Thursday, September 27, 2012

Home a month and feeling so blessed!

I can't believe that we have been home from China for a month now. What has been going on with our new Family of 5??? Well, Carson and Hailey have started school, so we have enjoyed dropping them off at school and picking them up. The smiles on their faces to see Ruthie every afternoon has been such a blessing! She has really warmed up to them both. I love the afternoon's of coming home, eating a snack, completing homework, then taking a bike ride or a walk!! Oh, how I have enjoyed being a stay at home momma!! 

We have had several doctors visits, one with pediatrician, one with international pediatrician and a day of appointments with the surgeon that will perform Ruthie's cleft lip and palate surgery. Ruthie has endured shots, blood work, poke's and pulls and so on….To only be in the U.S. for a few weeks, she surely has kept a beautiful smile on her face through it all. So that was the not so fun part…….the fun part has been watching her getting to know her room, her puppy and siblings. She has done so much in the past few weeks. These are a few of the things that we all take for granted and she had never done until now. Ruthie is only 19 months old. 

Touching grass with her toes. Holding a pine cone. Eating a grilled cheese or ham sandwich. Brushing her teeth with a toothbrush. Eating pizza. Blowing bubbles. Walking down a hill. Walking over a crack in the driveway. Holding a dog. Eating oreo cookies. Sitting in a high chair while I feed her. Laying in a soft bed. Wearing clothes that fit and shoes that are not too small. Riding in a car. Playing with the hose pipe while the water is running. Having more than just one cookie. Drinking sweet tea. Watching ducks in a pond. Going out to dinner. Having double dessert with Momma! Being loved unconditionally with lots of hugs every single day! 

The list goes on and on. She has brought more blessings to me than she will ever know. The "important" things that really don't matter seem to be a little less important to me now. She has brought so much joy and love to our family that those things just don't matter. I thank God daily for the many blessings that he has given to us. We have had the best time with everything that we have done. Now, don't get me wrong, there are days that I wish I could just crawl back in the bed and start over. Getting up, throwing on clothes, pulling hair back in a pony tail, fixing breakfast, throwing diaper bag together, making sure 3 kids are dressed and ready, load the car and head to school hoping and praying that something was not forgotten. Yes, I can officially say that I am "That Mom". I am that mom that you see that has no makeup, tshirt and blue jeans, ponytail and a baby on her hip at Open House. I am the one that has slobber or crumbs on her black pants. I am also that Mom that changes her babies diaper in her daughter's 3rd grade class and also in a complete hurry because I am afraid that I will run everyone out with the smell. Yes, I am "that Mom" that used to get 8 hours of sleep every night and now lucky to get half. So, if you ever see "that Mom" out anywhere, don't think that she just crawled out of bed and doesn't want to look her best…….because she probably only got 3 hours of sleep due to a sweet baby that is having night terrors or she forgot to make her son's lunch or her oldest daughter just can't sleep. Just for the record, I love being "that Mom"!!! :) I thank God everyday for our three children and to be able to be there for our children. I continue to pray that what I am teaching them is for His glory and not mine. It is not about me, it is about teaching them the word of God and showing them how to love and be loved. 

We have an official date of Ruthie's 1st surgery. It will be on Monday, October 29th. This will be an overnight stay with the surgery lasting around 4 hours. Please please keep us in your prayers, especially Ruthie. She is such a blessing to us! I can't imagine our life without her sweet face. I am going to miss her big smile and liquid sugar after her surgery! 

My heart is so huge for orphans around the world. As I was staring at Ruthie tonight as she was falling asleep, I thought about what exactly she would be doing right now if she were still in China. I just pray to God every day to continue to burden my heart for them and to guide me to what he wants me to do next………

God bless and thank you again for all your prayers!!


Saturday, September 1, 2012

A visit to Maoming Orphanage

During our trip to China, we made a visit to Ruthie's orphanage, Maoming Orphanage. The drive was 4 1/2 hours there and 4 1/2 hours back with all five of us including our guide and driver. It was a nice long day drive, although we did sleep a little bit. We saw lots of rice fields, corn fields and bamboo fields. We were able to see the Chinese working, riding bikes from one field to another or hanging out clothes to dry on the clothes line. There were lots of factories and warehouses. It is amazing at just how our worlds are so different. We finally made it to Maoming. It is a small town with lots of people in cars, on scooters and bikes. Ruthie (Si Dan) was born in Maoming and abandoned near the local hospital underneath a pavilion. She was left with a note possibly from her birth mother stating that she was born on February 2, 2011. The pavilion is right next door to the hospital. She was left in a box wrapped in a blanket. 

When we arrived at the orphanage, we were greeted by the orphanage director. Ruthie went straight to her and just hugged her. We walked upstairs to where Ruthie ate, slept and played. We first walked into the playroom and her Nanny fed her lunch which consisted of congee (kinda like porridge), rice, egg, pork and chicken soup. She drank the chicken soup after to wash everything down. :) We played in the play room with a few nannies, the orphanage director and our guide, Rebecca. We enjoyed talking and taking pictures. Our guide translated for us and for them as well. Ruthie's nanny said that she could tell that Ruthie will be very well taken care of and loved very much! It meant a lot to hear that from someone that has only "known" us for a very short period of time and loved our child for the past 18 months. Ruthie's adoption was an expensive process, however, there is not enough money in this world that could take the place of this journey or Ruthie! I am in forever indebted to this woman that loved, fed and played with my Ruthie!! We are two women so many many miles apart that love Ruthie so very much!! 

We then made our way to the room where Ruthie slept. It was a room full of beds and sweet babies! Some are waiting on their forever families….To God be The Glory!! The beds were side by side and the babies were able to see each other through the bars. Ruthie handed out dum dum suckers to her friends. She was the oldest in her group and you could tell that for sure. She was the helper and soother of the kids. Anytime one was upset, she would share her toy and pat them on the back. Precious!! 

We went to the kitchen where the kids eat. There was  a long table made of 2x2's with spaces in between. If the children are not old enough to sit up by themselves, they teach them to hold onto the table with one hand and feed themselves with the other hand. It was amazing to hear that as I couldn't imagine an infant not being able to sit up, but hold him/herself up and eat with the other hand. 

We walked downstairs to the orphanages meeting room and I was able to take pictures of Ruthie's only file, one piece of paper. I was also able to view the letter that was left with Ruthie written by the birth mother (they think).

The orphanage trip was a wonderful experience! I am so thankful that we had the opportunity to visit it. These woman love the children of Maoming and take care of them to the best of their ability. One day I will explain this to Ruthie. 

After we left the orphanage the director rode with us to Ruthie's abandon spot. It is a pavilion outside of the hospital where Ruthie was possibly born. I was told by the director that more than likely what happened with Ruthie was that her parents were poor and could not afford insurance. They would not have had the funds to have her cleft lip and palate corrected, so they only did what they thought was right. I thank God for her parents and the decision that they made for Ruthie. She is a God sent from the words "Yes, we will adopt from China!" I adore this sweet soul and pray that God will continue to burden our hearts to raise all 3 of our children His way. Our home is filled with so much joy and laughter! 

Blessings and Love,