William DeShazer

Stories and Essays: Pete and Patty Plus Eight

Pete and Patty Mueller adopted two children into their home from Ethiopia this year. This meant that now they were going to be taking care of eight children now instead of just their six biological ones. On top of that this also meant that would be home-schooling two more children as well.

"It (adoption) just hit me like a ton of bricks," Patty Mueller said. "That's what I'm suppose to do."

Birtukan, 6 (from left) Mulugeta, 2, Patty, Perri, 13, and Pia, 10 all take a break from school to play in the living room on Wednesday September 16, 2009.
  
The doorway connecting the kitchen and the dinning room is marked with different heights of different children over the years on Wednesday September 9, 2009.
  
Pia Mueller (middle), 10, holds the backgate open for Mulugeta, 2, after the family ran a few arons on Wednesday September 9, 2009.
     
  
Pete Mueller (right) hugs his daughter, Pia, 10, after returning home from work while other family members prepare dinner on Wednesday September 9, 2009.
  
Birtukan Mueller, 7, shows her two missing front teeth on Saturday December 19, 2009.
  
Pia Mueller, 10, plays with Mulugeta, 2, while the family runs to the grocery store in their 12 passenger van on Wednesday September 9, 2009. Now that there are 10 people in the family they had to have a car big enough to fit all of them.
     
  
Patty Mueller grabs milk from the grocery while her children eye other items on Wednesday September 9, 2009.
  
Patty Mueller, instructs Birtukan, 6, to be quiet while she is reading to her and Peyton, 5, on Wednesday September 9, 2009.
  
Mueller family holds hands and prays before lunch on Saturday December 19, 2009.
     
  
Pia Mueller, 10, (second from left) reads to her sister, Peyton, 5, (left) and her brothers, Mulugeta, 2, and Paavo, 8, in the family room on Saturday December 19, 2009.
  
Birtukan Mueller, 7, (middle) dances with her mother, Patty, while Peyton Mueller, 5, plays on the steps and Paavo Mueller, 8, sits on the couch in the family room on Saturday December 19, 2009.
  
Patty hugs her adopted son Mulugeta, 2, after trying to explain to him to be quiet inside the house on Wednesday September 16, 2009.