Some are foster parents.
And others become stepmothers.
Then there’s Heather Pletcher, whose seven children, and eighth on the way, come from a variety of ways. Pletcher and her husband, Nicholas Pletcher, raise their children — six girls and one boy, ranging in age from 1 to 17 — in their quaint yet often chaotic Vine Street home near Firelands Regional Medical Center.
The rambunctiousness played out on a recent weekday.
As Heather sat at the kitchen table mid-conversation on a recent afternoon, several children lovingly badgered her.
One child interrupted the dialogue by pestering her with an upcoming school event. Another daughter reminisced about Heather playing soccer with her. And the youngest kept spilling peanuts.'
But Heather remained patient, reassuring one daughter about how she’ll be prepared for the event, laughing about playing soccer with the other and sweeping up the food back into a cup — all the while returning to the original conversation whenever a rare and spare moment occurred.
“I get irritated, no doubt,” Heather said. “But I love all of them equally”
Of the seven children — she’s also 15 weeks pregnant — three of them were previously in the custody of Heather’s father. But about six years ago, extreme circumstances would have placed this trio in a foster care system.
But Heather squashed this scenario real quick.
“I didn’t want the girls being ripped from their home,” said Heather, who volunteered to take in the girls and treat them just like all her other children. “We love the kids and wanted to give them a home”
Today, on Mother’s Day, Heather — who’s a stay-at-home mom and baby-sits other family children and kids around the neighborhood — and her family aren’t doing anything out of the ordinary. They’ll head to the Sandusky Community Church of the Nazarene for their weekly dose of religion.
“We’re usually the last ones there and the last ones to leave” Heather said. She’ll also likely catch up on the daily chores. “There’s usually three racks of dishes and four loads of laundry a day” she said. But she doesn’t mind the work and crazy atmosphere, knowing her children truly appreciate her work. “I love all my children and just want each one to be successful,” Heather said. “I don’t want them moving back in here with me with their children, my grandchildren” Her hard work doesn’t go unnoticed. “She takes care of these kids and does a great job” Nicholas said. Said daughter Autumn: “I love her because she is the one that takes care of us”
All in the Pletcher family
Heather’s blended family came about in a unique way:
•Jesse Pletcher, 17, is her biological son.
•Taylor Canino, 15, is her stepdaughter with visitation rights.
•Nicole Super-Abramczyk, 11, is her stepsister.
•Autumn Pletcher, 11, is her biological daughter that she had with Nicholas.
•Leeann Ward, 9, is her half-sister.
•Eva Ward, 6, is her half-sister.
•Annis Pletcher, 1, is her biological daughter that she had with Nicholas.
Heather’s also 15 weeks pregnant with Nicholas’ child.