It is surreal to think that it has been 3 years since Kristen and I started the adoption process, and that now the wait is over. We welcomed Ruth into the world on April 14th, 2018.
Ruth is named after one of her great-grandmothers, as well as her namesake in the Old Testament. Ruth was outside of the covenant family of God. But she was brought in by faith through grace. Still grieving, she looked at Naomi and made her faith known: “Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.” (Ruth 1:16) The legal bond of adoption is a beautiful necessity in a broken world. But it’s power and beauty don’t hold a candle to God’s covenant promises. More than anything, this is our hope for our daughter Ruth – to know our unwavering promise to her as a faint picture of God’s unwavering promise.
Her 1st middle name is Eden. ““Look to the rock from which you were cut and to the quarry from which you were hewn; look to Abraham, your father, and to Sarah, who gave you birth. When I called him he was only one man, and I blessed him and made him many. The LORD will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins; he will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the LORD. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing.” (Isaiah 51:1–3) This passage references all 3 middle names of our children: Alex Joy, Jackson Isaac (son of Abraham and Sarah), and now Ruth Eden. When we think of Eden, we remember what was lost, but look forward even more to what will be regained.
Her 2nd middle name is Rose. This is the name given to Ruth by her beautiful and brave birth mother. We can’t wait to tell Ruth about the profound love that her First Mom has for her, loving her to the point that she chose adoption for her.
And finally, her last name is Owens! “Always remember, there was nothing worth sharing like the love that let us share our name” (The Avett Brothers)
There are so many people to thank for helping bring Ruth home.
First, my beautiful wife. She works hard as an Occupational Therapist during the day, and would often come home and work long into the night, taking and editing photos to raise funds for our dream of adoption. She worked her tail off – pushing paperwork, setting appointments, meeting deadlines – all while loving and caring for our family. We scrimped and saved, and were able to personally save most of our adoption costs. She is Super Woman!
Our families: twice now, my mom has flown down to Florida to be with us in the waiting – helping with kids and logistics. Kristen’s parents dropped everything to watch our kids, bringing our older two kids to meet us here so we can be together as a family.
Our supporters: we could not have done it without you! Starting in 2015, you came along side us to plan a garage sale, and many of you gave out of your own pocket to help cover adoption costs. Our Growth Group covered travel expenses for our heartbreaking failed adoption last year. One young couple (just getting started in their careers) booked us a place to stay in Florida while we wait on the paperwork to finalize! Another 20-something bride-to-be gave generously while she was planning her own wedding! Help has come from the most unexpected places (which is absolutely in line with how God typically provides, isn’t it?)
Thankfully, we did not lose any of the funds we saved and raised over the past 3 years. However, additional birthmother expenses and home study fees over the past few years are not covered by what we have now.
You can make a tax deductible donation through Little Blessings Foster and Adoptive Family Support (check them out at https://www.littleblessingsadoptionsupport.org). When you are given an option to include special instructions, please mention “Grant – Owens Adoption.” Below is a PayPal link for donations (let me know if you’d like to give another way):
Lord willing, we will be able to come back home soon! Thanks for the prayers, texts, and phone calls. We’re praising God that Ruth has already been welcomed into a great big loving family/village!