The past week, we learned about the DeBolt family. We read the book 19 Steps up the Mountain
and then watched the Academy Award winning documentary entitled “Who are the DeBolts and where did they get 19 kids?”
The book and movie were both from the 1970’s. Such an inspiring family. They adopted a bunch of kids, most with severe physical disabilities, from all over the world.
I loved the stories of their day to day life. One story described the breakfast routine, and how all the kids helped clean up. Two kids balanced on the edge of their wheelchairs to do the dishes, while the mom told Karen to sweep the floor.
One of my kids asked, “Which one is Karen again?” Oh yeah. Karen was the girl with no arms and legs! And you know what, she did sweep the floor. Disabilities were no excuse for anything in this house!
Dorothy and Bob were determined to prepare their kids to live independently, and they were full of tough love to help their kids get there. They were patient, but pushed for self-reliance. As Bob said to one of the kids, “This is not going to make my life better. If you learn to walk (with crutches and braces) this will make YOUR life better. That is why I am pushing you, I want the best for you!”
It was a great reminder to me as a parent that I need to do my best to equip our kids for the world. I loved the way they helped their kids work through facing discrimination or people who laughed at them. Eventually, all of their kids did grow up and move out and live on their own.
In the documentary, you could SEE the love in this family, and how they all helped each other. They laughed, they cried, they sang, they played baseball with a variety of crutches and wheelchairs:)
This was such an example of one family living out what God had called them to do. It inspired all of us. Highly recommended!!!