When Nicole and Christian Rude got married, they had no idea how busy their lives would become. They had two biological children; Micayla and Cole. Recently, they added 3 more adopting a sibling group and bringing them back together.
"I know if anything ever happened to us, we wouldn't want our two separated and I think that's so important and that's all they had left," says Nicole.
But having 5 children can be a handful. Their ages: 4, 5, two 9 year olds and a 13 year old. "It's like having two sets of twins and a teenager. I don't know any better scenario really," says Nicole with a smile.
Christian says, "We try to put them on a schedule. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. You just go with the flow."
The biggest change, has been added expenses. "We don't eat out as much," says Nicole. Christian adds, "The grocery bill is getting bigger."
"That's been a big difference but we've just put our faith in God and believed that he would make it work for us and we've been really blessed," says Nicole.
For the kids, the transition has been "awesome," says Sherry.
Travis says, "I love it because I love my brothers and sisters."
Ty says, "It's the best thing that's happened to me in a long time because I haven't been with a family that's been safe for a long time."
And that feeling of being safe and loved, is boosting their self esteem. "I think they finally realized that this was the end stop for them. They're not going to be moving again to here or there. It helps out a lot," says Christian.
Ty is the oldest, and the one they say who has been affected the most since coming to their home. "He didn't know that there really was someone who would care for him as much as we do," says Nicole. "He genuinely didn't think anyone could give 110% to him. He's told us since you've changed our lives."
The children have now joined karate, making amazing progress. In fact, they have been asked to take part in a competition this summer. For the first time in their lives, these children have confidence.
Ty says, "Before I used to not think I could do anything. Now I think I can achieve more stuff."
"They've shown so much improvement and so much character. It's just amazing to see how much they've improved," Nicole says proudly.
And, they all get along well. "I love 'em," says Sherry. And Travis say, "They always play with me."
Micayla says about her new siblings, "I have two new brothers and a new sister and it makes me really happy."
One big happy family, thanks to the Gift of Love.
The family says despite their financial challenges, they wouldn't change anything. They are hopeful they can take the children to the karate competition in Florida. If you would like to donate to their trip, call Nuon's Martial Arts in Whitehouse, Texas at 903-372-9701.
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