Meet the Owen family ….. A beautiful, everyday American family. Ryan and Jeri Lynn have been married for over thirteen years and have three wonderful, intelligent, well-mannered boys: Taylor is 12, Kole is 10, and Riley is 8. Dad works; Mom is a stay-at-home Mom who home schools all three boys.
We have been visiting them at their home in Kentucky. We first met this family six years ago and while we may have taught them lessons about marriage, they have taught us many more lessons about life — lessons about sacrifice, hard work, self-discipline, balance, and faith.
What makes this family so special? They are a “military family” — Ryan is a warrant officer and serves all of us in the United States Army. He has already served overseas three times and is now waiting to be deployed a fourth time — another trip to Afghanistan. They teach us the true meaning of sacrifice — today Ryan is out back playing football after church, but any day now he will get the phone call, and he will be gone for at least nine months. Today they are paying bills, putting laundry away, deciding together the best shoes to buy the boys, and entertaining a military wife (whose husband has already deployed) for dinner. In another couple weeks, Jeri Lynn will be functioning as a single mom again until Ryan returns.
But that’s not all — they are preparing for two more children. They are sacrificing more — they are in the final process of adopting two orphan girls from Democratic Republic of the Congo. Sisters — ages four and seven– and most likely Jeri Lynn will make the trip (without Ryan) to bring her girls home. When Daddy returns from serving our country, he will come home to a family of five children.
This family lives in modest base housing; they choose to live debt free. (another lesson). Adopting these girls will cost them approximately $47,000 in travel, court costs, and the complexity of adoption processes. They have pulled together resources and friends have rallied around them to do fund raisers. They are close but they could still use some help.
In the meantime, they go about their daily lives cooking, cleaning, working, playing. They just don’t talk about Daddy leaving. Talk about anything else, but please don’t talk about deployment. Every time the phone rings there is the possibility that it will be “the call.”. Other than that, is would be an ordinary day.
If you would like to follow their adoption story or contribute to the cause, go to www.definedbythedivine.blogspot.com.
And then …. Pray. Thank God for our military families and thank our military families for your freedom. Thank them that you get to have an ordinary day.