As things have calmed down in our home recently (no one coming or going from the hospital or no new children), it has made Jenna feel more secure. We are so pleased that we are not only hearing new words, but have even heard some 3-4 word phrases come out of her!! Imagine our delight! Of course, when you ask her to repeat them, she will not. Nor do we hear words often, probably 3-4 per week on average, but hey, that is HUGE considering the fact that she has never spoken before the age of 5! We are so proud of her accomplishments and believe that she will some day just take off speaking. Who knows, perhaps once she does, you'll never get her to shut her mouth!! That would be most welcome when you consider what she would have had to overcome to get to that point!! Anyway, back to the original reason I was doing this post. Since Jenna is feeling more secure, we are beginning to see more of her personality emerge. I make a particular salad here that is not exactly Chinese nor American (more Chinese than American though), but more of a combination of the two cultures. There is a Chinese dish common here that is popular and I added tomatoes to the dish as it is something that our family loves, particularly the girls. You would NEVER find it in the Chinese dish as they'd think it weird. Of course, you'd not find anything like it in the states either. It is a cold dish that has cucumbers, tomatoes, peanuts, cilantro, salt, chicken bouillon, sesame oil, chopped garlic, and vinegar (you could use either white or dark vinegar). Anyway, we all love it so I make it at least once a week here. This particular night, Jenna had finished eating her bowl of food and wanted more salad. Now, since she often eats a bit slower than the rest, she was the only one left at the table. Since this dish is absolutely no good left over or even if made more than 15 minutes prior to eating a meal, I asked her if she wanted it all. You should have seen her face light up as she nodded YEAH!! I had to take her picture, it was just too cute. Just as I snapped the picture, she impulsively stuck out her tongue for the camera! Something she'd often seen her bigger sister, Shawna do! Shawna, by the way, is the family clown. Seems as Jenna is a new, up-and-coming clown?!! Perhaps some competition! They are great pals and really enjoy one another. They're like two peas in a pod! However, I was quite surprised as this is new behavior from Jenna. You just never know what she's going to do next these days. Then again, some things are quite predictable, like tantrums and such!! Just look at this picture! I'm so glad I captured it on camera! Thanks Jenna for making my day! Typically, Jenna is the most difficult one to get a good picture out of. No, I'm not kidding! Although she's a cutie, I often have to take 5-6 pictures of her before I get a good one. She has this uncanny nack of closing her eyes at the precise moment I snap the picture!! I don't know how she does it, but boy is she good at it!
We are the Rippee family! We manage and are house parents in a home for older orphaned girls in China. It's called the Forever Home, and it is a project of New Day Foster Home. Like all foreign workers at NDFH, we receive no salary for our work, so if you would like to support our family's living expenses, please click the button below to donate through PayPal. Donations are tax-deductible. To learn more about the Forever Home and ways you can directly support this work, please visit New Day Foster Home's website.
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Elise was adopted at the age of 3 years old as a special needs child by Randy and Rita Rippee, managers and house parents of this Forever Home. Elise is home- schooled and really loves music, cooking, arts and crafts, and enjoys being the big, older sister to the Forever Home girls.
Shawna was adopted at the age of 1 year old as a special needs child by Randy and Rita Rippee, managers and house parents of this Forever Home. Shawna is home-schooled and is good at piano, arts and crafts, and thoroughly enjoys playing with the Forever Home girls.
Elizabeth was adopted at the age of 10 years old as a special needs child by Randy and Rita Rippee, managers and house parents of this Forever Home. Elizabeth is home-schooled and loves the outdoors, computers, bike riding, and crafts.
THE FOREVER HOME GIRLS
Click on the pictures below to find out more about our Forever Home girls.
We provide this information to give our sponsors and supporters a general idea of the challenges our children face. For prospective adoptive parents, the information on the blog is not intended to be a substitute for a complete and up-to-date referral packet from your adoption agency. Please keep in mind that in our blog posts, we always try to focus on a child's strengths, accomplishments and positive developments, not in an attempt to gloss-over their often serious medical conditions, but in an effort to share a glimpse of their precious personalities.