Mother's Day is all about love


The Mirror

Marla Evans claims to have a streak of selfishness, but it’s doubtful.

Evans, a 39-year-old mother of 10, doesn’t have time to be selfish. She’s busy cooking spaghetti for a family of 12, resolving arguments between the boys, teaching the oldest how to drive and helping with homework in the “study room” — a family room converted into an educational den with computers, desks and reference materials.

For Mother’s Day, Evans will herd the children into the family’s 15-seat van and take them to the theater to see “Spiderman 3.”

Taking the children out as a gift for herself? Hardly selfish.

“I get to spend time with them,” she said. “Isn’t that what Mother’s Day is about?”

Evans isn’t sure when she and her husband, Rick, decided to build a family so big. They have four biological children and six adopted children from around the globe. They range in age from 8 to 15.

The children all share four bedrooms, taking turns each year having one of the bedrooms to themselves.

At first, Evans home-schooled the children, but at some point it became overwhelming. Now, the Evans children attend schools in Federal Way: Four at Public Academy, five at Panther Lake Elementary and one at Illahee Middle School.

Dinners together are the best times, Evans said.

“We usually end up just cracking up because they’re telling different stories about their friends at school,” she said.

As time goes on and the children grow up, raising a large family keeps getting better, Evans said.

“It’s so much fun,” she said. “You get to sort of watch them process life and for the most part, they make great decisions.”

Evans and her husband maintain their sanity by taking a vacation alone together once a year.

“It’s good for the kids too because they get to answer to someone else, so when we come home they like us again,” Evans said.

It’s not easy finding a babysitter for 10 children. For the first few years, Evans flew a babysitter in from her old hometown in Spokane. Now, a woman from her church babysits when needed.

Evans thanks her neighbors and families at her church, Our Savior’s Baptist Church, for helping keep the children clothed in quality and fashionable attire. The Evans children mostly wear hand-me-down clothing.

“Sometimes, we’ll open the front door and there’s just bags of clothes there,” Evans said.

The children’s grandparents also are generous with their time and gifts.

While Evans isn’t actively looking for more children to adopt, she can’t guarantee that she’s done building her family. There are so many children out there who need families, she said.

“You’ve already got the family, so why not add a few more,” she said.

Contact Margo Horner: or (253) 925-5565.

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