“Don’t Tell Other People Your Business.” Well, Not Completely.

One never knows what, or how much of his life he should share publicly, let alone on the Internet (One would never want to offend its inventor, Al Gore). My Dad was one of those “Don’t Tell Other People Your Business” kind of guys, and the nut usually doesn’t fall far from the tree. However, over my fifty-seven years I have also learned that it is always good to have people praying for you, so I thought I would share a bit of what our family is going through right now.

Most of you know that after Dixie and I were married, we were not able to have biological children of our own, so we started the process of adoption. We decided we would put no parameters on the adoption: any race was fine, any sex was fine (I hate the word, “gender”), etc. The only request we made was that we preferred not to adopt a special needs child. We made that request, not because special needs children don’t deserve to be adopted, but because I wasn’t sure that I could emotionally handle the task. After caring for a daughter with cystic fibrosis for eight years (which I never regretted because Leah was so special to me), I just wasn’t sure that I was made of the “right stuff” to do it again. (Although if asked, I am sure we would have gladly received any child who needed a home.)

So when we adopted our two boys, we never dreamed that they would have issues of their own: Reed was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Caleb with Tourette Syndrome. Over the years, their lives have been filled with challenges, but we are convinced that all of this was in God’s will, particularly, that they might come from a home where the Gospel would be taught, and although having sinful parents, they would be pointed to Christ as the only hope for their lives. They have both been very special to us, and each has been a real blessing to us in his own special way.

However, the last few months have become even more challenging as Reed has begun to have more and more struggles. He has now been diagnosed with bipolar disease and schizoaffective disorder (a form of schizophrenia some experts say) on top of his other issues. So we are now in the middle of the complicated process of determining what medicines, and dosages of those medicines, will be best for him, which is at best, a “trial and error” routine. We are not sure what we will face down the road, but we know (in our minds anyway) that the Lord’s grace will be sufficient for us, no matter how difficult this trek turns out to be. I won’t go into all the details (after all, I am Carleton Rankin’s son, you know) but I would appreciate that those who are willing would take some time to pray for us that we might have wisdom, patience, endurance, and most of all, a trust that even in this, God is at work for His eternal glory, and our eternal good.

Soli Deo Gloria,




  1. Glenda Ruth said,

    June 14, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    Clifton, As you all are in my prayers every day, I will make a new one to encompass what you have shared. I love you all and am very honored that you, I am sure, included me in your prayers also.

  2. thinkactlive said,

    June 14, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    I’ve told Dixie a few times that I think you two are the best parents Reed and Caleb could have had. When we are weak, God is strong. Y’all are in our prayers often for wisdom and peace, for all of your deepest needs to be met.

  3. Kendall V. Holley said,

    June 14, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    Thanks for sharing. Will keep you guys in mind.

  4. Charlotte said,

    June 14, 2012 at 5:45 PM

    You are all always on my mind. I love you much and will partner with you.

  5. Lynette said,

    June 14, 2012 at 8:02 PM

    I know it’s very hard to share sometimes (must be a Jordan trait too). But I’m very happy you decided to tell us this latest story because it gives those of us who love ya’ll an opportunity to help. So I will pray for patience, endurance and Grace.

  6. Susie Owens Mcdonald said,

    June 14, 2012 at 10:27 PM

    Clifton, you never know what God may place in our lives, and for what reason it is there. When I developed epilepsy in 2001, it was a devastating blow to me, my husband and most importantly (I think), my children. I had to give up my teaching job in Silsbee and concentrate on trying to find the root of this onslaught from the enemy. Eleven years later, I look back and wonder how we got through it all. But God had a plan for me and my family. It has strengthed the bonds between the four of us and it has made my children very tolerant of people like me who are “different”. I just finished my 5th year teaching high school English in Kountze and am retiring to care for my 16th month of grand-daughter while my daughter teaches. I have come so far from where I was in that dark pit 11 years ago. I believe that God’s plan for me, was to teach tolerance to intolerant teenagers who would normally laugh at someone like me. You and Dixie are strong and your family is in His mighty hand. I will pray for you and the boys and Dixie. I don’t know what it is like to be the parent, but I know what it is like to be the one that people stare at and point their finger at and whisper about. It isn’t easy, but it is do-able! I love ya’ll! Susie (Owens) McDonald

  7. cliftonr said,

    June 15, 2012 at 9:15 AM

    Thanks to everyone for your kind words, and offers to pray for us. We appreciate all of you, and by God’s grace, may we will learn to take one day at a time and live for His glory (Oh, yes, and to enjoy Him forever, also).

  8. June 15, 2012 at 10:51 AM

    We certainly will be praying for you and Mrs. Dixie and the boys. If there’s anything more we can do, let us know.

  9. Jeremy Tana Herring said,

    June 16, 2012 at 5:28 AM

    We love yall and are praying for yall. Let us know if you need anything. You are the best neighbors on the planet. God bless.
    Jeremy Tana Gracalynn

  10. Lanimaka Araujo said,

    August 30, 2012 at 6:37 PM

    Prayers going up to our gracious one for his continuous covering of blessings. God didn’t give you more than you can handle. Take everyday as a different blessing. You are an awesome servant of his kingdom! God bless you all!

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