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  • Writer's picture Harlie Cloyd


Ruthie came to us in September 2019, at 19 months old. She was so little, and just barely toddling around. She was utterly exhausted from the events leading up to her showing up on our doorstep. They came to us late on a Friday evening and she slept nearly all weekend long.

Unlike Riley, Ruthie did talk a bit in the beginning, but it was all gibberish, seeing as how she was only 19 months old. Her gibberish was my absolute favorite though. She talked about 90 mph and sounded just like one of the little minions from Despicable Me.

Eventually her speech did become intelligible, though, and anyone who knows Ruthie can vouch for the fact she has not stopped talking since. Seriously, homegirl never stops.

Ruthie didn't take as long to open up and trust us as Riley did. She had no problem curling up in our laps and snuggling from day one. She's always been very trusting and outgoing. She finds a new friend everywhere we go.

Which is why it's fitting that the name she chose for herself, Ruthie, means "compassionate friend." (We're still working on the compassionate part, but she's only 4 lol).

One thing about Ruthie is she LOVES parties. She loves to meet new people. At any wedding, birthday party, or big event we've been to in the last 2.5 years, she has found someone to monkey around with. She starts counting down the days to her next birthday the day after her birthday each year. And she never simply refers to one of her friends as their name, she always refers to them as "my friend, Grayson," as if she wants to make doubly sure everyone knows that person is HER friend.

And she's a good friend too. Most of the time.... Again, she's only 4.

The name Ruthie in and of itself, however, was on my list for two reasons. 1) My great grandma's name was Ruth and 2) there was a cute little girl named Ruthie on the show 7th Heaven that my mom had playing all the time when I was a kid. I've always thought it was a beautiful name. It was at the top of my list of names for if River had been a girl. I'm so glad Ruthie chose it for herself.

Ruthie's middle name, Lestene, comes from her Great "Gram," Vickie Lestene Cloyd.

Gram is Braton's paternal grandma. She has been one of the most influential people in Braton and I's relationship. She encouraged us to have a relationship rooted in Christ so early on, I'm talking like high school years, y'all. I felt like it took a lot for me to win her approval, but in such a good way. She loves her family fiercely and only wants the best things for them. I mean the very best, and nothing less.

The Cloyd family has a lot of jokesters and Gram always seems to be the butt of everyone's jokes, but it's only because we all love her so dearly. She looks out for us, she knows us, she prays for us, she supports us, she fights for us, she teaches us, and so much more.

I never had great relationships with any of my grandparents. Gram has been filling that void for some time now. I am so grateful for her presence in my life.

I bet you've never even heard of the name "Lestene," though. Am I right?

That's because Lestene originally came from Gram's daddy, Lester.

I really really love that my girls both have names tied to their forever families now. I pray they always feel it in their soul that they belong here. They are wanted. There are chosen. They are loved.

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