Christopher and Heather Schwarzen
We’re Christopher and Heather: husband and wife, best friends, parenting and ministry team.
In the beginning, we were on track to live out the American dream. We met while pursuing our undergraduate degrees at a state university, dated four years, and secured jobs in our chosen fields before marrying in 1996. Raised in Christian homes, neither of us lived our lives with faith as our primary yardstick. Heather attended church and even taught Sunday School throughout college, but Christopher was exploring Zen Buddhism by the time we said our vows.
The Five Year Plan (work, buy new cars, buy house, take vacations, then consider kids) sounded logical, and we set about making that a reality. And it was…for six months.
In January 1997, our world was rocked with the discovery that we were expecting our first child. With that sudden change in status (“We’re going to be parents?!”) came a whole host of self-seeking. Heather was drawn deeper into a relationship with Christ, while Christopher went in the other direction and contemplated becoming a zen priest. The waters grew murkier still when the baby arrived.
Much to her shock and surprise, Heather became a stay-at-home mom, and thus began the erosion of our American dream. In 2002, Christopher met Christ in a tangible, life-changing way, and our lives snowballed into the glorious and unexpected place we find ourselves today. That journey has involved adoption, pregnancy loss, passport stamps from around the globe, special needs, homeschooling, and so much more.
Today, we have nine children, ages 20 to 2. We are a large family, active Christ-followers who are devoted to missions and homeschooling — basically the road less traveled.