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  • Writer's picture Harlie Cloyd


It was March 2021 when we got the phone call about our sweet Baby Brother (who you now know as Ranger Earl Cloyd) who was supposed to be born soon. He would be born into foster care because his older siblings had already been taken into state custody a few months prior.

We knew we wanted River to have another boy in the house eventually. Poor kid had no one to wrestle and was always being dressed up as a princess with two older sisters! But we had no idea how that might happen. We just left our hearts and hands open for God to use us.

And then He did.

We were told it was possible Ranger could have some medical issues due to family history. That scared us a bit because neither one of us have medical training. We researched the possible diagnoses, prayed about it, and decided to say yes.

He was born March 22, 2021. I went to pick him up from the hospital three days later and bring him home.

Outside of some pretty severe acid reflux, he was a pretty healthy and very happy baby. The months passed, and I got to meet his birth parents. He had visits with them for awhile, and then last Fall his parents decided to relinquish their parental rights.

Thus began the adoption process.

We had already begun the adoption process for Riley and Ruthie, and they had already chosen to change their names. Since they both happened to pick an R name just like River, we thought Ranger should have an R name too.

Although, it was getting harder to find R names we liked, especially for a boy!

We wanted something unique, but not ridiculous. We thought about Ryder for a little bit, which I think is a super cute name, but not necessarily unique these days.

We didn't hear or see "Ranger" anywhere on the dozens of baby name lists we scoured. I think one day it just kind of popped into my head and I mentioned it to Braton. We both fell in love with it and knew that was the name for him.

His first name doesn't really have any significant meaning to us, other than we loved it. It literally means "forest guardian." We live in the plains of Oklahoma..... not a whole lot of forests around here LOL.

But his middle name, Earl, is after my Papa Freddy Earl Craig -- Someone who means the world to me.

Anyone who knows my Papa Fred would agree he is quite the character. He's rough and gruff, but also has a soft and tender spot for his grandkids. His health is going downhill these days, but once upon a time he would spout off a handful of blonde jokes for you anytime you went to visit. I grew up jamming to Shania Twain with him in one of his many many white Chevy pickups. When I stayed the night with him as a kid, I helped him split wood, build go-carts out of scrap pieces in his shop, and check cattle. He taught me to shoot a BB gun and cook chicken fried steak. He took me to McDonalds for breakfast burrito dates nearly every Saturday. He'd talk to me about the war and growing up with 7 sisters. He'd read the Bible to me and ask me, "Now what do you think that means?"

Papa Fred has a work ethic that is incomparable. He worked on windmills up until his 70s. If something needs fixing, he's gonna fix it. Even to this day, he won't leave a project undone. So, when we chose Earl as Ranger's middle name, we chose it in the hopes that one day he could embody some of these beautiful qualities of Papa Fred's.

As Ranger grew, he personality came out more and more. He is quite literally the funniest baby I've ever known. He does things just to get a laugh out of people, and it doesn't take hardly anything to get him to laugh for you. But boyyyyyy does he have a temper. He's like Papa Fred in that sense already.

Ranger has brought immense joy to our lives in the last 15 months we've known him. He is a very special little boy and we are so grateful he is now a part of the Cloyd Family forever.

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