us — an introduction

Adoption. Faith. Family. These are the topics I feel led to write about this month. It’s pushing me very far beyond my comfort zone. Since I’m sharing pieces of my heart, I thought perhaps I should introduce those who inspire me to celebrate the moments. I asked them each to draw a self-portrait. (Of course, Andy refused to draw…but he did color. Don’t tell the kids, though, because I insisted they each make their own!)
 Andy and I have been married for nearly 13 years. He’s worked at the same company, a sawmill, for 20 years…beginning as an after school job when he was in high school. He gets to work inside and outside, a combination of desk work and hands-on work. Andy and I met on a blind date and I was never (not-ever) going to marry that Ayres’ boy. He was too wild.

After much waiting, we finally brought home our first child. Through a domestic adoption, we adopted Sam at birth. He was born in Ohio. Although he was the first of our children, he is the youngest of the four. He is a first grader and loves: skateboarding, building (with Legos, dominoes, tinker toys, train tracks, Lincoln Logs, or anything else he can get his hands on!), soccer and baseball, video games, writing, and books. He is an avid reader and averages at least 4 chapter books — cover to cover each week, in addition he reads articles in train magazines, picture books, and a variety of nonfiction texts. Sam’s word for 2013 is faith.

When Sam was two, we adopted our daughters, Hannah and Stephanie. Hannah was six when she came home and is currently 11. She is in 5th grade. Hannah loves horses, art, crafts, and sewing. She can make practically anything out of duck tape. When Hannah grows up she wants to be a teacher. She loves to read (“Romance is my favorite,” she admits with a blush). Hannah’s word for 2013 is confidence
Stephanie was four when she came home. Now she is nine and has started to “hand-down” her jeans to me. She loves sports, playing hard, and puzzles. Steph has red hair and the stereotypical personality that comes with it. She believes it takes pink and sparkles to be considered fully dressed. Stephanie is in third grade. Her latest read was Because of Mr. Terupt and she deemed it the best book ever. Currently she is reading the first Harry Potter book at the recommendation of Jordan. Her word for the year is thankful.
Jordan is the latest addition to the Ayres’ family. He joined us on January 23, 2013. Jordan is seven and in second grade. As his self-portrait portrays he does have big, beautiful brown eyes and a great sense of humor. (He thinks the blue spiked hair is funny since in real life it is black with tight curls.) Jordan is athletic and has a kind heart. He loves food, especially chips and dessert. Like all of the Ayres, he is an avid reader. He is currently loving Harry Potter and is considering a Harry Potter birthday party later this month. 

Our family was built in an unconventional way, and yet we were made perfectly for one another. It’s a family of bold personality, lots of laughter, and a bit of wild. Apparently I was wrong all of those years ago. Andy wasn’t too wild…I just wasn’t crazy enough. Thankfully time changes things.

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  1. There isn't anying much better than sitting down and reflecting on where you are at as a failu right in this moment – how wonderful this will be for you to look back on in 2, 5, 10 years and ago see how your family has grown.

    I know for you it is your type of “normal” but I need to tell you he much I respect and admire the way you and your husband have chosen to have a family.

    Enjoy your Sunday!!

  2. Oh my goodness those self-portraits convey the funky, happy energy that is the Ayres family! I love the way you capture each member of the family through images and words. I can't wait to hear Jordan's one little word for 2013, but I suspect it might be: wild!

  3. I think you are writing about the best things. I loved hearing the little portraits and the pics were so much fun. Blue hair is so cool I think! xo

  4. Oh I so love your introduction I've often wondered about your little family. What amazing parents you and Andy are. And don't worry I married the wild one two, and have to say I didn't know what love was until I did…even 28 years later.

  5. What fun, Ruth to see your family in a coloring book! I think you should add some pages of the wonderful thing you do in the everyday way. I loved hearing all about each one & am so impressed with the reading each are doing-wow! My brother's family was created the unusual way of 'then the next child was older' & it's been delightful to see. Thanks for sharing that the 'wildness' is percolating through.

  6. Ruth, this is the best. Although I have read of each and every member of your family, this little slice introducing them to us is my favorite. I have a feeling that Stephanie and my granddaughters would be great friends —pink and sparkly friends! And Jordan's blue hair…awesome! (I'd pick purple myself). Sam reminds me of my boys and Hannah–well, Hannah reminds me of me at that age.

    You and Andy have put together a great family. Thanks for sharing them with us!

  7. What a wonderful way to introduce your family. I love the coloring pictures and the way your family was created in love and energy! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Ruth, thank you for the introduction to your awesome family. The self-portraits and comments brought them alive to me – love the blue spike of Jordan. It is so enlightening to hear that they are all readers and have chosen their word for the year. Looking forward to hearing more about your family.

  9. This is one love-filled family introduction. The big smiles on the pictures speak of happiness. I wonder how your kids and husband would describe you.

  10. The common denominator through all the portraits was love. I am so grateful that you allow us to glimpse into your world of love and crazy busy. Words can't describe what I am thinking and feeling. Wow!

  11. It's so scary to write about our lives rather than our work. This is what I'm learning as a SOLSC newbie. Thank you for sharing your family portraits with us–I love that they have their own words! Beautiful and fun!

  12. It's hard to write about your family and share pieces of your heart. Thanks for introducing us to your family in this special way. The portraits are amazing…makes me want to sit my children down right now with a box of crayons!

  13. Enjoyed your family post. The pictures are a great way to pull them all together. Andy was/is wild??? I've been thinking he was holding you down! Yeah, it all works!

  14. I love your family, Ruth, and wish we were more connected. I (as always) love how you write and how you can make my heart feel all that you want to convey in your writing. I don't often take time to comment, but I always take time to read. The “Learning to Care” post made me think that, yes, we have to learn to care, but even after that, we have to continuously remember to care. AND we have to know what caring looks and feels like to different people. For my family – Evan feels cared for with snuggling, Sydney with spending time together, and Ben with a clean house (I'm still working on that one – ha). Thank you for sharing what God places on your heart. Have a great week!

  15. The self-portraits are too cute! I also love how you included each person's OLW for the year! Can't wait to hear more about them all later this month!

  16. This is so tender and loving. It is touching my heart so deeply that the words kind of got knocked out of me. Glad you trusting us with what is most precious to you.

  17. I love everything about this slice: the introductions, the self-portraits, the history, the one little words. Look at your family SHINE!

  18. Love these introductions and portraits. The story of how your family was formed is timely for me to share with a friend who needs to hear this. Thank you for sharing.

  19. Beautiful! I find it so interesting how faith leads us into paths we might have never considered! The journey of faith! Thank you for letting us see a glimpse of your family.

  20. Such beautiful, honest, and loving descriptions of your family members. Unconventional or not, God certainly had/has a plan for your family. Enjoy the journey!

  21. I read your posts about adopting and wondered about it, but didn't dig deeper to find more about your new child. I agree with one of the other comments that there aren't words for how much I admire you and Andy. So much love and depth in your house. You inspire me.

  22. Love, love, love this. What a great way to introduce your family. I can see the personality in each of the drawings and loved your descriptions of your loved ones. The perfect family assembled in the perfect way.

  23. Ruth this is so cute. I love the picures you all sketched. Keep them forever. …Or frame them and put them on the wall. Way Cool!!!!

  24. Ruth, Ruth, Ruth! For the first slice I'm reading of yours all year, what a wonderful one for me to land on!!

    You know how much I love your writing about your family, how much I love to see the way you love and care for and learn from and teach them.

    And now Jordan. My heart just sighed. You make me teary and smiley all at the same time. Thank you.