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Published: Sunday, 2/22/2009

Frisch couple unfazed by harsh questions

The Frisch family poses in front of their home on Edgedale Circle before it was demolished for the 'Extreme Makeover: Home Edition' show last year. The Frisch family poses in front of their home on Edgedale Circle before it was demolished for the 'Extreme Makeover: Home Edition' show last year.

When America watched Aaron and Jackie Frisch's small ranch house get bulldozed and replaced with a dream home on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, some people felt a need to ask the Frisches some harsh questions.

Why, these people wondered aloud, did the couple adopt five boys from Haiti and three from Toledo's central city when they already had three biological children and lacked the room and income some feel are necessary to support such a large family? The Frisches also have a daughter, now 26 and no longer living at home, who came to them at age 17, legally changed her surname to Frisch but was an adult before she could be legally adopted.

Mrs. Frisch, who gave up a career as a therapist and counselor to be a full-time mother, said she and Mr. Frisch, a Toledo firefighter, had no choice after going to Haiti on a mission trip in 2001 and seeing the desperate plight of orphans there.

"The people who ask us those horrible questions, they don't understand. We didn't go out and decide, 'OK, let's have babies, or let's just take a bunch of kids in,'•" Mrs. Frisch said.

"The kids that we have had nothing. One of our little ones used to eat out of our garbage when he first came to our house as a foster child. He didn't understand that there was stability, that there actually was some place that you could know you were going to eat.

"My kids that come from Haiti - asking God for daily bread was a real thing. So I don't care if we eat macaroni and cheese, I don't care if we have a loaf of bread for dinner. We're eating.

"People can say, 'Why did you take so many kids in if you can't afford it?' Because we couldn't afford not to. Not having enough is not the same as not having anything. Big difference. And we will gladly go with not enough as long as the children don't have to go with nothing," she said.

"For all of those people that wonder why we put ourselves in a position - what position? You know, so the roof was leaky. Many of my children had no roof. What's a few drops? Macaroni and cheese? Tastes like caviar if you don't have anything.

"So who cares? It's not about how much we ever have or don't have. It's the fact that there are children who are relieved from having to go with nothing."

- David Yonke

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