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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

“Just What Does It Take To Become Adopted?”

Most everyone in Wears Valley knows something or at least a little something about Wears Valley Ranch. Founded approximately 20 years ago by Jim and Susan Wood, the Ranch’s story is nothing less than miraculous, and if you are really interested in how the land was given to the Ranch (one lady owned the land as well as more land adjoining the National Park), there are several short books which tell the story. Just let me know, and I will be glad to give you one of those books.

“Just What Does It Take To Become Adopted?”

The first year we lived here, we were trying to start up a small restaurant (“Mountain Tymes” for those of you who may remember). One day a big white man walked into the door of the restaurant with a cute little black boy (Preston). They looked like Mutt and Jeff. It turns out that both of Preston’s parents had died leaving him basically as an orphan. The white man knew Preston through a sports league in Birmingham and also knew of the fine ministry performed by the WVRanch (becoming home to children from bad situations but not bad children). On that particular summer day when I met him, Preston was arriving to make Wears Valley Ranch his home.

Preston lived at the Ranch and graduated from St. Andrews School there a few years ago. He is presently attending Lee University, and is now the adopted son of Jim and Susan Wood. How did that happen?

One day Preston was riding along in a car with the Woods as they were discussing their plans to adopt two brothers and a sister from Romania. Preston listened with interest as Jim and Susan excitedly shared with him their plans to bring these siblings to Wears Valley and add them to their family (the Woods already had three biological sons of their own).

Preston thought for a few minutes and then asked Jim and Susan this question: “Just what does it take to become adopted?” Taken by surprise the Woods immediately answered Preston’s question not only with words but with actions. They began the adoption process, and today the Woods family consists of Jim and Susan, their three sons, two daughters-in-law, two grandchildren and another due next month, Stephen, Elizabeth and Peter (Romanian siblings), and Preston. Truly a family made by God.

The Ranch children continue to thrive. I am honored to know several who have reached adulthood and are productive and successful young adults. Preston is one of those. There are also several younger ones presently “at home on the Ranch.” Would you like to get to know some of these precious children? Would you like to support the Ranch in its endeavors? If so, please let me know. It would be an honor to show you around the Ranch, introduce you to the Woods, the children, the house parents, and the staff members who all work so diligently in behalf of these children.

And, by the way, there is now an active non-denominational church located on the Ranch property. It is Christ Covenant Church. Jim Wood is the pastor, and Sunday services are at 10:30 a.m. Come any time!


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