Sometime around 2006 or thereabouts, I was still reading a lot of adoption websites every day, and I stumbled across a blog called Big Mama Hollers, written by Cindy Bodie. Cindy is a retired school librarian who gave birth to one child and went on to adopt 38 more.
I became hooked on Cindy’s blog, because she writes honestly and passionately about her day to day life. She doesn't realize how much an influence she has had on so many moms. She helps me cope with being an adoptive mom - I have thought many times, "What would Cindy do here?!"
She decided in the 80’s that God had called her to adopt large sibling groups, the sorts of kids who always get separated in foster care. Her great love for her sister and brothers made her particularly compassionate towards sibling groups. Her first adoptions were 3 sisters in Honduras, her only foreign adoption. Many of her other children have come from foster care in Texas, and are also Hispanic. One of her daughters had turbulent teen/young adult years and gave birth to three children - and Cindy adopted them and raised them from birth. All her other adopted children came to her as toddlers or older, some as old as 10 or 12.
Cindy has incredible energy, and farms her acreage with zeal, composting and mulching, and doing most of the work herself. Unlike me, she actually LIKES weeding. She doesn’t use pesticides, so everything she grows is organic.
Most of her children are very sweet kids, who have thrived under Cindy’s care. Some had very serious mental health issues and Cindy eventually had to seek outside help for their issues.
Despite the fact we have never met in person, I feel a kinship with Cindy. She has let me call her and cry on her shoulder over my daughter. She has encouraged me on the phone and by email. Being an adoptive mom is exhausting and mind-boggling sometimes, especially when one adopts older and/or traumatized children. Cindy understands and empathizes. She belongs to a network of moms and we are like war veterans, sharing a unique bond.
Cindy is a passionate gardener, a vegan, and she writes a lot about environmental issues and reducing one’s carbon footprint. She lives in rural Georgia, not too far from me. I hope one day to meet her in person, when our lives have calmed down a bit.
- What is your full name? Cynthia with no middle name.
- Where would you live, if you could live anywhere in the world? Here - but I'd drag a beach right up next to my 36 acres
- What is your favorite movie and why? Don't have one, no time, less interest in sitting still for two interminable hours.
- What was your least-favorite subject in school when you were a kid? Math and science - ironically now my favorites.
- What was your nickname when you were a kid? “Cindy” - my brothers might say 'Bossy Cindy'
- Do you believe in God? Duh. I mean YES!
- What sound or noise do you love? Late evening rural bugs and frogs calling out, birds singing, and the rustling of the pampas grass plus, of course, the waves crashing at the ocean.
- If you could do anything other than what you do, as a profession, what would it be? Nothing, I just wanna farm, but I'd have been a great cop also - or so say my young'uns.
- If heaven exists, what do you think it is like? Indescribable and smelling like gardenias.
- Do you have siblings? Two darling brothers, ages 55 and almost 58. My sister would've been 57 but she passed away fro cancer 17 years ago.
- What is your favorite memory of childhood [something specific]? Hanging with my grandparents, putting pennies on the railroad track, playing in the woods and creeks, going to the beach, camping, playing kick the can or kickball, riding my Murray bike with its big turquoise basket that carried a ton of library books.
- If you had to choose between one week traveling around the USA by car, or one week traveling around Europe on a train, which would you choose and why? Europe, I've never been there, but I'd prefer the warmer European counties like Spain, Italy and Portugal and I'd eat all day long.
- What inspires you? People who've done extraordinary things, or who have overcome obstacles, or just listening to Southern country Gospel music while weeding, planting or working outside.
- Which holiday do you prefer, Christmas or July 4th? July 4th. Christmas is in a cold month, and the materialism and mindless consumerism repels me.
- What project or idea are you most passionate about, right now? Anything to promote sustainability for our earth such as organic farming.
- Do you know how to cook? Yep, for crowds. [She still has more than 10 kids at home]
- What is your favorite thing to cook/eat? Frijoles of all types. [beans, y’all]
- What is your favorite book? Clearly The Bible, but also anything by Dave Ramsey, or other personal finance gurus.
- Who do you love the most in the world? My mom, my siblings, my children, my grandchildren, other family members, and all my dogs.
- What question has nobody ever asked you, but you wanted to answer? Can't think of any....