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!


Linda said...

Very, very nice post, Ruthi. I'm glad Penny loves her family, and it sounds like you guys have done a tremendous job.

Lori Petrie said...

Sob, sob.... and huge smile too. Penny is a wonderful daughter, your family is a great family, but YOU, Ruthi, are the very best mother!

Sharla said...

Oh Ruthi,

I just got back in town and am catching up... What a beautiful post!! It has been a blessing to make this journey with you this past year...


Sharon and Michael said...

Thanks for sharing your link!!! I can hardly wait to follow your next journey to China. Your family is gorgeous! Blessings, Sharon

The Eubank Family said...

Oh Ruthi this is a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing with us. We along with you stand in awe of Penny. We marvel at how well she has taken to her new home, country, school and friends, and how she loves you,Claude and her sisters. May Gods richest blessings fall upon the Coats family like a gentle rain, and be with them as they enlarge their family by two more beautiful young ladies. Our prayers are always with you.