Monday, November 23, 2009

Home one week-my red beaded braclets

We have been home one week-Morgan started school last Thursday as a 7th grader. To be in a place where no one speaks your language except your sister who is not in the same grade I am sure is wearing, but after she told someone yesterday that she is not going to speak English, only Chinese, well I feel she may learn English sooner than she thinks since she will have to learn how to communicate more than a few screeches and finger pointing. Gracie is a 3rd grader and seems to be doing well. Her teacher just loves her but this mama's feelings are "who wouldn't?" I feel Gracie will pick up English faster than Morgan. Both girls are eating well and seem to be sleeping well too. Morgan is sleeping by herself now and Gracie still pleads to sleep with me....although she is sleeping in her own bed without complaining (she can sleep with me, she knows this, but I think the pleading is a game now)....both girls have been able to make several rounds through the department stores for clothes and shoes and Claude took them to Farm King for outside boots and winter coats. Yes they now have camo too!
I feel all of you have read about my red beaded bracelets...that each time we have committed to adopting that i put on a red beaded bracelet. They come from Wal-mart and are just a few dollars for a pack of several. When we finished Penny's adoption in 2008 I was not able to take off the bracelet and had worn it thru the time and it was still on while we adopted Morgan and Gracie which shows that it was built well and tough to withstand all that I put it thru. You have to remember that I never take them off as I feel the adoptions are "threatened" when i do. Well while in China this last time I kept meaning to take off my beaded bracelet and scatter the beads. Never happened...Saturday at church a lady shared with me that she had been praying about adopting a little girl that they sponsor in a split second I took off my bracelet and put it on her. I told her if she would read our blog she would see what the Red bracelet me it means strength, hope, life, my daughters, our family, health, love, Grace, and the future. Please wear the bracelet in all.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

leaving china-and we are home

We were able to get the girls passports and visas Friday night and catch the ride to the airport in GZ. Morgan-13-really has not cried thru this process and when it was time to say good bye Friday evening she was very sad and was crying saying good bye to Zoe. We kept moving forward, it will be ok. When we got in the van she huddled down in her seat with me and the next thing I knew there was Zoe rushing to Morgans side of the van. Hand to the window. Her mom Donna was there with her....The girls said good bye again, very quiet and sad, Elvin told them what Donna and I want them to know, that they will be able to communicate by phone and skype, that they will see each other in July...that they will always be in touch. Gracie was quiet but was not crying, dad and Bev and Carol all hugged everyone goodbye with tears, I knew if I had tears that I would finally just have to sit and cry so the action of moving forward was best.
After a very long evening of getting to the "correct" hotel and checked in, back up 4 hours later and to the airport to check in in Shanghai, and a long flight to Detroit, both of the girls did fantastic on the plane...we were lucky to have the monitors in the back of the seats and Gracie quickly figured out that there were games to play. Morgan as usual slept when in a vehicle...Carol, dad and Bev were all three in the row behind us...when it was time for Carol to leave us for her flight I did not wake up the girls from their sleeping, Gracie on the floor of the airport and Morgan stretched out on the seats..Carol said she would just cry and it was seemingly best to not get the girls started. Dad and Bev you guys are troopers, carrying all the extras...holding Gracie's hand for some balance...thank you. The last week Gracie has practiced the girls names, Penny, Addie, Kate...Vicky...and so was ready to move forward and meet the girls, Morgan was out in front as usual but boy when she say the girls in the airport she scooted right behind my dad and was not willing to come fact part of the time she would get Gracie and have her come sit by her while we were collecting luggage. Hmmm do we have a overwhelmed shy teenager? Everyone fit in the car, we got home and the girls showed all around, and finally bedtime came and I was laying here when Claude had went to check on everyone to have him come up and say Morgan was down there sobbing her heart out...I ran down and scooped her's ok, it's ok...and brought her up to our bed. She was just her some tylonel, tucked in our bed, sent Claude to the spare bed, water in a glass for her and held's ok. Really Morgan it will be ok....and she fell asleep for a few hours..I was woke at 2:30 am to her quietly crying we have been up. I asked her if she wanted to read and so raided by flash light Penny and Vicky's Chinese book collection. We have been up ever since...she has had two tangerines and me my TOAST< PEANUT BUTTER AND COFFEE!!! There is a God! Claude is up with her now and they are cooking some eggs I think. Thank you to everyone for your prayers, the supplied help and meals. I feel this journey of adoption is amazing, and what does God have in mind for these girls future's? Please continue following their lives as we will continue posting...In God's hands, The Coats Family

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Countdown to Heading Home Begins! from Ruthi

I forgot to tell everyone! I weighed myself today. Have lost 11 pounds... My jeans don't fit anymore! (sidenote from Nan - this means I might get to raid my sister's closet again! Yay!)

Today we started the day with me typing into the English to Chinese electronic translator, "Will you stop complaining?" They both shook their heads no and said no. At least they are honest. So I retyped it to say, "stop complaining." They then said ok. :) Today we went to a garden which was very pretty, then to eat at a resturant there. The pictures will say it all about the food. On the way out of the park there was a long incline, all marble, and I saw Gracie and Nia at the top of it and they acted as though they were going to run down it, but then stopped - then as quick as you can think - off they went. Gracie was doing great until just the last say 5 feet of the incline when she went down. The knees and the left elbow are both bruised. No crying at all, just toughed it out it seemed. We put cool water on it etc.

Elvin took us to the Beijing street market here where shopping is supposed to be great. We got Morgan a pair of jeans and a shirt, me a great leather bag and a couple of Chinese outfits for the girls when they are older. Gracie stayed here at the hotel with Nia and her father and little brother. They played computer games and had a much better afternoon than if they had been shopping.

We are in the room, Morgan is reading a book. She told me she likes books...tomorrow is a free day until 2:14 pm when we leave for the consulate to swear all info we gave is right...and then Elvin will get the girls' passports with the visas on Friday afternoon and we leave here at 5 pm for the airport. We spend the night in Shanghai, then fly out Saturday am at 10 am! Thank God Claude had been able to come over here and have the time off work, get an emergency visa etc. Otherwise Ii believe that I still would have been in Beijing. The weather there is horrible we are seeing, some reports are over 8 inches of snow. The offices still would not have heat in them until November 15th! Only those of you that have traveled this trip in the past can know how glad you are that it is finally only a few days until you get to fly home....the last couple of days have been very hard as far as homesick is finally unappealing here at all. Although, this trip I have ventured a bit more into the food than normally. The guides have done a great job ordering for us. Then of course there is Llucy's and the french fries!

I bought a few books for the girls today and hope to have the battery fully charged on the laptop for the games to be available on the plane. I think the way Morgan is when on the bus or on the last flight she may just sleep about the whole way. I worry about Gracies legs dangling the whole trip. I i have the one backpack that I will set on the floor and she can rest her legs on it to help. That's all for now...

Monday, November 9, 2009

Update froRuthi Monday Night 11-9-200

Here are some pictures from yesterday and last night. I washed Morgans hair and wrapped it up in a towel turban which she thought was pretty cool. Gracie was promptly up and ready to get the same... We went on the dinner cruise, no one got sick from the boat movement so all was well but just as we went up on the top deck it started raining so went back inside. They had a juggling act to entertain.

I am still dealing with Morgans behaviour of no one in 13 years telling her what to do. The last couple of days have been wearing as she just will not pay attention when told to stop running, watch out for the car, sit down, stop last night when she started running on the boat to go in out of the rain i grabbed her arm and told her to stop running, and let my anger show, then typed it in to the translator when inside. I then also typed in "stop complaining" to Gracie...she has down let's go, lay la (tired) i think if I keep consistent order going, it might stop.

I have been looking for some clothes for the girls but still have not found any except a couple of poor Gracie is stuck with the same pants over and over.... It is amazing how Gracie is able to do everything for herself, maybe not a button-- but since I brought no clothes with them I don't know. But the new shoes I got her-- she ties them!! I am nervous about her balance but she sure is not worried. There has been no falling down etc as I expected.

Morgan has gotten to where she is helping Gracie such as in the line and putting food on her plate etc.. but only as a big sister not as a caretaker. My cough is much better, I feel I can finally breathe and do not need to stuff a tissue up my nose every minute of the day.
I hope work is going well, I have tried to e-mail work people several times but they get returned to me as not accepted..must not need me :)

Today we go to the pearl market and have nothing to do until 3 pm so the girls and Carol are sleeping still!

Update from Ruthi Monday 11/9/2009

Ok, first thing is a huge yurrah... Claude, I had not bothered to tell you as the stress was enough thru this trip. Morgan Xie's TB test had came back with numbers that were high thus she had to have an x=ray when she had her physical today. I had not told you because we were all certian that it was high because she has had a tb vaccine. This happened when we adopted Kate when given the tb test they react high. Personally all I kept thinking about was that I had not paid for the extended stay on the travel insurance in the event that the x-ray had came back positive. I had laid this wholoe problem down for God to handle and felt He would...which He did. Her x-ray is 100% clear thus all is well.

Morgan Xie had to have 5 shots today. 2 in each arm and one in her leg. We have came back to the room to rest and stay in where it is cool. They suggested the kids drink lots of water today and take it easy. Gracie Mei Qing had to have 4 shots. There were several ow's out of her while getting them. At lunch she was pretty quiet, and like I said we are back in the room to rest.

Ping Ping was not real happy about getting shots. In fact when the dr's came around he waved his hand and said no he was not one being adopted. What a sense of humor!

Tonight we do the river cruise and meal. As long as the girls wake up ok after resting, we will go. Tomorrow we have to stay in the rooms from 10:30 to 11:30 while Elvin is at the consulate. He will call if something is wrong. Pray for no ringing phones! Then tomorrow afternoon we go over to the pearl market and spend a bit of time there. We Elvin will take us shopping on Beijing street. I hope to line these two up with some clothes for school.

Dad and Bev are enjoying the trip...Bev is is carrying the bags :)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

It's Official!

Another email from Ruthi:

ok they both said yes (to being adopted)...what a relief to be over that hurdle. i now have one red bead bracelt off and i have plans of loosing it today. i figure if i drop it on the street bead by bead thru out china that my heart and feelings will be spread like seeds....both girls get car sick so before we left we gave them meds to help. thankfully it does and we don't have to use the bags that the driver carries. we are sleeping 5 to the room. carol and morgan xie, me and claude and gracie mei qing.
we hope to get the papers this afternoon but who knows. beijing has its own way..not bad, just stating the facts.
i have attached the photos we took today...i think claude and i are both ready to collapse with relief that this paperwork seems fine and done. claude will have to write a letter explaining why he is heading home for the american consulate for their visas...i want to say this to everyone about my dad. friday when this came around that we had problems here with paperwork we were here in the room talking about the different avenues of fixing was to have to stay an extra week and/or longer. dad spoke up and said he would do what needed to be done and that included staying here with the girls and i.

Halloween on the homefront! What fun!

Great Wall Photo

The Great Wall

From Ruthi - Saturday, October 31 at 2:37 p.m.:

Today we went to the Great Wall. We were a bit more prepared today with me passing out the Dramamin! Maybe with this group of children we will need it in larger than the "to go " type bottle that i have. Morgan Xie did much better than yesterday although she put her head down and napped a bit so at least she was not throwing up. I did not give any to gracie Qing...and should have. it wasn't to long and she was warm, then looking about to cry, got her on my lap and she got clammy...then i got out the bag...we got a bit of med in her and at least it took the edge off. only a couple of false uurps and she got control of it.

ok, first...Claude is on a plane to us. the beijing adoption seems to have their own reasons/rules and our power of attorney is "out of date" and it was either me be here an extra week minimum or for him to come here and be part of the adoptions. time and costs it was better for him to come here. he will get here on sunday afternoon. yeah! we get to see him and have his company and get this train he has to miss work and the girls had to be lined out for care etc..thank you to everyone that was involved in getting this to happen. cwa, andy for driving him to chicago for the emergency visa, to the visa dept, to tina for typing and emailing the lalette and the rest of the office for covering for me and andy both on my sister carrie for jumping in (Carrie thank you from the whole of my heart) and caring for the girls. for whoever is missed that i had no idea what you did to help we are looking forward to seeing claude!
next is about the girls. the clothes i brought were not a hit at all. gracie qing likes the lime green sweat suit, and is wearing a pair of dark pink sweats we got her..she likes the pj;s oh and she got to bring her bear with her from the orphange! she will compete with addie in the doing the hair a dozen times a day dept! she redos and does her hair all day!she is the sweetest littlest girl...dozens of angels wrapped up in this little girl. i am wondering about needing glasses for her and you should see this child hang in there at the Wall she was ready to go to the top. her and i got to it. Eric i took her one level higher than i had been last summer...remember the spot where i said i stopped to rest hoping that if i passed out from the heat that you would stumble over me?? well she and i went up one more level. at times she was almost crawling up the steps on her feet and hands...but she went up...i decided that i was the one going to be carrying here down these steep steps and said we were done...and she did ride down on my back piggy back style! thank you to one of the dads, kevin, for walking in front of me several times on some of the horrible steps. keving had also offered to carry her but we did ok!
morgan xie darts everywhere...she loves tv, and seems very independant. i believe that the agencies term of "sassy" will apply...but right now i also feel she is still very nervous, and has this shield all around her like "well what is this going to be like?" she liked the pj's but has not yet changed her socks although the socks i brought for her are all the same as what she has on. she wears a 7 1/2 shoe-i wear the same 7 1/2 to and 8.for once we have a girl that does not like pink. she wants me to take her shopping so she can get some pants that make her legs look skinny-the sweats are baggy and loose we will be heading out soon to do that. penny morgan xie has chongqing bangs the same as you did...but her hair seems thinner than yours, not so think.
this morning we had a sock fight...just to have fun, throwing them like snowballs. almost got them in carols coffee :)
we went to the great wall...then to the friendship store that as we walked in i remembered this was where claude had gotten sick in 2004 from the beefy noodle i ate very soup for sure. Carol is taking it all in, i have not had to hold her hand and guide her around yet while she is staring or anything...she is really going with the flow! dad and bev are doing good too. i think for a lot of us that the jet lag hit us last night and several of the couples did not sleep well...hopefully we will all sleep well tonight
penny and vicky i have the lists of music and books and movies and hope to go to the book store tonight to see what i can find....addie and kate i am still looking for doll clothes etc is there more that you wanted? kim you called in on skype and i could not answer as i was on the skype with claude about him coming over here...we will get together i promise!
as far as how the girls are doing, they are doing great. they seem ready to go and are not looking back. just the way i like it! say a prayer please for the girls both at home and here in china to do well, for claude to do well traveling both to and from, and for continued good health and one last thing...please pray the beijing adoption will fly us thru the process so that we can stay on track with the trip.
in God's hands, Ruthi and the rest of us here!


From Ruthi:

Woke up this morning to find it had snowed...and it just kept it up. I had tried to pack for every medical emergency possible, enough snacks for two weeks...stuff to layer in case of cool weather, but NO ONE told me to bring snow boots and a parka..or a sled to pack Qing in. So we all skipped the forbidden city tour and went to the mall to buy winter coats for the girls. I and carol just threw on another couple of layers. I guess the snow made world news. Claude got here tonight. His getting off the plane was delayed over an hour as they could not move the things up to the plane to let people off because of the snow. We plan and God laughs.

The girls are both doing very well. Extremely well in fact!

One of the families here are Kevin and Donna Carroll, our prayers are with them as Kevin's mom is extremely ill in the hospital back in the U.S. and he hopes to complete their adoption and leave tomorrow night and go back home to be with her. We also are praying for safe travels for him, and fast paperwork so that he can catch the plane on time.

Penny,Vicky, Addie and Kate: ...we hope you did great trick or treating. Remember to keep telling Aunt Carrie, Aunt Nan, Jodi and Andy thank you and that we all love them dearly for the care they are giving you all. Baba will be home Wednesday night with you! Kate, Baba used your elephant pillow on the plane and it really helped him to sleep. He said thank you!

It is time to be done writing ,girls, so here are prayers for you...Dear Lord, thank you for our wonderful daughters. Lord, as they go to sleep so beautiful, healthy and smart please Lord let them wake the same. We pray Lord that each of our daughters know how much we love them, and that we are so glad that You brought them to us Lord. Please let the girls rest well Lord.

Good night girls! We love you....

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Just talked to Ruthi - 11:54 p.m. Halloween night

I am so glad I downloaded Skype today! I hadn't even heard of it before this...well Ruthi mentioned it but I said I didn't have it and that was that. What a big "duh" on my part.

Ruthi said that some rules were changed at Beijiing and they considered Claude's power of attorney out of date - and instead of her staying there an extra week in order for the paperwork to be done - it was cheaper for Claude to get the emergency visa and fly to China himself. He will be there for a few days - and then Ruthi will be returning as scheduled originally.

Ruthi says that so far - Morgan Xie (pronounced Shay) will settle in as a sassy teenager. I think that means she will fit right in as a "McGava Girl!" Gracie Mei Qing (prounounced Ching), she says, will simply steal everyone's heart. Yesterday they visited the Great Wall - I know from past trips that it is a very tiring day, obviously if you've seen the Great Wall - you can understand. Apparently Qing decided she was going to the top, even though part of that was on her hands and feet going up stairs. Ruthi finally had to stop her as she know she would have to carry her back down - which she ended up doing part of the way anyway - piggyback! Ruthi is strong enough - mentally and physically - I think, to carry all six girls on her back to the top of the Great Wall and back down - if she made up her mind to do it.

Please keep the Coats family in your prayers - I sure hope the rest of this journey is easier than the beginning has been. Ruthi is very concerned about the girls at home, and how they are holding up emotionally. Kate, especially, was very concerned about her mama going away - I'm going down tomorrow for a quick visit. Ruthi said to take sugar cookie dough rolls because that is one of Kate's favorite things to do. I'll be in Walmart first thing in the morning arming myself with sugar cookie ammunition!

Goodnight all!


A Few Hiccups

Well I have been getting sketchy information regarding the journey to China. Ruthi's Blackberry isn't working properly this time and she can't access her email account. But she is able to use "Skype" and called home when she got the girls. Jodi said they were a little camera-shy about getting onto Skype, but at least they got to see a little of their new family live on the web camera. Jodi says the girls are just beautiful. Their sisters, waiting at home for them, are so excited!

Now the hiccup- apparently Ruthi is in Beijing, where all the official adoption business happens. In four previous trips to China, there has never been a problem with paperwork. But this time, Beijiing discovered a problem - Claude's power of attorney had expired (I hope I am saying this right since I am repeating this second-hand). Claude traveled to Chicago Friday and was able to get an emergency visa, and jumped on a plane today to China. He will meet up with Ruthi there and all will be fine. There's no need to worry - like I said, it's just a hiccup.

Carrie, Randy, and Jodi are now in charge with the girls and Carrie says she is keeping them busy so they don't worry too much. I'm going to go visit tomorrow, and will be able to get the emails Ruthi was able to send so far (they haven't been able to forward them to me due to computer problems). I'm sorry I don't have more information...I will post more tomorrow!


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Travelers Are Together

Hello, Ruthi's sister, Nan here! Ruthi is scheduled to arrive in China Wednesday night. I heard from her Tuesday when she met up with her friend Carol - who is traveling to China with her. Carol is a great friend to Ruthi, she has been there through thick and thin and I am sure that Texan can handle anything that comes their way!

On the homefront - our neice Jodi is helping with the girls at home. She posted on her Facebook account Tuesday morning that she deserved a gold star - all four girls on the bus on time and even packed their lunches! Talk about a crash course in parenting. :)

Please keep everyone in your prayers, and I will update the blog as soon as I hear anything, I imagine it will be tomorrow night...


Monday, October 26, 2009

Finally Leaving! Oh my

I have one suitcase done and by the front door. The other is still next to the scales while I try to max out the 50 pounds I am allowed to take in each of 2 checked bags. My friend Carol has said she was treated to a special gift from the ladies she works with and she enjoyed a manicure today after work. She also swears she won't get any sleep tonight. Gee go figure..our flights tomorrow are early. 6:30 p.m. but unlike a lot of folks dealing with huge airports ours is so small that we can arrive at 5:30 a.m. and still get it all done and on the flight. That helps a bit I suppose.
Yesterday was Kate's 7th birthday and our family was here to help her celebrate it with a brunch and cake. That afternoon she said it was the best celebration ever!
I still cannot post photos of the girls, Morgan Xie, age 13 or Gracie Mei Qing age 9 but soon they will be shown to all!In fact sooner than usual as we land in Beijing Wed evening at 10:35 p.m., will get to the hotel hopefully by 1 a.m. and then we get the girls the next day. I hope they figure out quickly that their new mama does not always look like she was in a train wreck...I cannot imagine how tired I am going to be! I know God will provide....
Please say prayers for the girls to accept us and to not be overcome with fear, for safe travels and health to stay with us. My sister Nanette is posting for me while I am gone, normally you cannot access blogs from in China. Please say a prayer for the girls here at home, there was some crying going on yesterday, and the closer it gets to bedtime tonight I keep praying that the tears stay away. Both theirs and mine. Also include Claude and our niece Jodi-both here to manage the girls and keep control. Oh my!

Friday, October 9, 2009

We are going to China....

All right forward movement!!!!! FINALLY!!!! I leave on Tuesday Oct 27th for China by way of Detroit and Japan...first time ever being to those two places so I will be sure to take pictures. :)

We get home the night of Nov 14th into Peoria Airport after a very long day of flights again coming home thru Japan and Detroit. We had to do it this way just to be able to get home on Saturday into Peoria. My thanks to Marylin with China Smith Travel for working and working and working on these flights. We have used them for all of our adoption trips with great success!

Please say a prayer that we have safe travels, and that the girls will both be accepting of us as their new forever family.

I have set it up that my sister Nanette will post for me as I will not be able to access the blog while in China so she will get e-mails from me and post. Thank you Nan! Don't forget their is a 13 hour time difference :) so you may not remember what you are getting into taking on this task.

Also our sincere thanks to our niece Jodi for coming to stay for the days I am gone so the girls will have help with school work, matching their clothes, and getting on the bus in the mornings all the while that Claude paces the farm preparing himself for two more females in the group :)
Please say a prayer for his continued sanity as he is pacing.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Another time of waiting...

For those of you just getting to know us, we are currently waiting for Travel Approval (TA) for our 5th and 6th daughters. Our daughters that are waiting for us in Beijing China are Morgan Xie (we chose the English names and are praying that they like them) age 13 in a just a few days and Gracie Mei Qing age 9. This will be the 5th time for me to go to China, Claude will hold down the fort here with the girls while I and my friend Carol (from Texas), my dad and mom all head over to get the girls. So while we are waiting...
We say lots of prayers, that the new girls will adjust and accept to this huge change in their lives from everything they have ever known. That the H1N1 flu will not rear its ugly head and stop/delay travel. That our girls and sons here at home continue to do well and keep things under control. Kate had hives extremely bad last year from stress of me being gone. We pray they don't return. We also pray that our own health holds up and that our peace of mind stays peaceful :) during this huge time of travel and bringing home the new girls....
During this time we also prepare for situations like no English so we have Electronic translators, talking about the girls being scared, no English, adjusting, clothes for them, and just in general also about loving and accepting them.
There have been a few times that different things have hit us. The new van we had was all of a sudden not large enough for a family of 8. So we went van hunting which turned into a fiasco of buying a van that we 100% hated. Which sent us on another shopping trip to buy a great Suburban...seats 8! Yeah! Another when a bit of panic went over me that we will have one daughter with 2 years of English, one daughter with one year of English and TWO WITH NO ENGLISH!!!!! I am sure we will have moments of insanity. Penny-one year of English-the other day told Vicky to "stop talking so much! You make my head broke" see what I mean about the English? At least the meaning was there.
I have gotten out a suitcase. Not that I am packing but I work full time, have four girls at home, and life can occasionally get crazy so why wait to do something this important and chance missing / forgetting anything? And now I admit that I will pack and repack 15 dozen times...I will weigh each bag 15 dozen times so my luggage is not over weight...I just have to have a way to de-stress so I do it thru the packing.
Right now, even as I am typing, there are two families in China meeting their children for the first time. These children are from the same orphange as our daughters. We are saying, and asking, for prayers for these families for acceptance and Gods guidance thru the rest of their lives. We are also asking for a peek into our daughters beings and also for some photos of the girls. We have not seen their photos in a year...we wonder what they now look like! We have gotten their measurements so we know their sizes etc...But what do they look like? So that's it for now! Again, thank you for following our journeys! R

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The awaited conversation

Last Saturday after church we went out to eat. As we were all munching away Addie leaned over and asked me "Mama remember when I was in your tummy?" and I just sank...why in a restaurant? So I said "Addie remember you weren't in this mommies tummy?" And I started to go on to have this dear 7 year old interrupt me and ask "So does that still make me a Mammal?" Talk about laughing...I still chuckle a week later...
Please keep Abbie Ault, a young girl from Princeville, in your prayers. She is very ill in ICU in the hospital. Until next time, Ruthi

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Whispers of God

Tonight the sermon at our church, Northwoods Community Church was -From Watcher to Worshiper-what a perfect time for me to attend church after a long see I have been struggling with attending our church. Not about the sermons or their practise, nothing at all except it is huge. HUGE. And I have been struggling with wanting "family" or more community to go along also with the service. I guess to know Everyone that is sitting in the pews....hmmm. I attended a smaller church a few weeks ago and sat there and had dreams going thru my head of my daughters walking down the isle there for their wedding day. Of the girls sitting in a group of about 6 kids hearing about God and about the Christmas service .... but when I left that day I could not have told you what the sermon was about. I felt that I wanted (from NW) more "worshiping" and where I came up with that idea I have no idea.
You see, in the 5 years that we have attended NW, of the sermons that Cal has preached there has not been one that I walked away from not shaking my head saying yes, or having a revelation of yes that is so true!, or how I could put that towards my life or how it fit our life. His words are powerful. And tonight when Cal explained how NW had been set up as a seekers church. A church that allowed people to attend and seek God, and to be anonymous in their seeking of Christianity, but one day he had the feeling that people were wanting more from the church. And he heard a whisper from God that it was time that the people worship, not watch. (not a direct quote) My ears really perked up..he offered me candy....he had me hook line and sinker...Cal went on to talk about this term "whispers of God" and how at times in our lives we are whispered to by God. And what God releases in the hearts of worshippers and what worship enables our hearts to do. So that leads me into my whispers from God....
I was sitting here in our home, I love our home...I was packed to go to Chicago for thyroid cancer surgery and I pleaded with God to hear his whispers...actually I was asking for roaring yelling from Him. Instead He held me. The whispers that he said were answers to my pleading but then he kept whispering to me when I added prayers that were said from that moment forward, please God offer the hungry children food, medicine to the ill children, and parents arms to hold the children that do not have parents. His whispers were gentle, constant but gentle. More like directions...listen to this lady, notice this child, see this family with adopted children, even to the final direction "stand right there and listen to Shelly tell you about their daughter they adopted". Claude and I had wanted to have children together but diabetes really was the reason to not, to enjoy our sons we had. But Gods whispers...what wonderful directions to have had! I offer everyday the thank you in a loud and clear voice to God. Thank you for whispering to me and giving me the directions that you did towards the answer to my prayers. He has offered Claude and I the opportunity to be able to supply children medicine, food, warm clothing and the final answer to my prayers - and parents arms to hold the children without parents-(by putting Shelly in front of us showing us her daughters picture from China. Of sitting me next to little Ann, also from China, on the plane when on vacation) by allowing us to adopt these wonderful little girls from China. And for allowing us again to adopt and be so blessed that we are bringing two daughters home this time.
I came home tonight from church feeling that again God whispered to me...that I am worshiping where I should be. Never even thought once about which side of the church should the bride enter on her wedding day :)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

nerve wracking paperwork-FedEx in control now

Finally! And as hard as it is to hand over the paperwork in those flimsy cardboard envelopes counting on them to not get caught in a conveyor system or falling off a truck but instead counting on them to be handed to the correct people in perfect condition is what all of us do at this point. We will only have to do this a couple more times before we are finally able to travel to bring home the girls. All of our passports have to be FedEx to get Visa's-so that is two trips in the flimsy cardboard envelopes. Then we have a very formal "Approval for Travel" that will be sent for both girls (one form for each girl) and they will also have several trips in the flimsy cardboard envelopes...we have never had a problem with paperwork and as much as I have been chanting prayers and clenching my jaw I hope we continue with the good luck!
As close as I can tell I believe that God would really be guiding these papers well if we were able to travel in Sept to bring the girls home, humanly I expect to travel the last week of Oct and home the first week of Nov. All in God's time....
We did get updated measurements of the girls. Morgan Xie (Shay) is 5' 2" tall and is 81 1/2 pounds = she is only a bit bigger round than Vicky but is taller than Penny -so think tall and skinny! Gracie Mei Qing (Ching) is 50.4 inches tall and is 52.8 pounds=she is 5 inches taller than Addie(Gracie has grown in the last year!) and is about 4 1/2 pounds more than Addie and Kate...she is about the same around as Addie and Kate so also thin in comparison to her height.
We are very disappointed that we did not get any updated photos of the girls. I think that has been part of the day, a bit down...I have really been wanting to see new pictures.
I am attaching some pictures of the two youngest girls that I took ...just being silly. And a photo of a Wren in the bird house outside of our front door. Please include in your prayers our nephew, he left today for basic training for the Air National Guard. Very very hot in Texas for the training. Will update with a few more posts soon!

Friday, July 31, 2009

One year for Penny

Penny has not concentrated at all on her one year date of adoption, rather she has chosen her one year date of landing in America to celebrate. This is fine, an older child gets to create memories where with a younger child you create them and then the child will take over as they grow up and be involved. So to recap our year with Penny---
-We adopted Penny last year and while waiting for her we discussed names and one day Claude said we need to use Penny. I was like hmm, we can add it to the list...then every night for weeks he would have the girls sit at the table before dinner and go "we want Penny, we want Penny" and even though we asked two times before we traveled if Li Juan had a English name and were told no. The day that I received Penny in China and we were in the van to go back to the hotel the guide asked Li Juan if she had an English name already and she said yes, Penny. Not a dry eye in the van, and there is that China Red Thread.
--when we were in the hotel room, just the first few hours of Penny being with me she handed me the Electronic translator and it said "what do I do now?"
--Penny loved a very nice looking pair of sandals in China and I bought them for her, yet trying to get her to buy a pair of comfortable looking shoes. I bought a box of band-aids next.
--we knew Penny had had piano lessons. She played the piano for me in a store and I just had tears. When we got home Claude took her piano shopping and she takes lessons yet every week.
--to watch a child say good bye first to her foster sister, who was adopted at the same moment as we adopted Penny, and then to leave her country of birth with only a few items in a couple back packs is hard. You don't question "is this the right thing" but you question how can an 11 year old child be so brave and to trust you with not only their few possessions but with themselves? That China Red Thread is a very strong thread that also includes trust in it.
--When we got to our house Penny was excited to be drug thru the house by her new three sisters and her mama and baba to show her where she was going to forever live. She saw everything I bet in less than 10 minutes and went to sleep pretty quick that night surrounded by her three new sisters sleeping on the floor by her bed. To go from a city of 30 million people to living down a 1 1/2 mile lane where the closes neighbor is 2 miles away and a house that is huge had to be a experience that most of us cannot comprehend.
--the next few months were spent adjusting to a whole new way of life, language, foods, clothes and the way of our family. Claude and I feel that Penny blended in and joined our family as though she had always been with us! She still at one year seems the same.
--Penny asked us one Sunday if she could stay in her pajamas and in bed all day. Sure as long as every thing is done that needs to be done...the idea that she could stay in her pajamas ALL DAY amazed her and also started a tradition of getting the pajama's on as soon as she can during the day or evening.
--Penny's favorite things to do are shopping, playing the piano, art, wearing pajama's, watching movies....
--we asked her if this first year has been good, medium or bad and she raised her hand in the air and said great!
To adopt an older child you count so much on their beginning to have been good. We say thank you to Penny's first years being so guided and one of those people was Mama G (as we call her) who was Penny's foster mother in China. Thank you Mama G for loving this child and all of the other children you loved.
Penny's first year here has included learning how to ride a bike, riding a school bus, a 24 hour a day warm home, snacks (we are a big snack family) teaching us how to cook a few Chinese dish's, adjusting to hugs (not happening to much yet) , spending time with family, riding a four wheeler, getting up close to chickens, cows, a llama, bunnies and a dog....soft towels, smell good soaps, surprising us that she prayed in China, snow, Christmas presents and a big birthday party. Fireworks for Chinese New Year (thank you Claude for setting these off out in the bitter cold and snow while we all watched from inside)
Penny has also shared a lot of things with us, her forever family. Some we share with all, others I have asked her to write down so she has these memories for all of her life. Penny is a beautiful daughter to Claude and I and a wonderful sister to the girls. Thank you Penny for accepting us, trusting us and even though you haven't said it more than twice, for also loving us. Happy first year!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

More photos....

Shortly after the photo on the left Bob gave Addie a kiss and she wiped it off going yuuuck! All the while the camera was rolling for the documentary that we could be part of that will be shown in Australia. The 10 minute show is to be about Microtia and also about using prosthetics instead of surgery. The next photo is of Addie wearing sunglasses for the first time that are staying up on her face! I felt that these two photos were confirmation of a success for Addie!

Our time in Washington D.C.friends, sightseeing and ears

Our trip to Washington D.C. was expressly to get prosthetic ears for three of our daughters who have Microtia...and then around those appointments Vicky would get to see her friend TZ who she lived with at the orphanage in China, we would meet up with John and Andrea and their daughters (their oldest daughter is from Hanzhong where Kate is from), we would visit with TZ folks, tour some of the Capitol and hopefully have a sane trip/time.
To comment on our daughters behavior while we were traveling and they were locked tight in seat belts for the 1900 miles that we put on the van would be to simply say PERFECT. Kate had two separate melt downs but otherwise her humor was "how many more hours mommy?" and I would say 4-she would say with a song "well that's better than 6!" Addie was forever smiling and great...Vicky played her Nintendo or did homework, Penny listened to her music and sang (I guess we all listened to her music huh?) and she also would do homework....they sincerely were great travelers!
I will post some pictures here of the girls with Bob Barron, Custom Prosthetics, (Vicky said no photos, she is still adjusting) and of our time in D.C. Top right photo is Bob tinting Addie's ears to match her skin and then the next one is her profile now when using the prosthetics. Bottom left is Vicky and TZ, then bottom right is the usual squat we still see our girls doing. Please remember Kate was 22 months when we adopted her and yest she will still assume this stance when waiting, etc. Amazing! And to have looked and seen three of the girls all doing it without prompting etc was even more amazing!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

My Bucket List includes...

A lot of you may disagree about my own observation of myself but here goes...I see myself as an extremely simple person. I do not really have hobbies, my daughters can sway some of my opinions and you will see me now wearing make up more, dress's, jewelry, etc..but before the girls it was 100% t-shirts and jeans...and I work a lot..not just work as in at thee office but here at home too...4 daughters and a huge house, family, etc and you can imagine that there is always something to do....but I have a passion that has came from early childhood and that is tractor pulls. I just die over the NOISE and the TREMORS and THE WHINE OF THE ENGINES and the BLACK EXHAUST THAT COMES AT THE STARTING LINE...I like the modified tractors the best...anything with 3 jet turbine engines on it that takes off at the start line and goes as smooth as these guys do down the track....well I am really getting into this so I had better get to my evening...last night I met my dad and Bev at the tractor pulls in Henry, IL and sat til almost midnight watching these truck and tractor was great! On a side note though I am sure part of my interest has came from when growing up my dad and uncle were one of the first tractor pulling teams to have a "hot rod" and we went to tractor pulls in the summers...there were no trailers to put the tractors on to haul them home and I can remember following dad home, mom driving behind him in the car. My mom actually drove in the women class when she was about 7 months pregnant with my brother! So in my bucket list I have two notes....1) to be the person at the start line holding the red and green flag giving the driver the ok to take off and 2) to drive a modified hot rod ....the pictures tell it all except for the NOISE, THE TREMORS AND THE EXHAUST.....

Monday, June 29, 2009

sorry, here's the photos

I did post two photos that Sharla took, the one of Addie and I and the one of the girls in the wheat...the one in the center photo is Sharla, then my Vicky on the was a nice 4 days!

Last days of the girls visit

I won't write a lot, will mainly show pictures....Penny and Abby did very well. Actually this past few days was a pretty good example of what it might be like with 6 girls here. Hopefully they all get along as well as our four and Sharla's two did! Not one argument, fuss, or anything...usually all were pretty well in agreement!
Sunday afternoon Sharla wanted to take pictures in the great Midwestern light that happens after 5 pm so she shot some pics here at the house and then we drove about 11 miles to a wheat field and stuck the girls out in it (it's itching, it's sticking me, this is terrible). The visit was good for Penny, Sunday when we were taking photos she again got very sad realizing Abby was going home the next morning but she was able to see that what Sharla and I had promised would happen. That we would do our best that the two girls would get to visit and see each other.
In a couple weeks we will be able to let Vicky see her best friend from China, Tao Zhu, as we will be visiting out there for almost a week. Another great opportunity for these girls to stay in touch and to visit.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

A few more photos

We attempted to go bowling Thursday in Kewanee, I had even called the bowling alley and their phone line was busy so assumed they were, so we went to the second bowling alley in Kewanee and they were closed third choice was Aunt Nanette's goats at the farm. Bingo she had just had a set of triplets born the night before, the goats were a hit plus they have a bucket calf and everyone experienced it sucking on their fingers, although Addie had her whole hand up to her wrist in its mouth. Yuck!

Friday we went to downtown Peoria to the riverfront and the girls complained it was we walked across to the antique center to see the train set up to find that it was not set we went to Steak and Shake for lunch then came home...but still it seemed fun was had.

Saturday we went for bowling in Peoria, I called and yes this bowling alley was open! Cosmic bowl was great....then home to experience a thunder storm, and cook dumplings and sticky rice.

Today we cook out and swim.

Finally time to post photos

We have had a great time except for a rash of places not being open or a rain shower or two....Last night Sharla and the girls got to experience a Midwestern thunder storm all while Sharla kept the dumplings cooking on the stove! She sure is a trooper!

Just by chance last night I dialed the girls Foster mothers phone number which we have not been able to get thru on for months and she answered! Penny stumbled for quite awhile with her Chinese language and then after several deep breathes and false starts got started talking to mama G and had a wonderful conversation. Abby was able to say hi but really was not able to visit much...

Today my dad and Bev, Eric and Drew are coming for lunch. Dad, Bev and Eric were in China with us and know Sharla and the girls...Dad has called daily asking how the reunion has been going so will get to see first hand today.
I feel that it is important that the girls keep in touch and visit...we will have to continue making this happen!
Last night Sharla gave me a lesson in making dumplings and I was amazed to find out how easy they are...they will be made more often in this house! Penny, Abby, McKenzie and Vicky showed us their expertize in making the dumplings...Addie and Kate caught on pretty fast!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Are they on the plane on not?

We got to the airport with plenty of time, had some ice cream while we waited for Abby, her mom Sharla and her sister McKenzie to all arrive. Penny was doing pretty good but I could tell that she was growing nervous as the time came closer. They finally announced that the plane had landed and we waited, we waited, we waited...the line of people coming out slowed...then stopped. Penny was then starting to act more and more nervous and ahhh! I saw Abby at the top of the stairs waiting outside of the bathroom and I leaned over and said in Penny's ear "there she is honey, she has on the red shirt...see her?" and Penny leaned forward and looked and looked and then saw her and theeeeeen, and theeeeen, Penny burst into tears.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tonight is a big night!

We head to the airport to pick up Penny's foster sister , Abby, from China and Abby's sister and mom Sharla! They have not seen each other for a year so we are thinking this might be a great reunion to experience! They are then staying with us til Monday when they will fly back home.

We have talked about a lot of things the last few days-Penny, what do you think Abby will call you? Your Chinese name Li Juan. your English name Penny or your "special name" Juan Juan? (Penny is not sure) Penny what do you think you will call Abby? Li Hong? Hong Hong or Abby (Penny is not sure) Penny are you ever going to clean up your room? (I keep thinking I do it tomorrow and .....) Penny are you going to let Abby sleep with you? (I don't know, she kicks a lot! But Penny now you have a big bed, in China you had a twin bed that you both slept in...Ok Mom maybe she sleep with me) Penny are you going to hug her when you see her? (I am not sure mom)

We have made lots of e-mails back and forth to our guide in Chongqing and she has contacted the foster mom (we call her mama G) and she is setting up a Skype account so hopefully the girls can call and see her while together. We e-mail back and forth but there has not been the site available.

It amazes me to look at the photos of Penny from a year ago and notice the huge change in her!

We will post pictures the next few days or so so everyone can follow the reunion!

Monday, June 15, 2009

The "new" daughters

A family is in China now adopting a son from the same SWI that our waiting daughters are at and we sent them two identical photo albums, and two little bags of gifts for the girls that they then hand carried to China with them and delivered them to the directer of the SWI. They explained that the girls were going to be sisters and showed them our photos and the gift bags we had sent...we understand the directer was very happy with this news and has promised to share this information and gifts with the will be so nice if they know this hope is out there for them, and that they can share the scared feelings they have....
We still have no idea of travel time, but I am praying for early Aug travel so possibly the start of school and Claude's schedule won't all collide! Also they talk about this flu coming back stronger in the fall and who wouldn't want to be home before fall flu season?
This week the older girls here at home are studying four out of five days, again word comprehension is foremost and catching up on class's that they miss while out for extra help. Learning the states and capitols shows a lot of pronunciation of certain letters that need extra help and here I have never, and I mean NEVER have I been able to pronounce Massachusetts and here I am trying to help them learn the states and pronounce them correctly...poor girls....Penny is doing 6th grade Algebra and Vicky is getting down fractions a lot skip a child from 2nd grade to 4th will show you how much a child learns in each grade!
Addie and Kate are reading up a storm....doing some crafts, feeding the chickens and today played alligator (no idea what that game is but Carrie does still have her arms and legs so must not have been to bad of a game) and we have finally gotten to the point where we are going to put up the pool. The temperatures just have not been warm enough to even consider it!
Claude bought 120 baby pheasant at the sale barn Friday night, when will I ever learn that I go out of town and he goes to the sale barn to bring home more? :) One time when I was out of town he called me and said oh honey you will really like a lead in. Well "him" was a paint colt, wild as a March hare, from Canada that had been at the monthly horse sale. We kept Canuk for several years and was a beautiful horse.....along with about six others that "I would really like". (kidding Claude, really I am kidding)
We have great celebrations as my dad is feeling well after his "small" heart surgery to repair a blocked artery. He and Bev even went out dancing last Thursday evening. You just can't keep a good man down! Praise God for answered prayers of his health, the Dr's skilled hands and for he and Bev paying attention to all the signs of a problem. I imagine lots of people might have tried an antacid, or the approach of maybe I will feel better in the morning. Thankfully instead they went to the hospital.
Until next time, blessings to all R

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Over due update

No excuses...just been very very busy! The house is about done, finally! Few more areas of dry wall compound needed, a bit of paint, and one more room of curtains...then a good dusting and I call it quits!

School is out but here that means one week of no school and then school starts again. Penny and Vicky will have a summer school tutor here at home three days a week. They will catch up on social studies and science BUT the way they will be learning is to enhance English language comprehension. The girls leave these two classes daily at school to receive extra help at school so we will just catch them up during the summer. Three days a week will give them still time to have a is 4 hours a day and then the rest of the day can be the pool, etc. Addie and Kate will keep reading and moving forward in learning too, but not as scheduled as Penny and Vicky.

Our adoption paperwork has moved along perfectly. Our last date to remember was the log in date of the dossiers in China. That date is 5-21-09. By all of my figuring I see us in China in August. I can only pray that it is no later than August!

We had a great idea today and handed Penny the camera and had her take some photos of us. She really did a good job we think. We will be FedExing two identical photo albums and letters to the a family that leaves this week to adopt a child also from the same CWI as where the girls are in China. We had Penny translate a letter to each of the girls, and also to the CWI director whom we have asked to have the girls know that they will be sisters and to spend some time together. We hope this would be some comfort to them. We kept the package very small so we don't take up any space of the family's luggage, a disposable camera for each, hand creme, hair thingys...lifesavers...and the photos. We also pray that they go ahead and give these to the girls now so they can prepare themselves for being adopted and being part of our family.
We picked up our new van this weekend. We bought a ford Tuscany van that seats 10. It seems that it will work OK for us. Well, once I can figure out how to turn on the t.v. in it...most of you are probably thinking give the girls the remote and let them figure it out...I did and they could not either. Hopefully the dealership will be able to figure it out.
We have figured out Skype...that is great! We even figured out the video cam option on the computer and it is great! This allowed Vicky to see her English tutor and our friend Zoe in Zunyi City China...and our friend Kelly in the Philippines...and when I go to China we will be able to use it to talk to all at home.
I will try to do a better job updating....just got caught up with the girls finishing up at school, paperwork for the girls adoptions, work, and trying to finish up the house all the while having fun with the girls!