OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) — Becoming parents can be a joy for some, but it can also be a challenge. For those who cannot bear children themselves, the road to parenthood can prove to be especially difficult.
Matt and Rebecca Ruark were married in May of 2019 and started trying to become a family of three. In December, they learned it was unlikely they’d be able to carry a child of their own so they started looking at other options.
“We had both considered adoption separately before we even knew each other and then just decided that’s the way that God wanted us to start a family,” said Rebecca.
The couple has now been on the road to adoption but has found it difficult to not only find a match, but to also finance their journey.
“We had no idea how expensive it was going to be,” said Rebecca. To help with the finances, the couple started selling shirts with the message, ‘Be kind always.’ The shirts come in a variety of colors and Rebecca, a North Carolina native, jokes the two have a running be between if the North Carolina-blue or the Kentucky-blue shirts will sell more. So far, Matt says the Kentucky blue have sold nearly twice as well as the others.
“We have a great network and a great family of family and friends so we knew people would be supportive, but what we didn’t realize is how widespread the message would be received,” said Rebecca.
“In the world that we’re in right now with such division and things, we thought it would be a good message just to encourage people to love one another through whatever it is,” said Matt.
Their friends are also helping by selling bracelets and masks.
Along with the purchase, people have also been offering some friendly parenting advice.
“Mostly get your sleep now has been pretty much the most advice we’ve gotten,” said Rebecca.
Rebecca and Matt have been approved for children ages 0-3 but are open to wherever their journey takes them. In the event their match comes last minute due to a sudden birth, the couple says they have a nursery ready and a plan to get the other essentials on a moments notice.
The couple says they’ve been narrowly selected to be parents ten times and are relying on their faith and each other to stay positive that the next call will be the answer to their prayers. They say it could take another six months or longer to find a match.
“Every time you’re not chosen there’s a little bit of heartbreak,” said Rebecca. “We know that our child is out there and we’ve just gotta wait for that moment to happen.”
“We are excited to just have the opportunity to just share what we’ve been given,” said Matt.
(This story was originally published on Aug. 11, 2020)