Kipling Joel Anthony Ludy
Kipling (a.k.a. “Dubber”) is all boy. We adopted Kip (domestically) November 2008, and he has been such a joy and delight to our family! He has huge blue/green eyes (which are the spitting image of Bex, his tummy-mommy) and an adorable “ah, shucks” kind of smile. He loves to explore, climb, grunt, and discover. He was crawling even before 6 months, and is now running everywhere as fast as his little legs can carry him. Dub is always on the go, always tackling a new challenge, and yet he is always ready to share a cuddle and a smile, no matter what great adventure he’s in the middle of. He loves music, loves to play the Bongo drum he got for Christmas, and loves to dance, dance, dance, and dance! He also loves to wrestle and roughhouse. Some of his favorite things are: his “blankie” - knitted by Bex, his Tummy-Mommy, Curious George books, dolphins, and sheep. I’m not exactly sure where that line-up came from, but nevertheless these are the things that really get him excited! He also loves Kiddo Night at Ellerslie, which is the highlight of his entire week. Read more about Kip’s adoption story below.
Kipling’s Adoption Story:
About a year after Harper’s arrival, Eric and I were praying about adopting for the second time. God had laid it on our heart that He had another child to add to our family. We didn’t have a lot of clear direction on where we were to look for this child. We had begun doing some research into adopting from Ethiopia and Haiti, and felt that God would hallmark a child in need for us to adopt, just like he did with Harper. After a couple of months, though, we still didn’t have a clear direction, so we continued to wait and pray. Around that time we met a young woman at our church, Bex, who was 18 and unexpectedly pregnant. She was visiting from North Carolina. We felt an instant connection with her. As she shared her story and her situation with us, Eric told her, “I want you to know that if you decide to place this child, Leslie and I would count it a great privilege to adopt your baby.” Later, when he told me he said that to her, I started laughing and said, “Don’t you think that was kind of presumptuous? I mean, she doesn’t even know us!” But he felt like God wanted him to say those words to her.
We didn’t see Bex for several weeks, and assumed she had returned back to her home in North Carolina. In the meantime, we continued to pursue other adoption possibilities, and yet nothing had quite been the right fit. We didn’t think much about our meeting with Bex, and assumed that she had found another family to adopt her baby, or had decided to parent her child.
But then over the summer, she showed up at church again. She showed us the ultra-sound photos of her little unborn boy. We were excited to see her again and touched by the photos, but even then it did not occur to us that this might be our next child. We assumed that she had already made plans for this baby. After chatting for a few minutes, Eric asked her what agency she had chosen to work with. “Hope’s Promise” came the reply. At that moment, Eric felt God speaking. Just that past week, we had made an appointment with that very same agency, not really knowing why. Hope’s Promise was a 2-hour drive from our home, and they didn’t even do adoptions in the countries we were looking at. But for an inexplicable reason, we had felt directed to set up an appointment with them. And now we learned that this was the very same agency Bex had chosen to work with.
On the drive home from church, Eric asked me if I felt anything significant about our conversation with Bex. I was hesitant to say yes, but it truly did seem like God was orchestrating something. After praying about it that night, we called Bex the next day and asked to meet with her. That conversation was amazing and God-directed! Bex had been feeling drawn to us as adoptive parents for her baby, but had prayed that if God was leading this, that we would approach her about it. It was an astounding moment to realize that this was yet another story that God was scripting in our lives.
Over the next few months, we spent lots of time with Bex, getting to know her and love her as part of our family. We all began to anticipate the arrival of this new little one together. On October 29, Bex’s labor started, and we thought we might have another “29” baby (Hudson and Harper were both born on the 29th). But it was start and stop for a couple of days, until finally on November 1, 2009, Kipling Joel Anthony arrived. Eric and I had the privilege of being in the hospital when he was born and spending time with him just moments after he arrived onto the scene. Three days later, we brought Kip home. I will never forget leaving the hospital that night, seeing the sacrificial love of a mother saying goodbye to her child because she wanted the very best for him. I cried all the way home.
We had an entrustment ceremony for Kip a couple weeks after he arrived home – close friends and family surrounded us and Bex, and we all read letters of prayer and blessing over his life. Bex wrote a beautiful letter of “entrusting” this child into our arms, and believe me there was not a dry eye in the room.
Kip’s adoption is an “open” one, meaning that Bex will have a relationship with him throughout his life. What a blessing! We call Bex his “Tummy Mommy” and since she lives nearby, we get to see her quite often. Currently, Bex is working on a “Tummy Mommy” website, in which she will share her adoption journey as a birth mom and encourage other young women who are facing this decision. What amazing plans God has for Bex’s life and story. Stay tuned to this website for the announcement of her new site!
WATCH KIP’S ENTRUSTMENT VIDEO:
Are you a birth mom or family considering adoption? Here are a few great resources and pieces of inspiration:
Everything to Me