Saturday, September 22, 2012


"Why did you adopt? You already had kids of your own?"

"How can you love your adopted kids as much as your biological children?"

We hear both questions a lot.  Honestly, they are great questions and for the most part people who ask are genuinely interested in what we have to say.  The problem is I (Rush) struggle to capture and communicate in a concise and powerful way the answers that people are looking for.

In steps Francis Chan.

Mr. Chan (the author of "Crazy Love" ) provides just about the best ever two minute explanation as to why adoption is so incredibly important to our family and the responsibility placed on the Church to answer the call to care for the orphan. Thanks for helping me out Francis!

November 4th is Orphan Sunday.  Check it out: Orphan Sunday 2012

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Today is a rather important day! Jude finally has his surgery to close his cleft palate. And along with that, comes tubes in both ears....and oh yeah....circumcision. Yikes. Good luck with that, buddy. ;)

And as glad as I am that my little man will finally be on the other end of these procedures, part of my focus is not on him today.

Because, today also happens to be the 2nd anniversary of Rylie's Gotcha Day!

2 years ago, we saw her face to face for the first time. There were lots of tears. Lots of uncertainty. Lots of hope. She dropped the title "orphan," and claimed the title "beloved daughter." 

Over the next few weeks, there were more tears, and screaming, and tantrums, and me wondering what the heck we had gotten ourselves into. I learned how very vulnerable she was. I learned how very inept I was. I realized there was only one avenue for her healing....and it wasn't me. 

Over the past year, we have found redemption and grace, development and growth. For both of us. And for our family as a whole.

That day, 2 years ago, changed everything for us.

And so, even though we are with her brother today, and not her...well, today we celebrate our Rylie girl.

Rylie, you are wonderfully made and amazingly strong. You are a survivor and the bravest person I know. And while you still challenge me every. single. day, I love you more than I can express and I am so glad you are mine. You are my best teacher to date. And I praise God that He picked us to be your family.

Happy Gotcha Day Rylie Layne!

We celebrated last night with a little dinner in her honor! 

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Voice

"Every kid is different.  She will be fine.  Everyone goes through this.  She is so excited." 

I've repeated that mantra over and over again as my three year old daughter prepares to begin preschool on Wednesday.  It's only three days a week.  It's only three hours a day.  The church is only three miles from my front door.  My first two kids went to the same preschool and had fabulous experiences.  I'm certain I was a little apprehensive on their first day, but not like this.  Why is it different?

Because it's Rylie.  Because she has come such a long way since coming home, but has such a long way to go.  Because she is a daddy's girl.  

Because I am her voice.

Abandoned at two months old and fighting in an orphanage with hundreds of other kids for attention, she was hampered by a palate and lips not fully formed in the womb.  From the beginning she has been searching for her voice.  And as her dad I have spent the past two years trying to stand in the gap for her.  To love her and tell her she is beautiful (she so is).  To teach her that she can trust me to always be her advocate.

But questions remain.  What if her classmates and her teachers can't understand her?  What if they don't know that when she says "this" she means "that"?  What if other kids don't want to be her friend because she is so different than everyone else in the room? What if she gets frustrated when no one at school can translate her mumbled sounds like Daddy can?

Rylie is confident.  She is determined and strong.  God created her that way knowing what lies ahead.  I pray that she tackles the first day of preschool like the fighter she is.  I know her daddy can't be with her every second to speak when she struggles.  No matter how much I may dislike it, she has to grow up.  But praise God, her Heavenly Father is always by her side.  Let Him be her voice when she can't seem to find the words.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

First Day of School!

To say that the kids have been excited for school to start would be a huge understatement. I don't know if I should be happy that they like school, or offended that apparently I am that boring. ;)

This year, Jonah headed into 3rd grade....

....and Reagan started Kindergarten! She has the same teacher that Jonah had for Kindergarten, which makes things so much easier since we already know and love her!

She was up at 3am....seriously. And I'm not sure she went back to sleep. Serious excitement.

We met their buddies at the bus stop. :)

 (all the kids minus 2)

And they were off!!

I found out that Jonah walked Reagan to her class (love that boy). He declared this the "best year ever!" and she said she had a great day too. Loved everything. 

That definitely makes this momma's heart happy!

Hopefully they'll feel the same in another month!

Next up.....Rylie starts preschool next week! She's about to bust, she's so excited!