed her Patriarchal Blessing’s advice to seize the opportunities offered to her, resulting in a life full of career opportunities, travel adventures and spiritual highlights. But then, when her sister became overwhelmed with the responsibilities of single motherhood, Tiffany seized a different kind of opportunity: she assumed legal custody of her nine-year-old niece and became mother to an elementary school-aged child overnight.
Over a period of about ten years, Chrysula Winegar transitioned from being single and in a busy career in Sydney, London and New York, to being married with four children and consulting and blogging from home. Chrysula discusses why she made the choices she did, and how balancing her former self with who she is today is so important to her.
In 2005, Shannon Cox founded Haitian Roots, an organization that sends 133 needy Haitian children to school each year. Shannon recounts the unexpected adoption of her Haitian son and the ways it opened her heart and mind to the plight of Haiti’s strong-willed people. This young mother of four affirms the unexpected course of her life is not the consequence of coincidence but divine intervention.
The Mormon Women Project is a continuously expanding digital library of interviews with Latter-day Saint women from around the world. Read More...
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