Hmmm: Rip-Off or Reward?

Every now and then, 
we have had people 
suggest that bringing 
“all these kids home” 
takes away 
from the ones that we already have.
There’s even been an occasional one who
has cornered and questioned:
Don’t you think you are kind of ripping off 
your other kids
by having one with so many needs?  
Basically inferring that 
our kids will actually suffer because
of all of Ruby’s needs.
In defense of those who have questioned,
I have to admit, 
I didn’t necessarily 
how much love a family could have
for a medically fragile treasure.
Because really…
What exactly does 
unconditional love 
look like?
So I was thinking…
Since it can be kind of hard to 
actually conceptualize just how a 
medically fragile,
severely challenged treasure is adored 
by her siblings,
I thought I would share a series of
pictures I took the other day.
So the story goes…
It was late afternoon and Isaiah came down
from the loft where he had been 
playing Legos with his siblings and questioned:
“Hey Mom, can I please hold Ruby?”
Isaiah was playing Legos
{his favorite thing to do}.  
He stopped without being asked.   
I hadn’t mentioned that I needed him to
 come to play with Ruby.
 He asked me.  
Completely on his own.
Why would he do that?
Because he values her and he unconditionally 
loves Ruby’s broken little body. 
He sees her as a his sister – 
she’s fun to play with! 
And he isn’t scared to hold his medically fragile,
severely challenged baby sister.
He loves and adores her and
gets pleasure out of spending time with her.
I told him it would actually be a perfect time to 
spend some time with her as I had some things
in the kitchen that needed tending to.
He asked me to put her on the couch for him.
I obliged.
Isaiah had no idea that I then 
grabbed my camera.
I didn’t want him to know I was watching
so I kept my distance.  Our high top counter
did make shooting a bit more challenging.
Yet, the pictures speak volumes
to the powerful love a big brother has
for his precious and fragile baby sister – 
our littlest treasure – 
our littlest reward.
He is feeding her a vegetable/fruit pack
and he never knew I was taking the pictures.

 All the while he’s leaning into her, 
talking softly.

Tenderly he strokes her head 
swollen by the Multi-loculated Hydrocephalus…
and grins as he talks to her….

She giggles at some of the things he is telling her.  

He continues his story while she 
plays with her foot…

Soothed by big brother’s gentle words, 

she sucks her finger while holding her foot..
his tender voice brings her sweet comfort
as he gently rubs her shoulder…


She’s slipping down and looking 

“Here’s let me help you get more 
comfortable Ruby…”

“Is that better Ruby?”

She seems to share a few secrets
of her own with him 
as he snuggles her close.


Rip-off or Reward? 

“The fruit of the womb is His reward…”
Psalm 127:3

26 thoughts on “Hmmm: Rip-Off or Reward?

  1. Beautiful, powerful, amazing, my dear friend. A testimony of you and Dw too. I think about your oldest and then sweet Emma and how they are having their families grow…and how Emma has jumped deep into the river to go on an adventure that only God could orchestrate or pull off……and that all speaks of how you and Dw have created a family with love and laughter and open hearts. I have heard this argument before too from parents who have only two children and then if I may so boldly say, have them in day care or every activity known to mankind OR fill their rooms with things and speak of their love and parenting being the best for all. Sigh….you have a defender in us here in our small corner of the world, friend as we seek you give and give and give of yourselves and the results of that are held in the pictures you shared. Amen, it is so.

  2. Reward. Hands down.

    Our 12-year old former "only child" is now big sister to a 6-year old whose been with us for less than 7 weeks. Many people have said it wasn't fair to her to adopt another child and make her a big sister after all this time. Both girls are now better people because of each other, and I can't imagine life without our new precious child.

    God bless you, Isaiah! You have amazing gifts to share with Ruby!

    Psalm 68:6

  3. My eyes watered as I looked at the precious pictures! We get some of the same comments, I know what you mean.
    Ruby is so blessed to have you all…..wait… are all so blessed to have Ruby! =)

  4. That is so sweet. Our children learn so much and grow so much from this special treasures. Our daughter proudly proclaims that she wants to take in our SN daughter when she is married and has a family. I told her she should ask her husband about that. To which she replied, "If he doesn't want her, I won't marry him."

  5. That brought tears to my eyes. People are so ignorant and just say stuff without thinking. I just think Ruby Grace makes us reading your blog more aware that everyone deserves a chance to live, to laugh, to be loved and to be held. Blessing to you and sending virtual hugs from Alabama.

  6. My husband and I pray for a large family someday. Right now we have a two-year old here and a would-be 2 month old in heaven. People sometimes ask why we want so many kids and want to homeschool. Stories like this are exactly why. We just pray God gives us the opportunity to do so.

  7. Most definitely not a rip off! Our kids have learned to appreciate all they can do physically – things that are taken for granted until a person meets someone whose body does not cooperate. They have learned to slow down and enjoy just hanging with our Meya, that she has the best listening ears. That being a caregiver is a joyful experience and a way of showing another person how cherished and loved they are. And the biggest lesson we have all learned from Meya is that life is joyful and meant to be lived! She has the most amazing fighting spirit and also has shown, like your Ruby, that only God knows how each person's life is going to play out. I say forget the limitations others put on our kids with special needs its fun to see all that they are able to do and again the joy they exude that wraps around the rest of the family members. It's something that I know is hard for many to wrap their heads and hearts around, but we have truly been blessed to have the opportunity to be Meya's family.

  8. thank you. We are JUST THIS WEEK announcing to friends and family that we are adopting 2 big boys from Ukraine. (8&10) Many are concerned about us "ripping off" our 3 kids we already have. . . . . Maybe I should just email a link to your page! Hehe! 😉

  9. What a great post Linny! You definitely have some precious treasures there that you and Dw have taught how to truly love. You guys are a blessing to each of your children who then are a blessing to others and it will continue. Much fruit has come and will come from both of you and your family. Thanks for this beautiful post.

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