Gnarled Healing {CELEBRATE This Week: 206}

I’m glad you are here to celebrate! 

Share a link to your blog post below and/or use #celebratelu to share celebrations on Twitter. Check out the details hereCelebrate This Week goes live on Friday night around 10(ish). Consider it as a weekend celebration. Whenever it fits in your life, add your link. 

Please leave a little comment love for the person who links before you.
It’s been a week of saying hello to the school year and adjusting our schedules. It’s been ten years of learning to adjust from summer to school year with our kids. It’s typically a rocky transition. Change isn’t easy for kids who spend their early years in hard places. 

This year has been the greatest transition ever. It follows the greatest summer we’ve experienced since adopting kids from foster care. I am so grateful.

We had family pictures taken by Jami Stichter. She’s a former student, making these special pictures even more dear to my heart.

I love them. 

I’ve been scrolling through the pictures instead of writing this blog post when it occurred to me, this is the moment to celebrate. 

I wish I had the words, but the feelings are too big for my heart, let alone for a text box. You know how you read stories about people overcoming the impossible and it feels so good for your soul? Even when you’re in the middle of the book and the story is getting tough, it’s still okay because you know it’s going to be okay in the end. You read the last words, close the book, and breathe a sigh of relief. You smile and sit still for a few moments, because it feels good to know people are resilient. 

The thing that’s impossible to capture in the books is how when the story is unfolding no one knows if resilience is going to win in the end. When you’re walking alongside someone on the ugly road of healing, you don’t know how close you are to the chapter where everything works out okay. You’re not even sure if that chapter will ever be written.

And then someone takes your family pictures and you see the thing you’ve been hoping for is true.

You see that not only do you believe you’re a forever family, but they know it’s real too. You see they’ve stopped faking it and they really believe it. 

Loving kids from hard places is not for the faint-hearted. One day, I’ll find the words to describe this gnarled journey, and I’m going to write them in a book. You might read it and when you get to the end it’s going to feel so good for your soul.

Right now, though, the celebration is mine. These kids are healing and their stories are going to change the world.


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  1. I love this post, the pics, your best summer ever, and an easy transition into the school year. I keep trying to pick my favorite, and I think it's the last one, but I also like the next to the last pic. Blessings to you (in your new position) and the family as everyone transitions to the new school year.

  2. These photographs show pure joy. Thank you for sharing this! We all need more joy in the world. I'm so glad to hear that the transition time went well this year! Wishing everyone in your family a wonderful school year!

  3. It takes a lot of love, hard work, and faith to heal broken spirits, but Andy and you have persevered. Now, you get to revel in the fruits of that labor, Ruth – a blessed place to be.

  4. What great forever family photos are here, Ruth. I especially love the last one that shows the closeness through linked hands and arms. No matter what happens in life, family is tied together. There may be a range of emotions throughout the years but the hard parts only make the members stronger in their bonds. Have a great week.

  5. I love this post Ruth! My boys are struggling and struggling right now. This morning I'm crying out to God that I need Him to show up, big time! You remind me to hope! Thank you!

  6. These photos are glorious. Thank you for sharing the beauty. I know the road has been long and challenging and it will still have it's bumps, but you all will love each other through it all. That's the beauty.

  7. I love your comparison of the journey to a book and how you know it will turn out OK, but in life there are no guarantees. These pictures are so awesome as is this post. I can hear the relief along with the love.

  8. The next to the last photo captures the authentic, natural intimacy shared laughter can bring to a family. It shows belonging. What a gift! God showing His power in your lives. Blessings.