Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Detroit Lion Who Produces

I often hear comments about the number of kids that I have, four, and how hard it must be to remember all their names and that sort of thing. Even though our family of six is above the national average, it is nothing near the size of former Detroit Lion Luther Ellis's brood. He and his wife, Rebecca, have 11 kids!

That's right, they've got enough to field their own football team. As you can see in this photo taken by Willie Archer of the Detroit Free Press, they even seem to like each other :) Free Press columnist Jo-Ann Barnas recently wrote a column on the Ellis family and how they manage their lives with such a large family.

With the negative attention given to NFL players and their run-ins with the law and such, it's nice to see a positive story on one who is a committed husband and father. In addition, it's refreshing to hear something... anything... good connected to the Lions. And just when did the Ellis's decide to have so many kids? Barnas writes:
"Thirteen years ago, Elliss said he and his wife knew they wanted a "good-size family -- at least four or five kids." What was it that more than doubled their thinking? "Life," Elliss said. The couple had never planned to adopt children. But eight years ago, Luther and Rebecca were in Salt Lake City visiting friends when they learned that a healthy baby didn't have an adoptive family because he was biracial. The boy was a week old. They were moved to take action.
"She stayed up for 24 hours doing all the paper work, writing our biographies, making all the calls," Luther said. "In less than a week, we had him in our possession." Rebecca said: "It's so hard to describe the feeling -- it's amazing. Having never adopted before, I wasn't sure how it would be. But it was almost like, the second he was placed in our arms, our hearts just grew. We couldn't stop crying." They named the boy Isaiah. "To see his smile and the kind of character that he has right now, his name fits him," Luther said. "He's a blessing."
From that day forward, Luther and his wife became advocates for adoption. They currently sit on the board of an infant adoption agency in Salt Lake City called "A Act of Love." Rebecca and a friend also recently started a company -- My Abba's Heart -- making and selling jewelry to benefit foster- and global-orphan care. Four of the Ellis's family's last six kids are adopted."
I'm glad to see the model that Luther Ellis and his wife have been in the Detroit community and beyond when it comes to the importance of faith and family. I'd love to see their story featured for a national television audience this Thursday as millions tune in to watch the Lions & Titans on Thansgiving. We shall see.

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