If you have visited here before, you can probably see that I have changed the name of the blog again. I started blogging at 4URuthie to tell the story of our journey to adopt our 1st daughter. I changed it to Mountains for Maggie when we were praying for God to move mountains on behalf of our 2nd daughter. Well now it is no longer just Ruthie’s or Maggie’s stories. It is now our family's story, and the stories of those we share life with, as we Conquer Mountains together. Both ConqueringMountains.net and 4URuthie.blogspot will lead here.

About Me

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I am a pastor's wife, mother of 4 kids (2 adopted and 3 with special needs), physical therapist, and photography junky. This is where it all comes together for me. Feel free to join along as I process life out loud.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

An Overdue Update

I bump into people all the time who ask me how Maggie is doing and so it occurred to me yesterday that I should probably post an update. :) 

We have been home for 3 weeks and honestly every day is better than the one before.  One great day was last Friday when Maggie got her IV out.  Not only did this make life a lot easier but it was also a big piece of the closure puzzle that I really needed.  She is still on blood thinners and seizure meds, but those are much more manageable.

I took these pictures the week she came home because I had purchased these dresses for the girls to have their pictures taken in July (for Maggie's birthday and Ruthie's gotcha day) and obviously never got to that.  I knew my window was closing on using them, so we headed over to my neighbors house and took advantage of her amazing backyard. Thanks Bernie. :)

Now back to Maggie.  She is getting weekly PT, OT, Speech, and vision therapy.  It is a lot but they come to us and that really helps.  Her personality has completely returned which we are so thankful for.  She is as funny and expressive as ever.  This morning she was singing at 6:00 am in the kitchen and woke up the entire house.

She is pulling up and letting go but not taking steps on her own again yet.  Her left arm is about 70% to where it used to be.  She can open her hand and use it when forced to.   While she has more words now, they are still a bit slurred but that is improving too.  Her vision is hard to assess but it appears that she neglects things right below her nose.  We see this with food and crayons.  She looks out for things but not straight down.

That about wraps it up.  Thank you for praying.  We are blessed.

Monday, September 8, 2014

For Someone Very Special- Hold On

This is for the adoptive or foster mom who is struggling.  I have read your posts, I have read your blogs, and I can't get you off of my heart.  This is not just for one mom in particular but for the many moms who need to be encouraged on their mountain climb or mountain survival - whichever it is.  Thank you for being honest about your struggles and your fears.  Your honesty pushes me to reflection and prayer and I am thankful to be able to walk this road with you.  

I have spent a good deal of time in prayer for you today, asking God what He would have me say to reach your heart and bring you hope.  I believe He is directing me to encourage you to hold on.  

When you are facing your mountain and the enemy floods your thoughts with lies of regret, hold on.

When you can't find the energy to pretend another day, hold on.
When you have more questions than answers, hold on.
When you feel alone in a room full of onlookers, hold on. 

The picture of a mountain has consumed my processing of what we experienced with Maggie.  At the hardest part of the journey, when I felt trapped in my reality without the energy to move forward, all I could do was hold on because falling was not an option.  I had come too far, and you have come too far, to let go and fall.  Can I remind you of some things you probably already know?  

Forgive the C's.  It just came to me that way.  


  • You are not alone.  Just as He went before you to orchestrate the events of your placement, He also went before you to where you are right now.  
    • Deut 31:8  "The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed."
  • Just as He brought you to this point, He is still there to carry you through it.  
    • Matt 11:28-30 “Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light."  

You are not stuck on this mountain.  Just hold on and let Him guide you to the next phase of the journey.  This too shall pass and He is already going before you.  


Remember who called you to this journey.  Remind yourself of the ways He confirmed that this was the right road for you.  Go back and read your posts, emails, and blogs of when you were waiting for that referral or placement.   Don't let the momentary struggles make you forget the journey that brought you to this place and who placed you on that road. 

1 Thessalonians 5.24 has meant a lot to us in our adoptions:  "Faithful is He who called you, and He will bring it to pass."


Some of you do this so well but others, I am sure, are holding their struggles in for fear that what they are experiencing might be looked on with disapproval.  You have to seek help.  I urge you though to seek the right help.  Sometimes the voice that makes us feel better is not the voice that speaks the truth.  Choose your community wisely and whatever you do, don't push them away.  


When I was struggling to bond with our foster child, the best thing that I could do was rock him.  Sometimes we are tempted to run away from that which makes us uncomfortable, but that is the worst thing you can do here.  There is power in touch to help both of you get through this.  If you can't hold them because you desire to, hold them because they need you to. 


I think of my commitment to my adopted child like my commitment to my marriage.  In my house we don't mention the word divorce and likewise I would never utter the notion of turning my back on my commitment to my child.  Oh I can hear the thoughts in your head.  Hold on sister before you start cursing my name.  

I don't want you to feel attacked by me.  Quite the contrary.   I want you to feel encouraged to take every thought captive (2 Cor 10:5).   

I am not belittling your experience at all.  I just know how the seed of a negative thought, watered by emotion, can grow into a giant weed that does not help you get through this and to the top of your mountain.  I want victory for you.  Victory does not come to the runner who spends the race talking himself out of the finish line.  

I know how hard the roads to adoption and foster care are.  I know the kind of fight you had to have in you to get through the requirements and past the naysayers.  I know how you have had to advocate for your child.  I know you have to be tough as nails to get this far and that is how I know you have what it takes to get through this.  You didn't land here by accident.  You were called because you are among the special few who can lay aside their desire for comfort to make a difference in the world.  

That is how I know you have what it takes to hold on. 

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