The Rumley Family

Loving Jesus, Loving Life

BSF Sharing Day 2017

At the end of each year of Bible Study Fellowship (BSF), we have a special open-mic day, where ladies are invited to share what they’ve learned from BSF that year. This year, I felt the Holy Spirit compelling me to speak, so I wrote out what I would say ahead of time. I wanted to share that with you.


Two years ago, I stood here with a sweet baby boy in my arms and told you how the study of Moses had inspired our family to follow God’s leading into the realm of foster care and adoption. We were thrilled to think that little guy might become a permanent part of our family.

Last year, I sat quietly listening to my sisters in Christ share…and little did I know that our son’s biological mom had given birth that very morning to a tiny baby girl. When we received a call the next day, asking if we’d be willing to take her into our home as our foster daughter, we were fresh off the study of Revelation, and an eternal perspective rang in our minds. God gave us the courage to say “yes.”

Today, I can’t help but chuckle at God’s omniscient timing. We will celebrate our Lilah’s first birthday tomorrow…but today we celebrate because this is the day that she is no longer our foster daughter but is permanently welcomed into our family as our adopted daughter.

I don’t know why God orchestrated the events of our life this way…but I can’t help but wonder if someone here needs to hear the message that it is SO worth it to step out in faith (like Peter stepped out of the boat to walk on the water), to follow Jesus’ call (like the fishermen who dropped everything to become His disciples), to pour out our lives to Him (like Mary, who anointed His feet with expensive perfumes)…

I will not tell you that it is an easy path. I have six children at home, and the chaos is sometimes a force to be reckoned with.

But it is worth it.

John 20:31 has stayed with me…”These are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.” (emphasis mine)

True, beautiful, abundant LIFE is found only in Jesus.

Say yes when He calls you, friends. You won’t regret it. Because He is always faithful.


{To Luke}

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God has been gracious to us, my love.

Thirteen years of blessings and growth. Warm homes and beautiful children and crazy adventures. An incredible church family.

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Sure, we’ve had some sad things. Grief. Tears. My dad’s accident. Grace’s diabetes diagnosis. Emily’s surgery. Deaths of some dear church friends.

But God has always been good. And faithful. Jehovah Jireh, our provider.

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I’m finding more and more gray hairs mixed into the brunette these days…and I realize, God is making our dreams come true. We are growing old together.

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I can’t imagine a better life than the one God has given us. He lavishes good things on us, and I’m so humbled. And grateful.

Especially for you, my love. Always for you.

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Happy anniversary.

He Created Color


I’ll admit it: for much of my life the issue of race / civil rights was just a textbook page to me.

I wouldn’t have gotten into a heated debate about black skin vs. white skin, except to insist that people of all skin colors were made valuable by their Creator, as they were ALL made in His image.

But now I have a black son.

I can see my son’s face in place of those who have been murdered just for the color (the beautiful, dark, rich color) of their skin.

It’s not an academic issue anymore.

It’s a heart issue, and it’s tearing our country (and my mama heart) apart.

I can’t tell you how often strangers comment about how adorable Malachi is. It’s true – not only does he have big eyes, curly hair, and a killer dimple, but he has a sweet and hilarious personality, too. He’s so stinking cute. And for the most part, white people tend to love black babies.

So why is it that when Malachi gets bigger, manlier, more muscular…when he loses his little pot belly and gains a mustache…that he’ll suddenly become a “threat” to those who once called him “adorable?”

Why are black men scary to white people?

And what in the world can I do to prepare my son for the day that people treat him not as the star of the show like they do now, but as less human because of his skin color?

How can I explain that to a little boy who only knows that he’s dearly loved?

When he’s 8, or 10, or 12, I’ll have to tell him that some people hate him. Because he’s black.

I have never had to sit my biological (white) children down and give them a talk like that. Because in our everday existence, no one feels that way about them.

I’m so thankful that Jesus, in His amazing creativity, created skin colors of all shades. The variety is beautiful. His Creation is amazing. And I long for the day that everyone bows the knee to Him and acknowledges the beauty and wonder of it all.

He’s our hope.

Come quickly, Lord Jesus.

A Letter on Adoption Day

Our adoption of our sweet little Malachi was finalized on June 15, and this is the letter I read in court. I wanted to share it with you, because this is the story God has given me.


My story began in 2001, when I spent 10 days in Romania with a group from Cornerstone University loving on a bunch of abandoned babies in a hospital there. My eyes were opened not only to the big world outside of Michigan, but also to the brokenness in this world. I wanted to bring all those orphans home with me. At age 18, with 3-1/2 years of college ahead of me, it just wasn’t practical. But it planted a seed way down in my heart, a little thought that said, “One day, maybe I’ll adopt.”

Life went on. Luke and I got married. We had babies. We loved our church and our life together. It was good.

But during my first year of BSF, studying the life of Moses, I felt a tugging in my spirit. I didn’t know what was in store for us. I didn’t know what this uncomfortable prodding of the Spirit meant. But I told God that I was willing to do what He asked of me. And then began a period of waiting to see what He would do.

And we all know what He was preparing us for. He started tilling the soil of my heart in 2001 and again in September 2014 in preparation for the birth of a tiny little boy on November 7, 2014.

Malachi Charles, I wanted to adopt a baby from Romania in 2001…but I didn’t know at that time that God had my sweet son in mind to be born much later. You were worth the 15 years’ wait!

Today as you become officially ours, I have to give all praise and glory to God, who created you and blessed our family with you. His plans are so much richer and more beautiful than ours, if only we’ll step out in faith.

I can’t imagine our family without you – your sweet smile and infectious laugh. It is my heartfelt desire that someday soon you will learn about the awesome God who created you, and about His Son, Jesus Christ, who died to pay the penalty for our sins. I pray that you will grow to be a man who loves Jesus and serves Him with his whole heart. Your name – Malachi – means “messenger of God,” and it’s my prayer that you will have a beautiful testimony of His grace in your life to share with others.

On this special day, I have some people to acknowledge. First, my family. Luke, it has been so amazing to see the way God took your steps of obedience and turned them into a true, deep love of a father for his son. It’s such a beautiful picture of God’s love for us…and I get to see it played out before my eyes every day.

Grace, Caleb, Ava, and Jaden…I love you. You are awesome kids. It has been so fun to watch you with Kai – the way you loved on him from the very beginning and always treated him like your baby brother. You are such great helpers with him, and I know you’ll continue to help teach him how to be a godly boy. I hope you 5 will someday realize how blessed you are to have each other.

To our extended family – thank you. Thanks for praying for Kai and the rest of us throughout this long process. You’ve prayed for this for over a year, and I want you to know that we don’t take that for granted. And thank you for treating him as part of the family from the very beginning. We’ve been blessed with some pretty stellar family members.

Dana…you were the one to bring Kai home from the hospital and love on him through seemingly endless hours of crying. You sacrificed your Christmas with the girls to snuggle him in the hospital for 2 weeks when he was very, very sick. You endured my not-so-subtle attempts at seeing his sweet self after I’d fallen in love with him, but before I had the courage to say it. You loved him with a mama’s love for 7 months before he came home to us, and for that I will always be grateful. Thank you for being a living example of Christ’s love for the orphans for the last 9 years, so that when it was our turn to step up to the task of orphan care, it was much less scary.

To our other friends who have gone before us into foster care and adoption – thank you. The Simonises, Sturmans, Perrons, and Perrys…your steps of faith and godly examples gave us courage to obey God’s leading. When you chose to love the orphans, you didn’t just change the lives of your children. You’ve impacted the lives of those around you, including us. Thank you!

And last, thank you, God, for adopting us into Your family when we were unlovable. While we were still Your enemies, Christ gave His life for us so we could become your sons and daughters. What’s happening here today is just a picture of the beautiful thing you’ve already done for us. May we bring you glory as we strive to live for you.

To My Son’s Biological Mom on Mother’s Day


“Children born to another woman call me ‘Mom.’ The magnitude of that tragedy and the depth of that privilege are not lost on me.” -Jody R. Landers

I think of you often.

Our lives are so very different.
I grew up in a loving, stable, Christian home. You didn’t.
I have an amazing husband “to have and to hold.” You face yours days without that blessing.
I live in a part of our town that’s considered wealthy. You don’t.

Sometimes I think I should be angry for the way you conducted your life that led this sweet baby boy into foster care. Shouldn’t I be righteously indignant? Don’t you realize that your misconduct left lasting consequences for him? And yet, the prevailing emotion when I think of you is sadness. Sadness for you.

Your baby boy is simply amazing.

He looks like you, you know. The way his face is shaped. His eyes and eyebrows. His lips. He looks like his birth mama. I will tell him that he looks like you, with a little bit of his biological daddy mixed in.

He’s SO smart. Just a couple of days ago, he started to learn sign language for the chorus of “Jesus Loves Me,” complete with blowing a big kiss at the very end. He keeps us laughing, that’s for sure.

He can also be quite sassy and opinionated, and I wonder if that’s a trait you share?

I’m sad that you’re missing it. You miss out on all of his milestones, his moments of discovery and learning, his developing humor and wit. If your life had been different…you would have loved these moments. You would have savored your time with him. You would have delighted in him.

I’m sorry you can’t now.

But I promise to do my very best to raise your boy to be the very thing that God created him to be. I can already imagine the way he will change the world for God’s glory, and I can’t wait to see it play out.

It’s my heartfelt prayer that you will both come to realize your need for Christ, so that even though you can’t spend these special moments with your boy in this lifetime, you would be able to spend an eternity next to him, praising God.

And may that gracious, loving God hold you close this Mother’s Day.

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