Foreign Family

Mikaela McCabe, JAG writer

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As freshman Allen Weinert prepared to talk about his family, he passed around a picture of his 11 siblings. Though most of his siblings began college in Weinert’s youth, he still knew the struggles, along with joy, of living with such a big family.

“We’re always playing games together even though it takes forever to get to your turn,” Weinert said. “We’re laughing nonstop.”

Weinert’s siblings included his stepfather’s four kids, his mother’s six kids, including him, and his father’s two kids.  Though they were not all blood related, they acted that way with each other.

“[We don’t] differentiate at all between blood and step siblings,” Weinert’s stepfather Charlie Sherwood said. “That’s how our family is.”

The Weinert family included over 2,000 members, the oldest being 100. Some of his family members joined the family through adoption including, his sister from Russia, his nephew from Spain and his stepmother from the Philippines.

“I think it’s awesome [to have such a big family],” Weinert said.

Weinert said his family members tended to be fairly close. The family reunions in Arizona remained the main source of bonding as 200-500 family members came each year.

“We play a huge [rook] tournament [at the parties] that goes on for days,” Weinert said. “It’s such a big family [that] you may play with someone you don’t know, it’s funny.”

According to Weinert, a large family came with a lot of responsibility, including becoming an uncle at age eight. Weinert said this proved to be his favorite aspect.

“My favorite thing is having nieces and nephews because they are so fun to play with,” Weinert said. “[The family] is always checking up on each other so I’d say we’re all pretty close.”

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