RUBY: How long have you attended Troy United Methodist Church?
Ever since we moved to Troy, back in the fall of 1998.
RUBY: What drew you to this church?
Family-friendly atmosphere where the Word of God is taught not only to adults, but to the youngest of children as well. We wanted to attend a church where there were lots of opportunities for our kids to be nurtured in their faith and to develop friendships with other Christian kids from their neighborhood and their school.
RUBY: Which service do you typically attend?
RUBY: Share a favorite Bible verse and/or inspirational song, and why this is a favorite.
Favorite verse: For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
I have liked that verse for a long time because it speaks to God’s love for us and to the assurance that even when I might be discouraged or feel like I’ve lost my way, God knows the end of my story and has plans and promises beyond what I could ever fathom. I think this verse became even more significant to me after we adopted our daughter, because I am assured that even though she was born on the other side of the world into what many would call tragic circumstances, God had a plan and a promise for her life. I am blessed to be a small part of that story.
RUBY: Tell us about your involvement at Troy UMC and/or the community.
Over the years, I have been involved in the children’s ministry, been part of small groups and numerous classes, served on committees, hosted events and youth in our home, and sing as part of the 9:00 praise band.
RUBY: Tell us about your family.
I’ve been married to my husband Jordan for 22 years. We have four amazing kids, each with very distinct personalities and unique gifts. Andrew is 19 and in his first year of college. Claire just turned 16, and is a sophomore. Jackson, my third-grader, is 9. Ella just turned 7 and is in first grade. Quite an age span. Last year I had a senior in high school and a kindergartner. It gets pretty exciting around our house some days!
RUBY: Given that you had three children of your own, what led you to adopt another child?
I grew up in a family where taking in kids was something that my parents did quite often--kids who were in a bad situation for one reason or another and needed a place to feel safe and loved. Some stayed for a few days and others became a permanent part of the family. So I’ve always had a heart for adoption and thought that I would do that at some point in my life.
Several years and a few kids into our marriage, Jordan and I were particularly touched by words from Steven Curtis Chapman at a concert we attended. In sharing about his own family’s adoption journey, Steven shared his realization that God’s word tells us to “care for those in need… care for the least of these… care for orphans and widows,” not so that we can check off chores from our to-do list. Rather, they are invitations from the God who made us, who knows us so well, saying “if you want to know Me, then come where I said you’d find Me. Come to those who are the least of these…step out of your comfort zone and act in faith…be my hands and feet to the people that I created and I love.” He went on to say that it’s not just a story of adoption, but that it’s our story as Christians… the story of God’s grace. We were hopeless and helpless, and God came through space and time to find you and me, to take us into His heart, to adopt us into His family, to say that He will give us a hope and a future. He’ll give us a name, His name, and He’ll give us a love that not even death can take away.
A short time later, Jordan and I stepped out in faith and started the adoption process to add a new member to our family. At times, this journey has been a test of our faith, our patience and our notions of what it means to love unconditionally. Months later, we travelled to China to adopt our new daughter. We held Ella in our arms for the first time at the age of 13 months, appropriately, on Mother’s Day of 2007. Six years later, we can testify to the blessings that we have gained through this experience. Even though we have felt tested at many turns and have totally abandoned any foolish notion we had about having “parenthood” figured out, we are blessed beyond measure and can honestly say that our family was not complete until we brought that little girl home.
RUBY: What does being a mother mean to you?
That’s a big question. A mom is many things at different times and at different stages of their child’s life. At times a mom is nurturer, cook, teacher, disciplinarian, chauffeur, cheerleader, prayer warrior, role model, and the woman who loves their dad.
Author Lysa TerKeurst once said, as a mom, you can love your children, teach them, pass our faith along, and pray for them, but eventually you need to turn them over to God and trust Him enough to write their story—their own testimony. As someone who tends to want to control situations, I think that is a remarkable insight.
RUBY: What trait do you most admire in others?
I admire those who have traits of wisdom, patience and a gentle spirit, mainly because those are traits I do not possess, but wish I did!
RUBY: How may we contact you in order to make a further connection?
You can find me on Facebook, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call my cell: 618-363-2847.