I am the biological mother of 8 and we added one along the way. Circumstances compelled me to move 800 miles from my world, and some of my children wanted to stay behind. I have six children from my first marriage ages 25, 24, 22, 21, 19 and 17. In 2000, we added another member to our family; he was pre-teen friend of the children's - I think at first he thought I wouldn't notice :) And I have six-year-old twins from my second, best, and current marriage.
The main reason for the move was finding out my mother had breast cancer.
They, my parents, moved to North Carolina about 5 years ago now. My father was diagnosed with prostate cancer almost right away after the move. It was very hard for me knowing he was going through something so serious so far from his family (his siblings are all over the country and parents passed away) and of course we children, though my parents made it clear we were to move down there with them, were still living in Massachusetts. But when Mom was diagnosed, a panic ran through me that I cannot explain. I HAD to move and right away. Both parents are fine right now but the feeling of mortality sets heavy in your heart when you hear the "c" word associated with your Mom and Dad and I desperately needed to be closer to my parents.
I assumed that all but maybe one and possibly two of the kids would just pick up and move with me and was under that assumption right up to less than a month before the move. It was very hard but they explained very valid and mature reasons for staying, i.e. college for two and one in the Massachusetts National Guard who didn't want to change her state just yet, etc... and with mutual assurances that we would visit often and be on the phone all the time, I started work down here about a month later, without them. My husband, our twins, and my youngest older son of 16 at the time were the only family to move to North Carolina permanently. A couple of the boys have been down here for some months at a time but eventually went back home because of lack of work here and missing some close friends. Some are able to visit down here more often than others and I've been up more than a couple of times since moving. It's not easy when you consider that this family had "table time" daily which even included some of their friends at times. [the reason for the table on my profile :) ]
Some people may say that I didn't make the right decision in making the move so far away and there are many days I feel that way too. Overall, though, it has worked out ok between us. I've stopped crying so much because I miss them and there are days where one or another child forgets to call me, so I know they're doing fine :)
I just felt the need to explain the reason for being so far away from so many of my children so maybe if a later post refers to the distance, it's understood, whether or not its agreed with. And over time, I, like my mother, will be enjoying my children living here some day.