We want to share with you a true love story. Not one about flowers or chocolate, but an against-all-odd love story between one American family and one orphaned girl from Uganda. It’s the story of Redeeming Ruth.
My name is Meadow. Her name was Ruth. When I met Ruth, she was a sixteen-month-old child that some church friends were hosting from an orphanage in Uganda. She had cerebral palsy and was so weak she couldn’t lift her head. I had always felt a call to adopt, but was this what God meant? It was on that sweltering Sunday that my adventure, my journey, my joy of parenting Ruth began.
Today, I want to share with you just some of the lessons Ruth taught me, lessons on love, redemption, and relentless hope.
How Does Sacrificial Love Transform Your Life? Here’s What I’ve Learned…
1. Love Challenges Your Expectations
“What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived the things God has prepared for those who love him.” (1 Cor. 2:9, NIV)
My husband, Dana, and I had often talked about adopting, but he wasn’t sure we were ready. So we prayed, “Lord, if you have another child for us, you will have to bring that child to us.” Miraculously, he did. Only the child he brought wasn’t anything like what we were expecting. Ruth, who was born prematurely in Uganda, abandoned, and sent to an orphanage, had profound disabilities. The director of Ruth’s orphanage sent her to Maine for six months of physical therapy.
We met Ruth through her host family. About the only thing Ruth could do was smile, but her smile captured our hearts and the hearts of our three young children.
2. Love Compels You to Take Action
“Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matt. 25:40, NIV)
To adopt Ruth, we needed to take her back to Uganda, not knowing whether we’d be able to bring her home. God used this incredible journey and the years that followed to show us his love for people the world often overlooks. It’s been a crash course on love since day one, full of its doctor’s appointments, joyful tears, triumphs, and heartbreak—and God has been with us every single step of the way.
3. Love Conquers Obstacles
“Love never fails.” (1 Cor. 13:8, NIV)
A favorite memory was being invited to a friend’s beach in Maine for an April picnic. To reach the shore, we had to scramble down a cliff. Ruth had just turned seven. Since she couldn’t walk or support herself, getting to the beach seemed impossible, but my friends cheered me on. With Ruth’s gangly arms and legs hanging out, I strapped her body against mine with a sling and made it down. My two sisters carried down Ruth’s jogging stroller. We spent the morning with ten children boiling hotdogs.
That day remains one of my happiest because even though it was hard, everyone worked together so Ruth could enjoy it too.
4. Love Cares about You
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1, NIV)
When we are walking with Christ, we will walk through sorrow. But there is literally nothing in life—no hardship, no pain, no sickness, no loss—that God will not ultimately rectify and restore. Even when we felt most alone, God faithfully provided for our family. There is not a single moment where I can look back and say, “God, you were not there.” Some losses won’t be restored until heaven, but we are confident that God will restore them because we have seen his faithfulness here.
5. Love Changes Your Priorities
“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” (Romans 12:10, NIV)
Having been to the places Ruth brought us and met the people she introduced us to—people who are struggling just to survive—I don’t look at money the same way. Hearing a news story about a $200 hairbrush makes me crazy. How much do we really need when others have so little? Loving Ruth has also made me more focused on eternity. The things that seem so hard now will truly be over in an instant.
“Coincidences.” That’s a word some people use for “miracles.” Whatever you call it, the incredible story of Ruth’s adoption started with an equally incredible dream. In these two whirlwind chapters, Meadow guides you through the mindboggling set up of circumstances that lead to Ruth’s adoption. This is just the beginning! For Ruth’s complete story, get Redeeming Ruth!
She was “the least of these,” yet the little Ugandan orphan suffering from cerebral palsy captured the affections of an American family. With heart-tugging honesty, Merrill shares the story of how their unlikely adoption of Ruth transformed and blessed their lives—and taught them about the power of love, faith, and family. Includes reader’s guide. 200 pages, hardcover from Hendrickson.
When Meadow met her, Ruth was a sixteen-month-old child that some church friends were hosting from an orphanage in Uganda. She had cerebral palsy and was so weak she couldn’t lift her head. Meadow had always felt a call to adopt, but was this what God meant? Part family drama, part travel adventure, and part memoir, Redeeming Ruth is a heartwarming, against-all-odds story about the most unlikely pairing of a typical American family and a physically challenged orphaned girl from Uganda. Much more than an adoption story, this book explores what happens when we sacrificially reach out and share God’s love with others.
Ruth’s story will inspire families considering adoption, people raising or teaching children with special needs, caregivers, and those grieving the loss of a loved one, ministering to people with disabilities, or striving to serve God despite their own wounded hearts and broken dreams.
- Includes a Reader’s Guide at the end of the book for each chapter for group discussion or personal reflection.
- An eight-page insert with personal photos will be included.
- All personal proceeds from this book benefit orphans and people with disabilities in Uganda.