By Sheriff Frank Reynolds
It is not the badge that makes the person, but rather it is the person who makes the badge.
I am often inspired by the amazing men and women I get to work with at the Sheriff’s Office. These people make a difference in the lives of so many others, on and off duty. This month, I would like to tell you about Sergeant Scott Ryder. Although he is an outstanding law enforcement officer, it is his character that inspires me to be a better person.
Scott and his lovely wife, Becky, are the proud parents of nine children. When Scott and Becky discovered they could not have children, they decided to move forward with God’s call to take care of the “widow and the orphan,” (James 1:27). Their mission began in December 2008.
Abby (16) and Dale (14), Scott’s biological children from a previous marriage, have been an integral part of making this family so special.
Elijah was the first child adopted by the Ryder family. He is from Uganda, Africa. As a newborn, he was abandoned in a ditch and found by a police officer.
Ezequiel, the next child they adopted, is from Ayacucho, Peru. Abandoned at a clinic when he was about 2 years old, Ezequiel has dwarfism. He was adopted by Scott and Becky when he was 7. He has a giant smile that warms your heart. Ezequiel had two dreams — to become a police officer and to have a daddy. He ended up with a daddy who is a police officer.
Simeon and Asher were adopted at the same time. They were abandoned in different cities in China and ended up in orphanages. Simeon is deaf, and Asher has severe limb differences. Simeon is beginning to hear and speak, and Asher can now run.
Toby, who was adopted next, is also from China. He was abandoned very young because of physical deformities. Since there were no birth records for Toby, his age at adoption was estimated at 6 years old. He is more than likely younger, and severe malnourishment has set him back. However, he is a fighter and is making great strides.
Orli was adopted from China a few months before her 14th birthday. She had to be adopted before then, or her fate would have been sealed as a life abandoned. God really moved on this adoption since Scott and Becky were able to bring her home within days of her birthday. Orli has spina bifida and hydrocephalus, but that is no match for her beauty and humor.
The most recent adoption was completed this past August. Yona, an 11-year-old boy from Colombia, was abandoned to the state by his mother at age 8. He is aware of what happened, but he is quite happy now and is recovering from the trauma very well.
I am sure it is quite the sight to see all nine kids perched around the barn watching their dad work on his motorcycle.
I would like to thank Scott and Becky for allowing me to tell a little about their family. I am truly inspired by their story of unconditional love and hope for these amazing children.