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My Life and Story

In 2010 my life changed. I was a 28-year-old bachelor who had a large sum of money in the bank and was looking to acquire some real estate. I taught history at a private school, coached girls basketball, and was preparing to take the summer off for a road trip with my old college roommate Jesse. Then it happened. The event that changed the course of my life forever.

MelissaA lady enrolled her four daughters into the school and the two oldest approached me about playing basketball. I didn’t mind and gladly allowed them to participate.

We had a fun season, but never enjoyed a win. That team went 0 – 10 with a couple huge defeats. The last defeat was in Grafton, Ohio to another small private school.

I had hopes of winning that game and it seemed possible that I was going to be able to upset a Jr. High team with a handful of fifth graders, but we didn’t and lost by six points.

I was frustrated and couldn’t wait to get home, but the girls asked if we could go to McDonalds and celebrate the season. I didn’t want to celebrate a loss, but there is something about little girls that give perspective. They convinced me and off I went to find a McDonalds.

The only McDonalds in the area was located at a Wal-mart and that is where we ate. A group of about 9 girls and a couple moms, one of them a single mom, crowded into the golden arches and ordered an assortment of combo meals, chicken nuggets, and milkshakes.

The entire time my assistant coach and I joked around with the girls and told them how good of a job they had done. We ate our meals and went home. That night I sat down on facebook and had a friend request. Friend requests are common on Facebook, but accepting that request changed my life.

The request was from a woman named Melissa. Melissa was a single mom of four daughters, two of whom were on my basketball team. She was present at McDonalds and wanted to get to know her daughter’s teacher.

I accepted the request and sent her a chat message. That chat message grew into a phone call that lasted until 4 am. We talked for hours, but it seemed like minutes. All topics were covered: her divorce, my college life, our belief in Jesus, basketball, school, and others. Within two months we were walking down the aisle reciting our vows to each other.

Melissa and I at our new house

As I type this we have been married for seven years. Our marriage has endured five miscarriages, emergency surgeries, teenage rebellion, and a complicated situation with an ex.

Although those times were hard and there will be more I can honestly say that it has only strengthened our marriage. Oh, we also gave birth to a son.

My daughters have been a complete blessing in both my life and my wife’s. Going from bachelor to father of four was a bit of a transition, but it has been an enjoyable one.

Every morning I get to hear the pitter-patter of little feet and every night I get to tell them bedtime stories and pray over them. I believe that every child is a gift from God and I am blessed to have inherited such strong and beautiful young women.

I would like to speak a moment about five of my children that I will not see until I reach heaven. My wife has miscarried five times and while I am thankful for the hope I have of seeing them, I would be lying if I said I did not miss ever seeing their face.

Five little blessings were lost before I could hold them. I will always go through life wondering about what they might have been. The most traumatic miscarriage happened in early November of 2012. It was a tubular pregnancy that was caught just before she hemorrhaged.

I remember when the doctor came in and showed me and the family the pics of the embryo that was trapped in the tube. Everyone was staring at the blood clots while my eyes went straight to the enlarged portion of the tube.

I sat quietly and did not say much. I was thankful my wife was okay, but I could not help but stare at that embryo while saying to myself, “There’s my little girl.” It was hard, but it brought my wife and me closer together.

My Little Miracle

A couple of years passed by after the birth of my son and my wife and I continued to struggle to have children. She had another ectopic pregnancy and 3 more miscarriages.

We went to the doctor and she underwent a procedure in which the doctor put dye into her body to see if there was a serious problem and if it would ever be possible to conceive again. Her one remaining tube was blocked and we thought we would not have any more children.

We seriously started looking into adoption and what the Lord would want for us next. Then something strange happened.

Melissa got pregnant again. We both assumed it would be another ectopic and were prepared to tell the doctor to just remove her tube so that it would not happen again.

We sat in the ultrasound room with a lady named Ruth who had been with us through each of the other miscarriages. She turned the monitor around and to our surprise, the baby was in the right spot and the heartbeat was strong.

Nine Months later I was holding my daughter Miracle May Yost in my arms.

An Unexpected Turn

A couple of days after we brought Miracle home we received a phone call from children services. Melissa had a family member that was struggling with drug addiction and had been struggling for many years. Long story short we received two more little ones ages 4 years old and 2 years old.

There are times in life when you misjudge your ability to handle a situation and this was one of them. The first night we had Conrad and Ellie was peaceful, but by the end of the week, things were different.

Neither of them came into our home with any structure, anger problems, and a laundry list of appointments. Two weeks in I remember sitting down next to my wife and saying, “I don’t think I can do this!” But God had other plans.

Slowly we pressed through and took it day by day. If it had not been for my wife’s resilience, the assistance of my daughters, my employer at the time (Danny Boys owners Rob and Renee Grendow) for being so flexible with my schedule, our immediate family, and last but not least the perseverance that God gave us I don’t think we would have been able to do it.

The beginning was rough, but as the months passed the kids adjusted and their behavior improved. Soon they just became part of our little blended family.

A year later Melissa and I were sitting in our usual spots at the Chapel and I glanced down our row to see all of our family that were in attendance.

Down the row was Conrad and Ellie’s mom with her new baby and almost a year of sobriety under her belt and behind us was Conrad’s dad who was nearing 3 years of sobriety. Both had been attending church regularly and both were involved in their kids’ lives.

As the praise and worship began I didn’t sing a word but stared straight ahead. I whispered to myself, “How did this happen!? When did this happen!?” and God spoke to me and said a simple phrase, “Because that is the type of God you serve, nothing is impossible for those that believe.”

Oh yeah, I almost forgot…while I am writing this my wife is 12 weeks pregnant and due January with our next child.

The Purpose of This Website

Anyways, I created this website as an outlet for me. I enjoy about everything that pertains to history, but my family does not. In fact, I have been known to drive them crazy with all of my history references. So I set up this website to keep the peace.

I studied American History in college with an emphasis on the American Revolution. It is an era that I always enjoyed, but knew little about.

Researching this topic throughout college and then for the website has been quite an experience that has given me a new perspective on our country’s founding. I never realized how human these men and women were and I hope that I am able to capture some of that with my articles.

So anyway, thanks for stopping by and reading this. I hope that the articles on the site help you in your research and do not hesitate to contact me if you need some help.

God Bless,

Russell

P.S. Check me out on Facebook

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