Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The reason I have not posted in awhile

Is because not only do I get up at 5:15 A.M. everyday, get a cup of coffee, kiss Claude good bye as he heads to work, visit with Victoria (Vicky is now Victoria) who is always awake early, start waking up the little girls, get a hot breakfast on for the girls, Penny sleeps in as she said she can get ready fast, then send the girls off either on the bus for school or they can wait and I will drive them the 6 miles into school, but then I have to attempt to curl my hair (I fail in this department, ask my co-workers about my hair complaints) I get ready myself then I head to the office where I am a partner in a food, feed and non-perishable broker business and work all day, do more adoption paperwork, am Christmas shopping a bit on-line and at lunch time, but then we started, in addition to these full time jobs Claude and I hold, a new addition to our house. We just needed a better set up having five girls and ourselves, our visiting sons, finally we will have a laundry room not a laundry closet, and three more bedrooms, a great room, and a tornado shelter (thank goodness). So I am also busy picking out lighting, ordering shingles, windows, etc., to keep ahead of the builders!
Please if you are considering adopting check out the Hope Project at and look at the beautiful waiting children there. I pray that all of these children find their forever families soon! #22 did, she is ours :) stay inside where it is warm lately and check back, I will try to update more often. Ruthi

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Our hearts

So every time we have committed to adopting our daughters I have put on a red bead bracelet and worn it all the way to China and usually it has been put in a suitcase, or given to our daughter...This past July though when I was in China I wore my red bead bracelet that I had worn since the previous Nov when we had sent our Letter of Intent for our daughter Penny and when we got her I took the bracelet off...i put it back on...then a few days later I took it off again. To put it back on...Finally after a couple more times of this I just left it on and came home with our daughter have to know that this red bead bracelet is one that comes with a collection of maybe three other colors where there is a bracelet and a necklace..maybe $3 at Wal mart for this child's set of it had lasted thru a lot already and seemed pretty darn strong yet.... to stay on my arm for sure!
After I got home it was spoke about off and on about another daughter...Claude said he had always wanted night Penny and Vicky came and said they wanted to talk to us, please sit down on the we did and they told us they thought we should adopt another sister for them. They knew how old she should be, even where her bed would be plus that they should go with me to get her so they could help her not be scared since I don't speak Chinese but they do and also that Eric their brother has to go again as he was fun and helped Penny a lot when he was in China with me...amazing how this Red Thread has us all tangled together!
We have got everything in action and have committed to adopting a little girl, age 12 ....we are sure this will be another amazing ride! Please follow along the journey! As we follow all of our hearts...again to China.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Nov update

Sorry this update has taken so long....the flu and cold season has certainly hit the Coats household! Please say prayers that we are now done for the season. I am trying to catch up from being out almost everyday this week with Kate, Addie and Penny all three being sick and Claude with a sore throat and sinus too! Thank goodness Vicky is staying so healthy!

We all went trick or treating and had a great time, we could not have asked for better weather. Claude has succeeded in getting all his girls in Camo....we go down into the timber all the time on the Mule and lately we are getting so many eggs that hard boiled eggs are snacks :) Please enjoy the photos!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

the rooster, the cow and the tree

I went over to the barn Saturday morning to take some pics of the chickens and get the eggs...this rooster must not like his photo taken as shortly after this photo he flapped his wings and came at me flogging me pretty good! The cows are really settling in and growing and then the tree in all its Autumn splendor is one that is in our front yard.

Monday, October 13, 2008

4-wheelers, Anna, Claudia-let me out to play!

Claude's namesake

Please meet Claude's namesake, Claudia

4 wheelers!

Eric,youngest brother,showing the girls up do's for their hair

Catching up since Sept!

Sorry this has taken so say we are a busy family is an understatement. Right now we are in the midst of corn and soybean fields disappearing and making Kate and I sneeze til we feel like we have no breath left and broken ribs! Claude has added three four-wheelers to our group of toys, the fourth has been ordered since Penny has decided she likes to ride....our son Eric has a 4-wheeler there for his son Drew also so fun is had by all!
Penny we feel has settled into life at the Coats household well. She goes to piano lessons every Tuesday and has to practise every day...she is used to it she has said since she did this in China.
Vicky loves to read and is already hot into acquiring A.R. points plus she out of the girls loves the 4-wheelers and she is having Penny teach her the piano. We told her once she gets the basics down then she can also go for lessons.
Addie is really working well in school and has a giggle friend she plays "office" all of the time, sometimes having you fill out the questionnaire which can be very time consuming!
Kate has had a heavy dose and a devil of a time dealing with hives...finally after seeing an allergist though we think possibly stress from all the changes in such a short time, a new sister, mama in China for two weeks, Gretchen being done and school....that now she is on meds which we hope will make them go away! Kate loves kindergarten and is doing very well!
Our son Kris and his family are here for a couple more has been nice to spend time with them and their daughters Anna and Claudia...
Claude hurt his back at the school one day a few weeks ago and is still suffering from the wrenching that he gave it. I have been praying that is heals soon! I have lots of honey do chores before winter :)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Week of 9-1-08

Well we jumped into Labor Day weekend with a huge leap! The girls passed out programs for our friends wedding and wore their Chinese dress's that I had brought home this trip...then they spent the rest of the weekend buying art supplies, and learning how to ride the new outside toys Claude bought them...Addie and I had great fun in playing a trick on everyone and going over to check to see if we yet had eggs from our chickens but before we left the house we each had gotten an egg out of the fridge and hidden as we went out the door (under our shirts so no one saw them) and when we went over to the barn Addie was so excited, she kept winking at me about how we were tricking was great! I would like to ask for prayers for my cousin Rosemary who has been in the hospital for 3 weeks now...also for my friends Laura and Greg who are in Russia hoping to meet their new now to post new pics! top left is all of our girls in pink at the wedding, with our best friend Hope in front in brown, next on top is Hope, then top right is Claude teaching Kate the new four wheeler rules then second row on left is Claude teaching Addie the rules too...the weight limit on the "toy" is 150 pounds....get off the toy Claude!!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Addie being Hanna Montana

several current photos

L to R:
Addie in her new Chinese dress, Vicky and Kate on the "new ride" at our house, Addie has officially lost her two front teeth!

Week of 8-25-08

OK so some days I may not get a post up on this blog so will try for a weekly post...Last Sunday I attempted photos of the girls. We have a wedding to attend and I asked the girls about getting new dress's and they all said they wanted to wear their new Chinese clothes I had brought home...So they were trying them on so what better time for some photos...occasionally though there was a lot of messing around going on as you can see by this photo.
We are at the end of the first full week of school and all seems to be going well except all the girls are very tired at the end of the day. And why do they get up so early? They get on the bus at 7:05 and yet are waking up at 5:30...we have a rule that you cannot get in our bed unless you have a fever or the sun is up at 5:30 when my alarm went off I could hear talking...three of the girls were outside our bedroom door, sitting on the floor visiting...waiting for the sun to come up :) what a way to wake up. Penny is really opening up and we are seeing her personality more, plus we are seeing she has a quick grasp of English, Vicky is thrilled to be the only girl able to drive the new mini bike that suddenly appeared at our house and she can also give the little girls rides as their legs are to short to drive it themselves..I would like to ask for prayers for safety of our son Kris and his family during the storm approaching the southern states. Cathy and the girls are packed to leave if evacuated and Kris will stay behind with his troops...but will be sent to Texas I guess if the Air force evacuates the base too...please include all the people involved down there! I have more pictures to post...R

Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday Aug 22, 2008

This morning while I was waiting outside with the girls for the bus to come we were talking…Vicky asked me if I was going to be late for work…I said no, I don’t have to be to work until 8 o’clock…she said you going to be late? And I said no, and if I were it is ok as I am the “boss”. Wow the look that was on the girls faces! Impressed! So that started Vicky asking her usual 9,000 questions…you own the company…yes I and LaLette…oh…you Teresa’s boss?...yes…you Tina’s boss?...yes…you nice to them (I lied) I said yes…then she slapped me down when she said you own the work because you and LaLette old? Thank God it is Friday?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

First day of school-2008

Today all the girls went to school. Kate is in kindergarten...just does not seem real! Penny and Vicky are both in fourth grade this year. Vicky was so successful last year that we jumped her to 4th from 2nd. We had put her in 2nd for the added help of the English language etc...she did so well she won her class spelling bee...Penny will get all the help she needs and have Vicky in the same room as her to help with language if needed...Addie went on her way to 1st this year. I am praying she remembers to put the Mrs. in front of the teachers name this year. Last year she called her teacher Paxson all Mrs. to it.

So now every morning I have about 45 minutes to myself..although here I was thinking a chapter of my book would be read, maybe do a better job curling my hair...a longer shower...what did I do? I checked all the rooms, threw in a load of laundry and headed into the office! Go figure....

Today we celebrate Claude's 50th birthday. The school all sang happy birthday to him and the staff all brought in brownies, cupcakes and rice crispy treats. It is fun to be celebrated this way.

We are still saying thank you's and prayers for Penny's adjustment. She is doing so well! She asked if she could call China today after her first day of school and I told her yes. I hope that goes well like the last calls have. Please say a prayer for Vicky's continued adjustment of a family...she is doing so well after the last couple weeks...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Mine tastes like dirt too!

So we are into the second week of settling in. We made the decision to put Penny, at least to start, into 4th grade. This would allow for extra help for an additional year before hitting Jr. high. The new piano was delivered last night and Penny has been giving each girl her own lesson....Penny is so delighted over this posses ion as are the other girls!
A look into the last few weeks happenings at our house-...the other night i asked all girls what do you want to eat? Addie wanted chicken with ranch-strawberry shake-Kate said double hamburger-no bun and a sprite-Vicky said a hamburger with everything and fries and a coke...Penny said chicken! All of a sudden all the three who had previously placed their orders said they wanted the same as Penny...I just wrote 4 next to Penny's order. So as we were driving down the road I asked Addie is your chicken good? YES! Kate is your chicken good? YES! Vicky is your chicken good? YES! so then to test the follow the Penny rule that has been happening I said Penny does your chicken taste like dirt? (sorry, I did take advantage of no understanding of what i said) and the three others all chimed in saying their chicken tasted like dirt too. Who won on this one?
We do have to make times that Vicky and Penny are not together, or are at least including the other two little ones....the girls all need to know each other as sisters.
Penny is opening up more and a tiny bit less shy around Claude and I.
So at the end of our first two weeks I have to say I feel we are doing OK! Thank you for the prayers.

Friday, August 8, 2008

THE piano

After playing all the pianos at one store and saying NO to them...then going to the next store and playing all the piano's (thank goodness she did not like the $25,000 baby grand!) she sat and played this piano, at the end of the song Claude said she hit one of the keys with a ping stood up and said YES. The piano gets delivered Tuesday....She told me she wants to teach her little sisters to play piano....Claude is so sensitive to these girls..yesterday when they were in town he stopped at the store to let Penny "visit" her piano...she sat and played several songs he said...

God putting words to my feelings...

(this note was prompted by our evening last night when I asked Penny if she understood what adoption meant. I was, as was Claude, very concerned that she was not understanding as she was suddenly very sad…after we ate supper we called our dear friend Eliana who speaks Chinese and was adopted 4 years ago…she translated all of this for us to Penny and Penny was weeping on the phone…the below note explains why)

Eliana has been a wonderfully perfect help to us and specifically to Penny last night! They spent a lot of time talking, I could hear them upstairs last night. It was a very late night...anyway she just called me to tell me what some of the conversation was about. She said that Penny told her she was crying as she was missing home, but mainly she was crying to have found out that we are her forever family, not foster parents etc..that we will always love her and care for her...and she was so happy she was crying. I still believe that God guides these adoptions and also that He puts words in my mouth at the appropriate times….why did I suddenly ask her last night if she understood what adoption meant? It could have only been that the moment was finally here that she needed the knowledge and reassurance that she was Home!

Happy Birthday Vicky

Today is Vicky's 10th birthday! The girls are going to have a party that Gretchen has planned with games, sponge water fights, nail painting etc..then since we ha such a late night last night all will be taking a nap today as we are going out for Chinese food and birthday cake to further celebrate.
This will be Vicky's second birthday celebrated in her life. No parties or presents had ever been had before this. I asked Penny last night if she had ever had a birthday party in China and the answer was no. She seemed very thrilled about future birthdays! Today she will see an example.

One week home!

We have now been home one full week. Jet lag is going away as expected although Penny is doing much better than I who still gets up at 4 am or so....our household has changed some...I am going to have to figure out where the new piano goes, and how many times we will be driving to piano lesson. We live out in the country quite aways from a larger town where things are more available. For us to get Penny to piano lessons will be a 35 minute lessons the same...but hopefully several of the girls will be interested and all the class's would be about the same times...
The two little girls have reconnected, becoming best buddies again...Vicky has really struggled with a lot of things, she has had to work very hard the last few days figuring out that Penny has not come to our family to be only HER sister. Vicky had taken total control of Penny, sitting next to her in a fashion that made it impossible for anyone else to sit next to her, holding Penny's hand when walking, putting in only Chinese language movies so the two little ones would not want to share watching, on and on....we patiently explained that Penny and the other girls have to learn to know each other too. Last night Addie and Kate met me at the door and took me downstairs to talk. It was pitiful seeing their little faces with such great worry and disappointment on them saying "Vicky does not even love us anymore" they did not direct this to Penny not loving them it was to Vicky...Addie said "I told her hi and she would not even talk to me" and Kate jumping in saying Vicky won't play with us anymore or do anything with us and she won't let Penny play with us either" and Addie saying "yeah!"
So we went upstairs and all pleaded their case...and I said that the TV got shut off and time would be spent as four, not two. at least for the time i fixed supper. I know i cannot force relationships or play, but if times are guided then at least there is an aid.
The last few days it has been on my mind "when is this girl going to cry?" When we received her she was very much nervous, but no tears...they were there, but not flowing. Her behavior has been what I always hope for at say 2-3 months down the road...Very bashful, not used to hugs, not wanting to speak as unsure of the language, etc. No crying, no sad...but last night i typed on the translator, do you know what adoption means? and i am not sure how the translator spewed out the words, so we stumbled around for a long time...i was telling her it means she is for ever our daughter....we would always love her, care for her..on and on...well she appeared to become sad. Maybe some of the look was worried..but sad was finally there! We stopped and sat and ate, she picked at her food as she had all then our saving Grace, Eliana was called on the phone and I explained to her what had been going on with our conversation earlier and so Elaina talked at great length to her....Yes she understood adoption yes she understood we love her and she will love us, and then she told Eliana she was missing her people and house in China. She about this time did have tears streaming down her face. It ended up that at 8:45 pm Claude and four little girls piled in the van and drove and hour and 20 minutes south to pick up Eliana for the weekend. Yeah! She is going to be able to give Penny some conversation and also help get out some questions and answers to help Penny a bit.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Good bye tickles

On Wed evening Sharla and I spent a few hours in our room with the girls playing. Ended up they laid together at this point and were doing some great tickles. Penny asked me with later, after the last good bye was said how far Hong/Abby would live from us and would she see her again. Our daughter Vicky has a friend in VA, and now we have another East Coast connection of Abby in NC and then another foster sister in NJ of Abby and Penny' I bet we do get to the East Coast a few times in the nea future!

Eric and the Fat lady

I asked Eric if he wanted to give the statue a "kiss" so i could take his picture and the next thing I knew he had vaulted up on top of her shoulders! The statues all around China are just beautiful! This lovely lady is in front of Lucy's restaurant in GZ where we ate several time! They serve great french fries! I have to tell you though, Eric was very lucky in his jump and not burning the back of his legs, these statues were very very hot from the sun shining on them!

Addie's View

This was the view Addie would have had out of her orphange.

Wedding photos-China

In China the future bride and grooms go to companies to have their photos taken in western wedding attire, traditional Chinese wedding attire, and casual attire. Bev is standing in front of one of the large companies in Chongqing that does this and this is one of the dress's you could choose from.

The Great Wall

Can you spot Eric climbing the wall? Hint is a white hat!

Sunday, August 3, 2008


I am sure that you will be able to tell this is Ruthi as you read grammar is not like Vickie and Nan's. First my thanks to God for these constant prayer this time was please grant us safe passage to and from, for Penny to do well and for me TO FEEL BETTER! All prayers were answered...and yes I did finally after the first full week start feeling better. Penny has been amazing, I can only say her foster mother prepared her so well. This is a match for our daughter in coming to our family, only for one thing and that is she needs three hands and three "sides" and be able to sit in a triangle at meal time so all three girls can sit by her.My thank yous to our son Eric for being the baggage handler, the tipper, the play mate to Penny, the photographer dad and Bev for accepting Penny into their list of grandchildren and for the treats they gave her and for not complaining about the heat that we all suffered thru. IT WAS SO HOT! And to Vickie and Nan for handling the blog since my laptop died the first time i turned it on in China....We went to the Great Wall and dad and Bev stayed at a certain level with the guide, Eric took off for the top and I decided I wanted to experience the Wall with my son so trailed behind him about 5 minutes. Well for the first time in China i was sure i had made a huge error. I got to the top of the first level and was so bad off that i sat down where Eric would have to trip over my body when he came down. I was sure i was going to pass out...from being sick and hot i was just in bad shape. I stayed out of the sun in my sure to be tripped over spot and finally felt well enough to go back down to where dad and Bev were...i did not get the long awaited for photo of Eric and i together at this huge landmark of the world... We will have to return someday. From there we left and flew to Chongqing.We received Penny about 10:30 am on Monday and it was amazing to say the least. She seemed very accepting, nervous, and was not crying until i suggested she help her little foster sister Hong, and then she had tears while rubbing her chin...So we waited a few minutes and then shuffled out leaving Hong with her family. They told me she stopped crying shortly ....In the van on the way to the hotel I thought once again to ask the guide to ask Penny if she had an English name only to have tears dripping when she said her name was Penny...I guess Bev and the guide were with tears too. God and that Red thread sure does tie our family together!After being at the hotel for awhile it was time to settle down a bit and Eric went out and i was on the phone for a short phone call to Claude when Penny handed me the Electronic translator and on it was the question "what do i do now?" i agreed, what do we do now? Adopting an older child versus adopting a toddler is hugely different! A toddler you have the options of balloons, baths, sleeping, bottles etc...lots of ways of connecting and yet here we are! So i said a shower and pajamas and so even though we were a bit "embarrassed" and bashful she asked for me to help her wash her hair and then a shower was next and she did indicate she would do that by i went out leaving her to privacy..thinking boy she had better savor those few moments for when we get home you won't have a minute of it!Penny was amazed at a blow dryer...and a curling iron, so she went to breakfast the next day with curls in her long hair....she is very venturesome in trying food, and not bashful about spitting out things she does not like. (although she does it very politely) she loved Eric's psp and digital camera...she was relieved to see Hong Hong the next day at the civil affairs office while we did paperwork and we also ate dinner with the family that night funny thing, on the first evening we ate dinner with the Millers they had Penny ask Hong if they were doing things ok for her. She said yes... (she is 6) and then they had Penny ask if if she needed anything different. she had Penny type the answer. the answer was "please stop feeding me instant noodles every day" that brought us to our knees laughing!and i thought oh my i wonder what Penny was going to thing at our house as that is what Vicky and Addie would live on if we let them???The swimming pool was a nervous success...she loves ice cream....she liked to sleep in a bit and one morning I had already went down to eat and called the room to say hey are you guys coming down to have Eric tell me "she won't get out of bed, she keeps saying just a minute" so i had him give her the phone and in a stern mama voice said get on your clothes time to eat...she tried to tell me too in a minute and i said now! she did say ok...and in 6 minutes there they came to breakfast. it was also funny to watch her take a drink out of a bottled drink, screw the lid on and hand it to Eric to hold for her. His face was so funny to watch! even funnier to see him accept holding the bottle....he did catch on quickly and would occasionally say no....All in all the trip to China was great. The several times we ran into old guides that we had had was great! But walking into the stores on Shaman Island and have the ladies say "ahhh we see you before! you here last year too?" was a bit daunting...and then one shop owner even said " you here more than one other time right? you a very good customer" she is the one i picked to barter with the hardest for another suitcase i had sworn to Claude i would not need....yes i had to buy another one!So we landed Thursday night almost at midnight in Peoria and Penny let Claude hug here...we had our usual fan club of Ed and Brenda and Elaina and Kaylee...we so appreciate them being there..and Aunt Carrie and Jodi...we also had a couple people come up and say thank you for caring for these girls....Penny arrived here at her new home in the dark. Claude had turned on all the outside lights but imagine driving 1.5 miles back a one lane road with corn 8 feet tall on each side of the the dark, with people sitting with you that you really don't know...I give such credit to these girls strength that they have as each girl has done the same ride with give us the trust they put them on an airplane that will have them cramped up sitting for 15 go thru the airports for flight haul the little bit they own and put in in a suitcase that they can no longer see when we check it. To having Claude shut off the van and it goes dark, to get out of the van to be greeted with our dogs black wet nose and us all saying its ok, its ok....penny walked into our house with two girls on each side and the other three of us walking in front and behind her...welcoming or guarding i am not sure. She was juggled back and forth with three excited little girls to rush up the stairs to see her new room...i saw a huge smile cross her face when they showed her...we snacked and we tucked all in bed. Addie and Kate on the floor by the other two big girls for one night...Vicky for the first time in one year, and 3 months exactly to the day has slept in her own herself and was okay with it. she has spent the past nine months promising that when Li comes that she would be able to sleep in her own bed. I pray that Li is Vicky's strength to conquer all of her fears of sleeping alone .....we are battling jet lag...i am anyway...Penny is doing well it seems and will catch on fast.tomorrow she meets several aunts uncles and cousins and friends thru the day but today was spent swimming, napping, checking out the chickens and the lama...Claude and i have been asked a dozen times if we are done, are we adopting again, are we are we are we....when this journey all started you have to know what happened. I was struggling with knowing God had me in his embrace....i actually was sitting in my chair and remember screaming out God i need a sign that this is right, that i am yours...and i felt Him. He was there! but after that moment i said a prayer, i say rambling prayers, ask anyone about Grace being said at our table...but every prayer after that moment ended in Please give the children that are hungry food, the children that are sick medicine and the children that are without parents please give them parents to hold them...hmmmm....who would have known that because i screamed at God that He was going to scream back at me and guide our paths in this fashion? Aruba I love...we have not been back since 2003, we had the Harley...Vicky asked Mama why I get a old baba with no motor cycle? Kate wants a sum it up girls we had those things all once but now we have you....will we adopt again? Ask the meantime til he answers we have to teach Penny English, convince Kate she won't be taking her blankie to kindergarten, Get Addie to remember to call her teacher Mrs instead of just their last name and we have to say thanks for Vicky being able to finally sleep in her bed!i hope to constantly post so check back...i tell people we are just moments away from being a reality tv show :)

Friday, August 1, 2008

HOME AT LAST! 8/1/08

Hi, it's still Nan blogging. I'm sure Ruthi will be rested up soon and will take over the blog again. I'm happy to say that everyone arrived home in Illinois safe and sound! I talked to Claude this morning and he said everyone got home and was tucked in by 2:00 a.m. (flight got in very late Thursday night). The girls were all up by 8:00 a.m. the next morning (Friday)! Claude said that Kate, Vicky and Addie were so excited to finally have Li home that he felt he had to get Li some air - and so went shopping for a bike and a few things she needed at Walmart this afternoon. Ah, not even in America 24 hours and already being exposed to Walmart. :) Not only did Claude want to take her to the toy and bike aisle, but he wanted to take her through the groceries and see if there was anything that she would choose to eat. Imagine moving to another country and not even having any comfort foods available!! I know all the girls still eat noodles 24/7 - they even like them with eggs for breakfast.

So I was lucky enough to meet Li today. She is just beautiful. Ruthi describes her as being very lady-like and poised. I can see that immediately. Li knows very little English, but Vicky is her walking translator, as she was old enough when she was adopted to have a very well developed Chinese vocabulary. The world will be their oyster - I can see them in 15 years traveling the world --their valuable bilingual skills will open so many doors to them. Right now Li is using an electronic translator to help communicate with everyone who DOESN'T speak Chinese.

Can you just see Vicky and Li when they get a few years older chatting away in Chinese which their parents can't understand! Things could get very interesting at the Coats household!

Ruthi said she also realized today was the last day to sign up for school -so this morning was a rushed trip to school to sign up all the girls. Kate will be starting kindergarten, and Vicky and Li will both be in the 4th grade together. Addie will be in 1st. :) Ruthi and Claude say that Li has an amazing artistic talent - Claude said her drawings look like something that should be hanging in an art gallery. I can't wait to see! Li also plays the piano very well according to Ruthi, who was able to hear her play in a bookstore in China.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

An Exhausted Girl

Emotionally and physically, so exhausted that Ruthi had to hold her head from the seat behind her in the bus , while she slept on the way back to the hotel.

We Have The Big Brown Envelope!!

We have the BIG BROWN ENVELOPE. Everything is in it, everything is correct, and we are ready to come home! Photo is taken on the bus.

Monday, July 28, 2008


To continue the saga of happenings~last night when leaving a resturant here in GZ I ran into our guide Thomas from Vicky's adoption. What are the chances of that? How crazy!

Penny was a champ getting three shots AND oral polio yesterday. The poor thing. Today her arms are sore and I am giving her Tylenol. Bev and Dad were still with watches set on U.S. time and thought we left tomorrow ( I wish) so Bev was tickled for another day to shop. Today we go to the pearl market and jade market. The guide has us down for two hours there. We are asking him to send us early. Penny seems to be doing well. She is looking at her photos of her foster family now. I hope she does ok. Claude said the girls are all helping him ready the house for Pennys first sight of the place. They are all working hard. I am praying the Beijing airport has English printed books for the long ride home. Take care all.

For the girls at the office: I got almost all the purses. Lalette I have not found the one yet... :)

Saturday, July 26, 2008


This is Nan, Ruthi's little sister. I'm going to add photos that we've received from Ruthi so far, they are not necessarily in the order we received them in. This one is of Li having spaghetti for supper--do you think you could eat spaghetti with chopsticks?? I think we all need to try this at our next family gathering. I've seen Vicki, Addie and Kate eat noodles with their chopsticks and it amazes me how easy it is for them.

On 7/25/08, wrote:

We have all of the paperwork and officially Li is our daughter on paper. To us it seems as though that was just a formality. She has always been ours she had Eric cut her bangs and then she had him retrim them about four times til they were perfect. I wonder how long before he drops this sister as a client. She is still doing so well, only this afternoon I did ask her if she was ok? She seemed sad...but she said she was ok and I left it at that. Tonight we are packing and get to head to "heaven." I mean Ghanzou (sp?). It is great there, not a city of 32 million people like we have been in here. For all of the luggage that we brought over with us, we are now able to put several empty suitcases inside of others.

The donations to Nanchuan were so welcomed and needed. I found that I went there thinking we had made such a change there vs. when Addie was there. I welcomed the visit....I now have a copy of Addie's finding note. Pictures of Addie on the first days she was at Nanchuan,she was so weak she could not stand on her legs and so bug bitten....they assigned a 24 hr a day caregiver to her for care. But I came away knowing that the only way the SWI will be changed for these children are with them being adopted. I feel so helpless it is difficult to describe it....Lori I have copies of Jay's footprint as a little boy. It is on a photo we took of his records. His finding spot was a long ways away they said.. I am sorry I was not able to get photos of it. We have a flight tomorrow to Gz.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

How We Spent Thursday

This is the email I received from Ruthi today.

Today Dad and Bev left us at 5 pm for a 4 day cruise on the Yangtze river~how amazing in a city of 32 million people that the guide that comes in to take them to the ship was the same guide that helped me in '05 for Addies adoption. Amazing too as he was amazed to see Min Lan's mom Min Lan being Addies chines name. Zoe and Helen from Zunyi City are here to see us. They were Vicky's English teachers. It has been wonderful having them here so Penny has someone to talk to. Eric went swimming and Penny put on her suit and did get in. Tomorrow is our last full day here. Oh we were at the book store and Vicky showed me how well she can play the piano. Tears were in my eyes. Vicky, Addie, and KateI love you....Claude I so appreciate the e-mails you send me. You know I have a hard time being here away from you all at home.

It is always so exciting to get Ruthi's emails. I'll keep posting. God Bless you all and keep holding the Coats Family up in prayer.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

We have a picture!

This is when Ruthi got Li (Penny). See her dress, it has the butterfly on it that Claude referred to in the post about her name and her room decor. Isn't she beautiful!!!!

I'm sorry we don't have pictures yet

Hi it's Vickie again. I still don't have pictures to post. I am posting an email I got from Ruthi about Li (Penny's) name. It tugged at my heart and I know it will yours too.

hey Vickie I am sitting here on the floor of the bathroom reading it is 3 am here. Maybe you can forward this back to Claude if you want but you don't have too. So emotional days Vickie. Can you just sit and imagine how my whole being was when I thought to ask again if she had an English name? My God Vickie It was like I was slapped. Bev was crying I was crying, it was just crazy. Penny I feel so far is so ready to be our daughter, and Eric has really been at bat for her and I. I admit I have been not a lot of fun as I still feel weak but at least better. But how God has put Claude and I on this path and how he has sent us these last two girls even with the English names we have chosen. It is more than awesome. just shattering. I just am not able to sleep right now so am reading here wishing Claude had the opportunity to share these moments. and you, you would be blind with tears! the foster mom through Penny sent us an invitation for coming to their house for a meal and a visit but the orphanage director said no. We did not tell Penny this but did tell her she can call her Friday to say goodbye again. Zoe and Helen are going to be here then, and I am going to have them talk to her for me and share the blog etc. which I feel will help. The little foster sister is doing amazingly well and just as cute as ever. Well I will close. take care and hopefully you can upload to the blog.

As I get other emails I will post them too. I did get one that said they went to Addie's orphanage yesterday. Things seem to be going good. Please keep them in prayer, not just the travelers and Penny, but also Claude, Kate, Addie and Vicky here at home. This has to be hard for Claude with his wife on the other side of the world with his new daughter. I know he is longing to wrap his arms around both and them and hold them. Therefore we will hold them all up in prayer right? Until next time.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

We finally have word from China

Hi! My name is Vickie and I am a friend of Ruthi and Claude. I helped Ruthi set up the blog and so she has asked me to maintain it for her since her computer died once she arrived in China.
Below is a story Claude wrote about Li Juan's new name. Get the Kleenex's ready.

Ruth and I decided that we should pick a name for Li Juan on the outside chance that she didn't have one already chosen. We weren't sure if she had one, would want one, or would like to keep her Chinese name as her first name. We always make the girls Chinese names their middle name. Well we struggled to come up with a name that we both really liked. Finally I ask if there was a way that she could contact someone that would know if Li already had a English so we could stop guessing. If she had already picked a name she wanted then that would be her new name. Ruth made some inquiries and was told that Li didn't have a English name picked out. So we went back to trying to figure out a name. After another day of tossing names around I decided I really liked the name Penny Li Juan Coats. I ran it by the other girls and they thought it was a very nice name. Ruth wanted to know what it meant. I told her it meant I liked the name. The girls agreed and at supper time on occasion would start chanting "Penny, Penny, Penny as though they were in a prison mess hall about to riot. I thought it was kinda cute. I don't know if Ruth thought it was. Finally we agreed to have a list of back up names in case she didn't like the name Penny. Fast forward to the day Ruth receives Li. Li arrives at the appointed place and Ruth ask the translator if he could ask Li if she had an English name she liked picked out. Li nodded her head yes and said her name was "Peney". Of all the names in the world this beautiful child could have chosen she choose the same name as we had. A few months ago we had our four daughter shared bedrooms remodeled. Ruth fixed the rooms up with a butterfly theme, butterflies hanging off of everything. When I looked at the dress that Peney was wearing I was absolutely blown away. She has a large butterfly on the front like the ones handing in her new room. No one will ever convince me that they are all coincidences. I truly believe that this beautiful child is and has always been our little girl just waiting for us to come and bring her home. Claude

As soon as the pictures the Coats's are sending me come through I'll post them. It may not be until tomorrow morning. But I'll try.

Friday, July 18, 2008


Good morning. Eric just confirmed he is up-about to leave for the airport...Dad and mom should be heading out soon too! We are letting the girls sleep another 10 minutes then will wake them...all in pj's to Gretchens. I have each of them a present hoping for the big distraction! Thank you first to all of the prayer warriors for us, not only for Li but for us travelers and the family here at home. Second to everyone still at the office covering for me. They do a fantastic job. Thank you for making this time away from the office able to happen. Today is a long one! Very long...Til later, Ruthi

Monday, July 14, 2008

Kate doing a twirl into the pool

Addie (aka Junebug) swimming

Count down to travel

We spent a great weekend this last weekend. Saturday we went shopping for some gifts for Vicky's friends still in China at Zunyi City. We are to meet her English teachers and will give them the gifts then for the girls still there. She also bought each of the girls, Zoe and Helen a small gift too. Then when we got home she got out the English to Chinese dictionary and wrote each girls name and the item is marked in Chinese so they know which one goes to who.
I did some last minute shopping, mainly books to get thru the two weeks with...two 14 hour flights and then the time change will create times that i cannot sleep. I also take a small flashlight to lay in bed and read with on those 3-4 am mornings I suffer thru....
Last night our bible small group prayed over all of us, asking for our daughters acceptance of us, safe travels and for Claude and the girls still at home during this time to do well. It is a huge relief to be able to leave knowing our family is so prayed for and that God is with us.
Our group of travelers, our son Eric my dad and mom are leaving this Friday July 18th out of Peoria and will be in Beijing China on Saturday afternoon. This is Eric's first trip like this and maybe by the time it is time to be home he will be either ready to travel a lot more with his mom, or will be waving flags forever saying "never again!" My dad traveled before when we went to China for our daughter Kate and i must have been ok enough that time to want to repeat the experience...
While in China we will fly to Chongqing where Dad and Bev are leaving Eric and I for 4 days for a river cruise to see the Yangtze and the huge dam project. This is a trip my dad has wanted to take forever! They will then meet us in GZ Sunday night at the White Swan hotel. We know we will have a good trip but....
When we travel like this our first concern is the child. The whole trip is about bringing her home and then the next thing is to stay healthy, the third thing on the list is to hopefully see some of the girls great country China. Please continue to pray for our daughter and this coming time! I have included some photos from the last few days at our house.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Addie's 4th of July hat

We celebrated the 4th of July in style

Here are a couple of photo's of the girls in there hats they made for the 4th! We went to the fireworks and really enjoyed them....counting down the days now til I 11 right now! I admit a bit of panic that I am going to be so overweight on luggage that I won't be able to pack any clothes for me. I am taking 100 bottles of infant vitamins and 30 bottles of a Tylenol type product for the SWI in Nanchuan, China which is where our Addie is from. We and other families support this SWI thru a formula program with and if you want to support a great organization please check them out.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Addie and Vicky's friend Karyn after shots..Kate still is saying Karyn is not her friend...both girls today with sore legs...Kate is throwing a limp in there occasionally when I am looking. But she was able to run to the door to greet our Gretchen when she came for the day. :)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

School Shots-not fun to say the least

This afternoon was the last shot for Addie, to catch up her vaccines and for Kate the set of shots to start kindergarten. Addie was very brave as always and only had tears well up and not over flow....Katie Poo though started wailing the moment we walked in the door of the clinic and did not stop. To say that it was bad...not even a close description of the following 45 minutes. Kate says that Karyn is "not really my friend" after getting done with her shots...but Addie says Karyn is her best friend and wants to go back to see her. Thank you to Karyn and her helper...and we hope yet that no one out in the waiting room was to scared to go back and see her after them hearing Kate for the time we were there.
Tomorrow I hope we have our final travel info for the trip! It will be nice to have these all wrapped up before the 4th.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Travel Dates confirmed!

This will be a very short post. We have our travel dates confirmed, we leave Friday July 18th thru Chicago to Beijing, home on the 31st of July. Our youngest son Eric, 28, my dad (Tom) and mom (Bev) are traveling with me. This is the quickest i have ever left for a trip to China, but am ready! It sort of feels like going into labor 2 1/2 months early though as we had all along felt we would not be bringing Li home until Sept. Getting home the last day of July will at least give Li almost a month to get used to things before school starts.

Friday, June 27, 2008