Friday, February 6, 2015

I noticed that it has been a year since I last updated our blog. So here goes....We brought home Wren age 13 and Lilly in July of 2014. I was so fortunate that our daughters Morgan and Vicky both traveled with me. Also my travel companions were a long time friend Andrea and my niece Brandi. It was a tiring trip but as always we had a good time seeing different areas of China, visiting with Morgan's Foster family, the Andrea and the girls spending a day at an orphanage, We were thankful to arrive home following the three rules our family has while in China, that it is about the adopted child, to stay healthy and hopefully get to see some of China.
Since getting home our household has changed but only in the amount of plates at the table, and saying a few more prayers while the girls all adjusted to a larger family. Currently we have Morgan 18, attending Blackhawk for adult education and hopes to teach English in China, Penny 18 as a Jr in high school (she plans on being in Fashion), Vicky 16 as a sophomore in H.S(she plans on being in Fashion)., Judy 16 wanting to be a math teacher, Kim 15 as a freshman in H.S.(she hopes to be a flower grower), Gracie 14 as an 8th grader in Jr. H.(she has mentioned being in the travel industry), then we have Wren 13 who is home schooled, Addie right at 13 and is in 7th grade, Lilly right at 13 and in 6th grade (she plans on going to Harvard) and Kate 12 and in 6th grade (she plans on being in Science). Claude still works at the local elementary school and his work schedule works well with the girls getting out of school. I still go to work everyday after cooking breakfast for the girls, Claude is in charge of supper time. The rest of this post will be in photos to give you a glimpse of our lives over the last year.
Claude, myself and the girls at Thanksgiving 2014

Penny age 18

Wren sent me a text photo message

Morgan is such a lovely young lady, she also started attending a bible group that is taught in Chinese

Every summer we freeze sweet corn. Truly the girls shuck it, Claude and I blanch it, the girls cut it off and we all pack it...within three hours the winters supply of corn is put up. 

Our Judy. She is the heart of our home. Judy recently also started attending bible study that is taught in Chinese

Kate-all she wanted for Christmas was a horse. Meet Breezy

A rare photo, Claude and I sitting together! But still, notice our kids are in the picture too. A family outing to a rodeo. 

Our seating area-it was not even a painful experience shopping for new couches this time. We took about 5 girls, one store, sat on every couch in the store and ordered three! Perfect experience! 

Lilly in front, Kate in the middle and Wren on back. Our dog in a mini Aussie and her name is Coco.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

     As always we take a long time to update this blog. I beg that you don't loose interest! We have a story to tell and all of us hope that it changes your life! Whether you choose to adopt, to advocate or just pray for all of the people young and old in this world that need food, a roof over their heads, families.
     We spent a very busy summer. All the girls, except Kate, attended Miracle Camp in MI and came away powered with His word. It was hard! This is the first time ever that Claude and I have let any of our 12 children attend a camp. The girls did I think I did July all the girls, Claude, and I drove to South Dakota to see Mt. Rushmore, Bear Country, did a LOT of driving, dropped down to spend a week in Denver visiting our son Kris and his family. While there the other event was the girls attending Adopteen. This is a camp where there were about 110 adopted teens, both boys and girls, from China. They connected both socially and by sharing their lives. We know long term friends were made. Then the balance of the summer was spend in home school, relaxing, and a few projects.
And now, we introduce Lilly. The adoption agency that we use, Madison Adoption Associates, all agreed that this little girl is a "Coats" girl. My initial response (Besides Oh my this is MY daughter) was Hmmm, there are no princess's in our house.  They immediately explained that the group that took the pictures try to take away the stress of all of the paperwork and questions asked, etc and do a Makeover of sorts...a fun time. And Lilly had chose to be a princess. Lilly will be 12 March 3rd. We are going to keep her name of Lilly. For the first time ever we were able to witness our child being told they have a family. It was wrenching to not be able to be there and console her and hug her. She at first could not seem to take it all in. The photo album of family pictures and them explaining about us. Then she put her hand up to her eyes and was crying. Overcome with gladness. What a moment to always have in our hearts!

     Last year at this time Claude and I started the process to see if we could adopt a young lady that is two of our daughters best friend. I explain it that basically they were triplets. I bought a sparkly tote bag and hung it on my door in anticipation of taking it to China to give her with some goodies in it and to use on her return trip home with me. We called her Taylor. She has a presence in our home, in my office with a photo on the wall, in our hearts and heads. We were told this summer that it was not looking good in regards to getting her paperwork submitted to the adoption offices in China. We waited...and waited...checked in occasionally. I knew in my head that it wasn't going to happen. That something was stalling the file being submitted. Several months ago we were told (I do not envy the job that Diana had in telling us) that it was not going to be possible to adopt Taylor. That she aged out. Claude and I both had very heavy hearts. And still do. We also had to explain this to the two girls first, then tell the rest of the girls. Behind closed door we told this to the two girls...I hope to never deliver such devastating news again to anyone.
     Then Claude and I had to make a decision of do we use the Homestudy approval for two daughters or just stay with bringing home Lilly. We made the decision to seek a second daughter to bring home...all the while still with heavy hearts of not being able to bring Taylor. A lady approached me and said she didn't want to bother me but she thought of our family for a child she was advocating for. She shared her picture with me and when I opened the photo I was with tears. That Red Thread connection:
"An invisible red thread connects those destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstances. The thread may stretch or tangle, but never break." - Ancient Chinese Proverb

 This is the child that made me weep. Why? She is a daughter that we have not yet held, comforted, that has not been with us yet to know about our family. This child spent the time that the volunteers were at her SWI in TELLING them that everychild wants a family but that SHE NEEDS A FAMILY. This child repeatidly pulled the volunteers to the bulliton board of family photos of adopted children that she has seen over the years and pointed to the pictures and said will YOU find MY family? The volunteers promised her they would try. The volunteers did try! And they did find her forever family. She also is a Coats girl. Our son Kris will have to teach two more sisters the chant about We are the Coats girls, Mighty Mighty Coats our daughter Wren.

     We have said so many times, this is the last adoption. We are saying it again. The van is full as it seats 12. The bedrooms are full. We told the people in Chicago when we were fingerprinted that if they see us again holding papers to be fingerprinted again to tell us NO.


Monday, June 3, 2013

I know, it has been forever since this blog has been updated. So to start where we left off is impossible so let's just start here. This is Vicky and Judy, both age 14. Best friends, forever sisters. Who are they talking to? Their best friend who is still in the orphanage in China. It kills us that she is still there, and why? Only because her paperwork has not been created and sent in to be put up for adoption. At least for now the girls can keep in touch with her on QQ (basically a Chinese Face Book) In the mean time she grows up without a family, sad, sad, sad.

Our Kim age 13 and here almost a year now. (on left) In this year she has grieved, we found she communicated with CSL instead of speaking. That was hard! She has been learning how to hear. That is hard! She is learning how to communicate using her voice. This is very hard! She is also learning about a family, she has been home schooled  this year to get caught up and do all these things. Kim is going to be streamed into public school as well as being home schooled this coming year. She loves to fish, art is a great thing but what a surprise that she loves the violin. So Kim is taking violin lessons and piano lessons on top of all the other learning.
Our Addie (on right) is 11 now and is in 6th grade. Where have the years gone? Addie is my tender heart girl, and as Penny said the other day should work for the FBI as she is our one in the house that can find anything!

 Our latest family photo, again with none of the sons in it (hopefully soon!) but it shows all are doing well. Still with smiles (some demanded, some willing...the usual family photo right?)
This past weekend we were so fortunate to have a double rainbow land over our home. The continued rain (I adopted the attitude thankfully it isn't snow) has not allowed any landscaping to be done after last years addition onto the house. The lake has filled to the point that we have to repair the dry dam and at one point the lake had filled to the point we were worried we would lose the dam. All has held though.
 Our Kate. The picture pretty much sums her up. Still busy, loves the outside, prefers wearing shorts, has joy totally yet can land with both feet right in the middle of your business and pretty much take over. Kate will be entering 5th grade this year...and going on 29 :)
 Vicky has moved out of 8th grade and will be a Freshman this coming school year.

Gracie....can I only say she is a reading machine and has such a dry sense of humor that it sets chuckles rolling out of you. Gracie will be a 7th grader this coming year and I am worried she is going to read every book published. She may have to consider becoming an author so she will have more to read.

We had sweet words sent to us this past week. Our son texted saying "I am in Baltimore, very long flight" Words we have waited a year for after he left for a tour with the Air Force and was stationed in Qater. It is best to be home, and now he is. His family will be relocating over the next few weeks to Denver for their next station of duty.
Another wonderful moment is our son Andy stole the heart of Heidi and her two children. And she said YES to the question of will you marry me. They plan on a 2014 wedding.
Eric and Chelsea are settled in with Drew and Gabby at home. Chelsea has shown the girls eyebrow care and they were even brave enough to try waxing!
Alex and Missy are enjoying the rewards of a large family, hunting and fishing and now softball season has started!
We as a family are so fortunate and we pray for favor everyday. We are blessed to have Cindy, and for the summer also Carrie. That the girls are so good in school and are maturing and learning. That our health is good and that both of our jobs allow us to do for the girls. Thank you for being patient, I will try to do better in updating! Next update will have the other girls not here in pictures!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

heading H-O-M-E

so it is Wed evening here and we are about packed. I have a couple of things to still pick up and so as soon as Richard the guide is here with Kim's paperwork from the consulate we are going to go out and eat supper and do our last minute purchases.

 This trip I am not - so far - buying an extra suitcase but am bringing home one that Littlefield's had brought donated items in. Maybe we will send the suitcase with them next summer when Ed (Morgan) goes there to work the Blueberry fields...
Today we went to the pearl market and then walked back thru the shopping alleys and Kate got to experience shopping for dried lizards or scorpions or whatever else those items were! She and I spoke about how we are glad she came but sorry she did not have a wonderful time.
Kim....well she is still struggling at different times. Not horribly, just that she wanted some make-up that was to "white" and when i said no she took an attitude. She even took the same attitude with Richard but can be mom's way sometime. He told her that she can get the right color at home when we get there. She finally got told back here at the hotel (i had Morgan translate) that she is allowed to be mad, but she IS NOT allowed to be rude. So it stopped pretty much.

So we are packed, except for the couple items i want to pick up. We have to be ready for the van at 6:20 a.m. and off we go! Our route is GZ to Souel, Souel to Detroit and then Detroit to Peoria. Pray for safe travels, and although we need the rain so bad please pray for the rain storms to stop during the time we need to leave Detroit to get to Peoria.
the picture that is labeled 808 is dried cats ears. Good Lord what would that cure?


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

well i did get to see Elvin the guide that keeps saying "Ah Ruthi I see you next year!" and so that was fun...
Again I stood next to a daughter and held her right hand as she and I swore all that we said on paper and verbally was correct. Then I again kissed a hand of our daughter. I am so grateful for this point in the adoption process...then we stood in front of the representative and answered the few questions and that is when Kim changed.
Start reality..last step before leaving. Last step before arriving. Turmoil all inside. Don;t touch me, don;t stand beside me, don't get on the same escalater step ...just leave me the alone. I was crying because of he change in her stance and her turmoil and because I realized that I was able to sign her papers on my moms birthday. What would my mom be doing right at these moments through all of these grand-daughters arrivals? My dad and mom Bev did not travel with me this time and their presence was missed the whole time but we have collected toothpicks from all areas of China to return home with for dad and i see lots of compasses that i know one will make it's way into my suitcase for Bev.
 I am grateful for Carrie's presence her as she gives Kim a chance to escape and she has been walking by her when out. Carrie is such a great travel companion! So the face of adoption today does not have one. She is not looking at me. The pictures reflect that .... but i know tomorrow is a new day, and that each minute it does get better. I had Richard explain to her that all the children go through these emotions and then i showed her that I will leave her alone, folding my hands in my lap and have left her alone as I do know in my heart that I will know when she is ready for me to touch her again.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday in Guangzhou

Thank God Amy Littlefield likes elephants! she and kate rode the elephant at the safari park today...
kate seems to use a mask when she is uncomfortable. i am wondering if it replaces her blanket? she did have on the mask off and on today, and i never smelled elephant poo so i assume it was for comfort?
while at the safari today it POURED rain. the girls afterwards said they could have used the leaves as umbrellas..more in a bit

kim stopped carrie and i throughout the safari to pose for her picture to be taken. kim seems to really care about kate and will always reach for her hand or help her.
it was hot today but there was so much shade that we were ok, although it was a LOT of walking!
We got back to the hotel and rested for about 20 minutes then went to lucy's for supper. gotta love french fries. kate had a fillet and fries while kim had steak and prawn again. morgan had the chicken something she likes and carrie had a fried rice dish while penny had fried noodle plate. we topped it off with starbucks. gotta love starbucks!
tuesday kim and i have to be ready to leave by 8:50 am as our consulate appt is at 10 am. the girls are staying here with carrie and then kim and i are coming back here. we will finish what island shopping we want to do then richard is coming wed to take us to the pearl market. he picks up kims passport with her visa on it wed and then ta da we leave for home on thursday a.m. bright and early.
yeah!!! kim is buying earrings, she has very nice taste....


Sunday, July 15, 2012

sunday spaghetti and tears

today the Dexter family made the trek to the island and we went to church here with the chinese-english service and then got to experience a subway ride, mcdonalds then the bus to get to their apartment in GZ. we enjoyed their spaghetti dinner, lettuce salad topped off with homemade bread and chocolate cookie bars! all served with iced tea and ICE!
afterwards Joy and i and kim went off to a separate room and spoke with kim, asking if she had questions, she said she has not ever had hearing aids, and that she has been deaf since a small child.

She spent time crying as she misses her caretaker and we talked about how she could call her back at the hotel (she has called her and spoke to her and she did not have tears during the call) we spoke about how when we visit china that all of our daughters get to see the people that love them. and we talked of how Joy is our friend and is forever hers too.

 kim is worried about not being able to learn English and joy reassured her how smart she is and that she will learn fast. i told her that judy is a wonderful sister and will help her, i felt that judy was the last to have came and so has the most sympathy for the situation..i still say if it was us adults going thru this adoption trial that we would still have our heads under the pillow a year later. we told her how brave she is.i like how she watches for kate, holding her hand and kate willing accepts it.
we came back by taxi, the driver was a safe driver and i tipped him gratefully!! morgan, kate and i walked down and got our laundry, and some treats at the subway and back to the room. so far the tb test looks ok, a tiny pink but i think there is a circle that it has to stay within so we should be good. we get that checked in the am and then off to the safaria...should be a good hot day for that!!