Life can sometimes bring families unsuspected surprises.
For the Miltenbergers it seems those surprises have shaped a family.
Parents Tim and Pam Miltenberger of Marshalltown have adopted three children and currently have one foster child.
T-R PHOTO BY ANDREW POTTER
The Miltenberger family includes parents Pam and Tim and children, from left, Jason, Laura and Christina.
Christina, left, and Laura join dad Tim at their first taekwondo tournament in Minneapolis.
The three Miltenberger children, from left, Laura, Jason and Christina pose for a picture during a family vacation to Rocky Mountain State Park in Colorado.
They are the Times-Republican Family of the Year nominee for May.
Children in the family include Laura, 10, Christina, 9, and Jason, 3, and one 3-year-old foster child who is a girl.
Laura and Christina came to Tim and Pam as sisters already in 2005 originally as foster children.
"We were thinking about going into the foster care program and pretty much made the decision it wasn't the time to do it," Tim said. "Then we heard about these two girls and we thought now is the time to go to the foster care classes. The first time they came into the house it was a fit."
Jason was adopted as a baby in 2006.
Tim is owner of Christian ATA, a taekwondo center on Iowa Avenue, while Pam is a nurse with Iowa Home Care.
Their schedules allow for Tim to take care of the children during the day when they are not in school and for Pam to watch them at night while Tim teaches classes.
Of course some of Tim's pupils in martial arts are also his children.
"Taekwondo has helped them develop leadership skills and self esteem," Tim said.
Other activities the family enjoy together include fishing, gardening, board games and crafts.
Pam said the activities are "good for relationship-building" with the family.
Two activities the family feels are important is regular worship at Center Street Baptist Church and strengthening their faith.
"We want to make sure they are grounded in their faith and live that in their lives so it's not just something they believe," Tim said.
It's anybody's guess whether the Miltenbergers will add more foster children to the mix or adopt another child for the family.
The future of the family, according to Pam, is going after something when "you can feel it's right."
Contact Andrew Potter at 641-753-6611 or firstname.lastname@example.org