Raising 13 Children. Yes, 13!
Joy and her husband Rod made it their life’s mission in adopting harder-to-place children. With three biological sons, they adopted ten abandoned and abused babies and toddlers of various ethnic backgrounds. This made for a total of 13 children in their family.
Joy VanDertuin is the author of a children’s book, Gizelle’s Silly, Soggy Day. The message she tries to get across is that all types of people, no matter their skin color, or where they live, or how they look, can work together for a common cause. The story is based on a real incident that happened to Gizelle, a sheep that lived on Joy’s farm, that fell through a bridge into a rushing creek during a rainstorm.
She believes that people can put their differences aside, and turn them into strengths to help each other, a lesson played out by animals in her book. Unable to drive or bus her 12 kids around for a year, after a grand mal seizure in 1996, Joy suffered from severe depression. Though, even in this time of despair, she found strength in helping a stray injured bunny recover that led her to become a licensed animal rehabber to help wild, abandoned, and injured animals.
In this episode, we talk to Joy about raising 13 children, her experiences bringing people and animals together from different walks of life, and how we can achieve a greater good from all of this.
Gizelle’s Silly, Soggy Day is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle