The Rumley Family

Loving Jesus, Loving Life

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

BSW_5918

“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.

Twelve.

JA1_6192ma

I still remember the first time I saw you. You didn’t know I was out in the audience at your improv comedy show. But I was there, a brand new freshman at college, still 17 years old. I thought you were really cute. And you made me laugh. I loved that.

JA1_6195ma

As we got to know each other that year, I told my mom and dad little snippets about you. I called you “Cute Luke” when I was talking to my parents.

“Yeah, I’m going to marry Cute Luke someday,” I said once, jokingly.

JA1_6201ma

If I didn’t believe in the sovereignty of our great God, I would say that I got really lucky when you asked me to date you…and later, to marry you.

I know there are other girls out there that thought they were marrying quality Christian guys, only to later discover they married creeps. But not me. I thought I was marrying a pretty great Christian guy, only to later discover I married a really, really, really amazing and wonderful Christian man.

We weren’t much older than kids when we started dating. But despite our young ages, you had character – a strong work ethic, a desire to serve in the church, goals for your life…And you loved Jesus, with your whole heart.

JA1_6214ma

As we’ve grown older and more mature, you’ve been sanctified and refined. You’ve allowed difficult circumstances in life to draw you closer to Jesus and make you more like Him.

You still make me laugh with your silliness and antics and ridiculousness…and yet at the end of the day, you treat me like something precious.

I don’t deserve you.

But I promise to love you. Every day. No matter what. Just like I promised 12 years ago.

JA1_6216ma

Happy anniversary, Love.

—–
(These beautiful images were taken by our dear friends at DaveTree Photography.)

Rumley Renovation: The Process, Part 2

We simply could not have done this project without the help of some really talented, generous friends. I can’t express my thankfulness for them!

Like my brother-in-law Karl, who helped us build (i.e. built himself, while we did really important things like sanding rough edges and vacuuming up the sawdust) two beautiful, custom vanities for our bathrooms.

IMG_0244

IMG_0254

IMG_0248

IMG_0250

IMG_0247

IMG_0256

They even fit into the back of our van…Of course, we had to pawn off some kids into Alonna’s car for the trip home…but it worked! 🙂

And our friend Rusty. He helped us cut can lights into the main floor and relocate some electrical boxes. He probably did other things, too, that I don’t even remember. 🙂 He’s super handy to have around. And I can’t tell you how much I love that we now have lights in our main floor living room. (I will never understand why people build houses without ceiling lights!)

IMG_0286

I could give you the long list of people who we’re indebted to for their help, but I won’t. Suffice it to know that we have a really amazing group of people in our lives.

I’m going to take credit for all of the wallpaper removal. My friend Dana gave me the hint to use Windex to soften the glue, and then I scraped it off with a little putty knife. Upside: it developed my arm muscles.

IMG_0197

IMG_0195

When the demolition was done, our friend Jason retrimmed the entire house. All of it. Every single piece of trim was touched by his hands (and his saw). Every door was hung by him. He did a great job.

Then our friend Terry used his mad paint-spraying skills to spray all that trim, as well as the closets, doors, and ceilings. He saved us countless hours of hand-painting those things.

IMG_0446

(See how sneaky I had to be to get pictures of our friends?) 🙂

Next, I painted all of the walls. My sister-in-law Emily and friend Sommer painted the upstairs bathroom. Otherwise, my arms were busy gaining more muscles.

Here’s Emily: 🙂
IMG_0554

“Slow and steady wins the race.” That’s my motto for painting. It takes forever, but the results are worth it!

IMG_0463

Our friend Dave was our go-to for the plumbing challenges we had…like setting new toilets, new sinks, etc.

IMG_0485

And though we are not handy people, Luke installed nearly all of the vinyl flooring himself! (Our friend Craig helped, and I helped as well.)

IMG_0429

There was more…Oh, so much more that happened in the renovation process. If you ever want to hear it, just come over for coffee. 🙂

In the next post, the pictures will speak for themselves. I can’t wait to show you the end results!

Baby Boy

I don’t know what I was doing a year ago tonight. My calendar from November 7, 2014 is empty. My Facebook had no posts that day.

I had no idea that it was the day you would enter the world.

That makes me immensely sad.

And immeasurably happy.

Daddy and I were done having babies. We made sure of it. But we told God, “God, if you want us to have more babies, you have to make it happen. And we’ll trust You.”

What we meant was, “If you get us pregnant, it will be an outright miracle, and we’ll keep the baby (of course).”

What He did was send us YOU.

This is the first picture I ever saw of you, when you were two days old:
10402758_10204255079711269_4757768673335704382_n

You were so tiny.

My heart said, “That is my son.”

My head freaked out. And argued with God. And freaked out some more. And prayed a lot. And finally…eventually…talked to Daddy about it.

Miss Dana took such good care of you. She was your first foster mama, and she spent hours and hours and hours loving you when you cried all night long every night. She loved you. She still does.

10733893_10204378094826570_6516208049254010110_o

We did lots of paperwork and got fingerprinted and had doctors make sure we’re healthy enough to parent and had a social worker come over and ask us lots of questions. We did these things (and more) so that you could come live with us, and we could be your Mommy and Daddy instead of your babysitters.

The day you came home to stay was a really big day for our family. I cried many tears of joy that day.

Sometimes people tell me that Daddy and I are such wonderful people for bringing you into our family. But you know what? It’s not true. It’s not about us.

It’s about GOD. HE is wonderful for bringing you to us. YOU are a delightful, amazing little boy, and you bring joy and laughter into our home every single day.

Your brothers and sisters and Mommy and Daddy all delight to see your smile, and the way you are mimicking so many things right now, and your sweet little high-stepped walking (with help). We love to hear your laugh and help you discover new things about the world God made.

I’ll admit it’s hard sometimes…like when you still get up nearly every night, crying. In the middle of the night. At 12 months of age. That’s hard. I like sleep.

It’s hard when I think about your biological mom who should be enjoying your sweet self, if it wasn’t for all the dadblasted brokenness in the world.

It’s hard when I think about the racial tensions we might someday face because of your beautiful brown skin.

But it’s all worth it. It’s more than worth it.

I can’t imagine our world without you, little one.

Happy 1st birthday.

BSW_0299_love_small

May we have many, many more birthdays to celebrate TOGETHER.

I love you,
Mommy

Rumley Renovation: The Process, Part 1

IMG_0126

We walked into our newly purchased home after receiving the keys at close…and there was an odor. It smelled.

Musty. Dirty. Possibly cigarette-smokey.

So our very first order of business (besides letting in some fresh air) was to pull out the flooring. Stinkiness likes to live in flooring…and I could hardly wait to get rid of that stank.

The kids were very helpful on the demolition part of this project. Caleb pulled up most of the carpet / pad himself, and the kids were huge helpers removing all the other flooring as well.

IMG_0111

The first snag we ran into was that the flooring was run under the cabinets in the kitchen. That made removing it a little challenging. That’s the difference between remodeling and building new…more surprises.

IMG_0124

IMG_0134

IMG_0144

I got to swing a sledgehammer for the first time in my life. Boy was it cathartic to make holes in that closet drywall. 🙂 We removed all of the drywall from that closet below, and then our friend Jason removed the studs for us.

IMG_0146

See the Pack n Play below? That was Baby Boy’s safe haven in the midst of construction. He didn’t love spending time in there, but he was deposited there when the older kiddos got tired of playing in the yard with him.

IMG_0149

Next you can see our first garage-full of junk. Yes, I said first.

IMG_0177

More to come…soon! 😉

« Older posts

© 2016 The Rumley Family

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑