Here we go…

Blog posting is a foreign world to me. It took me about 2 hours just to figure out how to start a free blog and upload one picture. This is surely not “my thing.” But I’ll tell you why I’m here, sitting in my daughter’s quiet, still, fresh, clean room. The quietest room in the house. I’m here (typing this from my phone) because my heart and head are full of words that simply need to be written down and because the computer itself is far too overwhelming. These words I need to share will certainly not be profound by any worldly standard. If you’ve stumbled to this site hoping to find any mommy DIY posts on crafting, click that little “X” now. If you are expecting any how-to’s on parenting from this first-time mom, Lord help us all!

The words here are going to be nothing but honest, scattered, and raw for a while. You might have already noticed. I haven’t quite figured out yet how they need to come out. I know this story is important. Necessary to document, crucial to chronical. After all, these words tell the greatest story of my life. An epic tale of two daughters and one father. One, a twenty-something, American girl who grew up in TN with the world at her fingertips, and the second, a precious baby girl born in a tiny Chinese village, so small Google can barely find it, with no one to call her own. This story was designed by their Father, an epic story writer with an imagination beyond comprehension, a great sense of humor, and a vast desire to bring them together. I don’t mean to over-hype this or anything, but honestly, this story is pretty cool.

It’s definitely worth noting, the tale of Willa James is being documented while very much still in progress. At this point, you’ll be hearing mostly about the aforementioned girl, who is obviously me. I am so thrilled to share my story of heart ache, of learning how to simply trust God by default, of ultimately screwing up until God got it right… SIKE. I am not telling this story because it’s fun. In many ways, it’s really not. It’s just necessary. The story simply needs to be told. So here it is…

Flash back to little Katelyn Ruckart, growing up in Murfreesboro, TN, a great small town but hardly a hub for international adoption. In a family of faith and provision, I grew up knowing the world was mine to have. Sure, I needed God and Jesus and all, but if I kept God in my corner and was nice enough, I could be/live/work/marry/do anything I wanted.  Around age 8, my mom, sister, and I went to visit one of my mom’s childhood friends who was visiting her family about an hour away. I’d heard of this friend before but didn’t remember meeting her. We were going to visit because she had a new baby girl. From China. How weird was that? Why would someone adopt a child from another country? Seemed kindof awesome to me. That day, I was enamored. Growing up in a house of blondes, I remember that inky black hair with a sense of awe.

Let me stop here and be honest with you for a second. This day at 8 years old is not the day I decided to adopt from China. That would be really cool, but let’s keep it real here. I was eight. This story doesn’t need any superfluous hype. I do remember, though, having this little girl’s face stuck in my head like a childhood song on repeat for years. This was always a little strange and interesting to me, since I honestly wasn’t a “kid person.” Kids themselves didn’t typically interest me.  I’d think about that shiny black hair from time to time and even tell my mom about how I “wanted one,” (truly racist and ignorant, I know. Don’t judge). I believe a seed was planted that day. A small seed in my little eight-year-old soul. A gentle nudge from God in the direction I would eventually be shoved. I look back on that day now and just revel in the kindness shown by the One in charge. Seriously, it wasn’t “necessary” to tune my desires to His. My later circumstances alone surely would’ve been enough to secure my obedience in “the plan.” But that day was a gift. A Father teaching his daughter to ride a bike not by pushing her down a hill barking orders from the top, but by running along beside her, holding onto the seat until it was time to watch her balance on her own.

Years later. I’m starting to understand these gifts. I’ve even figured out similar gifts are all throughout scripture and human history. Songs have been written about them and countless stories told. Ultimately, I think, we call them “grace.” So I guess you could call this a story of grace. And I hope you show me some as I try to sort this all out in my head and jot it down. Yikes, it’s Day 1 of blogging, and I’m still 8 years old in this story. Hang tight. I promise this will catch up to “real time” in my next post. For now, my fingers are tired, and my iPhone battery is low. But there it is. The start of this story. And I feel a shift in my soul. Emptying the first little bit is freeing. I feel like I’m making room. Thanks for letting me take this story, bit by bit, from my heart into yours. I’ve got a major storage problem in here, and I’m in nesting mode. Until next time…



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