Sunday, August 9, 2009


Casey Leigh is 21 today.

Wait just a minute!!
Wasn't it just a little while ago that I asked Ralph if he was interested in adopting another child?

I'll always have a mental picture of him reading his paper as Jae Lynn lay on a floor pallet in front of us. He looked at her (about 5 months old) and said "Sure."
We really didn't think the details of the adoption would work out.
They never did.
I bet 100 people had given me a "lead" about a young woman who was pregnant and may be interested in placing their child for adoption. "I'll get back to you." they would say.
At least 100.
We eventually just stopped paying attention to people who told us about those "possibilities" because although they meant well, was painful when most of them simply forgot about the conversation later.

However, the Spring of 1988 there was to be a baby born in just a few months in the town of Dover, Delaware.
We were.....
Trying to be full of faith.
We experienced it all.

Then, on August 31st, 1988, a three week-old Casey Leigh Russell was placed into our arms in the middle of bustling Philadelphia airport terminal.
With a 3 hour layover, we found an empty terminal and placed her on a blanket on the floor. As we unwrapped our 2nd daughter from all her borrowed blankets we took our first good long look at her and marveled at these God orchestrated events which brought us together.
21 years later, I still marvel at His plans.
For me but especially for her.

I often looked at Jae and Casey together, 9 months apart, and would exclaim to Ralph,.."Can you imagine them separate and living in someone else's home?"

She was raised under Jae's shadow and was often overlooked as Jae Lynn perked her way through life. (There has never been a day in Casey's life where she could be described as "perky". )
After Jae's accident, to instantly become the oldest trail-blazer in the family, and in such a painful way, she really kinda had to re-learn who she is. The search is still on in a lot of ways, but gracious sakes alive the layers are getting more interesting as we go!

She's starting her senior year at college in a couple of weeks and I am so satisfied with our relationship as it has changed through the years. Although I do miss those days when she let me hold and rock her, is a wonderful thing to discuss life issues with a child who has changed and grown into an adult right before your eyes.

"You have a destiny Casey Leigh"
"How will I know what mine is?"
"You just have to pray and ask God to show it to you"
(bedtime conversation in 1993)

Jeremiah 29:11 (Msg)
I know what I'm doing.
I have it all planned out.
I have plans to take care of you, not abandon you,
plans to give you the future you hope for.


Rhonda Rae said...

wow i had almost forgotten casey and i were the same age 2 the day. tell her i said happy bday

Shannon said...

A senior? And 21? My my. I certainly love the story of your girls!