Ain't Life Grand? #1: A big change for us (and more to come)

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Blog entry by rsmith71 posted 12-05-2010 07:07 AM 1588 reads 1 time favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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The last two months have been absolutely insane around our home. We have had some additions to our family marked with tragedy and lots of laughs and love.
My wife is an elementary teacher in a small rural district. Two months ago, we received a phone call from her principal and friend that the mother of one of my wife’s students was in the local emergency room. She had no close family and her two children (ages 5 & 11) were with her. My wife turned to me in tears asking what do we do. I told her to go to the hospital and check on the mother and if she was admitted, to bring the kids home for the night.
Well, they kept the mom and the kids came to our home. We picked up some clothes for them and a couple of pumpkins at the WalMart. That night we carved the pumpkins and played Wii to keep them from worrying about their mom too much. All in all we had a really good time.
To keep a sad story short, their mom never came home. After 10 days in a local hospital, she was transferred to Dallas. She was four months pregnant and lost the baby. After a biopsy of her liver it was discovered she had Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma in mulptiple locations. Two weeks and some valiant efforts by the doctors later, she was gone. The week of Thanksgiving we buried their mom and transferred their belongings to our home. It wasn’t much. She was trying to raise them on her own and they just didn’t have much of anything.
Our own children (3 that live with us) have totally blown us away with the maturity they’ve shown and the depths of their own hearts. The funeral was on Tuesday and on Wednesday they completely dismantled each of their rooms to make room for the new additions. They have made these two a part of our family without a second thought. We are now going through the process of filing for guardianship with the thought of adoption when the time is right for them.
This past Thursday the little girl turned 6 without her mother. I know how much she and her brother are missing their mom but we tried to make it special for her. I feel we have succeeded in large part. They have found a place here with us that they feel safe in. And they have gained a large family both immediate (we have 5 children between us, 3 that live here) and extended (grandparents and aunts, uncles, and cousins)
Everything going on here has cut my shop time down to next to zero. As soon as I can finish up a paying job I’ve started and a few Christmas gifts, I have two new beds to build. An upper bunk to match the beds I built for my girls’ room and a loft bed with a desk underneath for the boys’ room. I thought I would blog the construction here to document the journey we are now on, to get it out and share with others.
A last note, we have been overwhelmed with the love and generosity from those around us who’ve learned of the situation. We were worried about what to do but believe that we were put in the place to be there for these kids for a reason and somehow it will work out for us. And thanks to Mavric777. All the kids loved the goodies and we appreciate you and your family for your visit. You will get a call when it’s bed-building time. LOL

-- Robert - Haven Wood Crafts

15 comments so far

View kenn's profile


810 posts in 3917 days

#1 posted 12-05-2010 07:22 AM

WOW! That’s a terrible loss for those kids that turned into a great new beginning for all involved. I am sure they will appreciate the love they are finding in your home. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

-- Every cloud has a silver lining

View sawblade1's profile


754 posts in 3223 days

#2 posted 12-05-2010 07:24 AM

You are a great guy, Sad story, but a great ending I also enjoyed hearing of a local LJ pitching in to help also this is the stuff that warms the heart on a cold night.
Thank you for sharing and may God continue and bless your extended family :)

-- Proverbs Ch:3 vs 5,6,7 Trust in the lord with all thine heart and lean not unto your own understanding but in all your ways aknowledge him and he shall direct your path

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 3909 days

#3 posted 12-05-2010 07:28 AM

Wow, what a horrible thing to happen and wow again to the incredible thing you and your family are doing.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3505 days

#4 posted 12-05-2010 07:43 AM

Your family are really great hearted people. Those kids are very fortunate and i know what you are going through.
My wife and I were foster parents in the past and in addition to the benefit it had for the kfoster did alot of good for our hearts. We adopted one of our foster children and it is great.

View rsmith71's profile


269 posts in 3239 days

#5 posted 12-05-2010 08:01 AM

Thanks to all of you. We’ve been truly blessed by getting to know these children and they quickly climbed into our hearts and won’t leave. Not that we’d want them too!

-- Robert - Haven Wood Crafts

View Pawky's profile


278 posts in 3000 days

#6 posted 12-05-2010 08:16 AM

Wow, your generosity is amazing, those kids are blessed to have your whole family and friends. The best of luck to you all

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 4136 days

#7 posted 12-05-2010 12:35 PM

Beautiful. I cannot express how good it feels and how inspirational it is to know that good people are out there. If only your actions were the norm, the world would be a better place.

-- Working at Woodworking

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3053 days

#8 posted 12-05-2010 12:51 PM

Robert, you and your Wife are wonderful human beings.
You are an example of Love & compassion in action.


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View helluvawreck's profile


32087 posts in 3063 days

#9 posted 12-05-2010 03:17 PM

This is a wonderful story with the exception of the passing of their mom. I’m so sorry for her and the children’s loss of their mother. Nevertheless, it is a heartwarming story and I know that God will help you all through it and make everything work out for you all in the end.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View patron's profile


13640 posts in 3538 days

#10 posted 12-05-2010 03:39 PM

bless you
in your kind and open hearts

my prayers for all

the road ahead
made softer
through your love

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View CharlieM1958's profile


16280 posts in 4415 days

#11 posted 12-05-2010 04:00 PM

What an incredible story! I knew there were some wonderful people on Lumberjocks, Robert, but I never cease to be amazed. This situation could have been much more tragic had you and your family not been there to step in and show some real love to these kids.

I hope I can be a little better human being today because of the inspiration your kindness has given me.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Maveric777's profile


2693 posts in 3273 days

#12 posted 12-05-2010 05:00 PM

Talk about a great way to spend a beautiful Saturday morning! Making a little road trip with my family to visit with truly inspiring people….. Yea, you just can’t beat that.

There are a lot of folks in this world who talk a big talk about compassion, love, dedication, determination, loyalty, and just flat out doing the “Right Thing”. I am extremely proud to call a family of folks who actually “Walk The Walk” my family’s friends. We on this end are truly humbled by what your family are doing Robert. If there is anyone doubting there are any good folks left in this world they don’t to look far. Yesterday I got to visit with an entire family of flat out “Good People”....

I know on this end we are looking forward to our next visit….. And most definitely keep us up to date on how everyone is going.

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View RonPeters's profile


713 posts in 3077 days

#13 posted 12-06-2010 07:26 AM

That’s a very kind thing to do. I hope the kids get to stay with you.

-- “Once more unto the breach, dear friends...” Henry V - Act III, Scene I

View twokidsnosleep's profile


1106 posts in 3170 days

#14 posted 12-06-2010 07:41 AM

It is refreshing to hear that there are people like you and your family on earth.
What an amazingly unselfish thing you have done to save these children from a life of uncertainty
Truly an inspiration at Christmas

-- Scott "Some days you are the big dog, some days you are the fire hydrant"

View TJ65's profile


1381 posts in 3246 days

#15 posted 12-06-2010 07:52 AM

You know this is the second story today that I have heard about a LJ er’s generosity.
This story is amazing, hearing about how you guys just take in 3 other kids just like that. Not to mention your children accepting them into thier abodes. Congratulations and hope you all have a wonderful life together as you all know just how precious life is.
Thankyou for sharing.
Merry Chistmas to you all and Happy Birthday to the little girl.

-- Theresa,

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