Though we've known her day was soon approaching, she hadn't a clue how her life was about to change in just a few moments! We were so happy to share the good news with her that she now has an adoptive family waiting for her in the US.
Each time we gather all the Forever Home family together for a meeting or announcement, the kids know something big is about to happen! TODAY, I told Serena, is a very BIG and IMPORTANT day for you!! She gets all giddy and listens intently to the next part--the reason why! When we tell her she has an adoptive family and show her their pictures, she is all smiles!
It's a lot to take in in just a few short minutes!! We are all so very happy for her--something that we've been believing for her since her arrival. She is happy as well--the look on her face is unmistakable evidence of that! That and the fact that she went from person to person sharing the good news with everyone she met!
Serena wants to pose for a picture with her foster dad afterwards.
This picture was taken just before we shared the good news with her. Serena is such a sweet girl and her new family will be SOOO blessed by her!! We will certainly miss her and could never forget the impact she has had on our family. Since she is not going to be leaving us for about 6-9 months, we still have plenty of time to love on her before she leaves!!
Serena is very excited about the fact that she's going to be a big sister. She has a little brother!! This is a role she knows and does quite well!
Serena's first stop to announce her good news was the Foster Home office. Here she shares her news with Karen, our director, (Serena has no idea that she already knew--but why spoil her fun, huh?!) and John, another foster home employee.
Then she finds Kevin also to share her good news!
Finally, but certainly not least, she finds her teacher to share her news and pictures with. I doubt much school work got accomplished this afternoon, but that's okay Serena. There are plenty of other days to continue your work. TODAY IS A DAY OF CELEBRATION!!!
On the way home from school, she asks if we can stop for ice-cream. Didn't you know that we would have already thought of that, Serena?!! It's already waiting for you at home! Since ice-cream is everyone's favorite celebration treat, I stopped on the way home and picked some up for tonight!
Hannah decided one day that she was like one of the bigger girls and could ride someone on the back of her bike. Though she does good to just ride herself, she sees her older sisters do it and it is such a common sight here in the village. The Chinese do it all the time. Jenna, though she initially agreed, seems to be a bit leary (judging by her facial expression) and quickly changed her mind. Better give it awhile longer girls!
The girls enjoy any reason for celebration! This holiday is no exception. Hands on is always best and the girls had a great time helping eat and make zongzi!! The whole gang is here!!
First they brought out some already made for the kids to have a try. Afterall, it's always nice to know what you're making, right? Zongzi is a sweet sticky rice wrapped in bamboo leaves and usually has dates or meat inside along with the sticky rice. Once they are rolled up and secured, they are then steamed. Then you get to eat them!!
Jenna things zongzi is pretty good eatin'!!
Elizabeth also enjoys a good zongzi.
Serena has already eating her fill and is beginning the process of making some herself!
As much as possible, we do our best to get all the kids involved in making food.
The girls all love to help out in the kitchen every chance they can--which is usually the weekends or holidays when there's more time for such things. Not only is it fun, but they are learning some very valuable lessons they'll some day need when they are older. This Saturday morning, we decided to make some donuts. Since you just can't go buy such things here, you have to make them if you are hungry for them. So we put on our aprons and go to work! Elizabeth helps by cutting out the donuts.
Jenna helps by cutting the center holes once Elizabeth has cut out the donuts. Everyone loves the holes too!! Then dad fries them all up. Mom's helping supervise to make sure every part is done correctly and, of course, taking pictures of the cuteness of all helping!
Once they're all fried, they must be iced or coated somehow. Sometimes we give them a good frosting with sprinkles, sometimes just glazed, sometimes they get a sugar and cinnamon coating, but today we went with a powdered sugar coating. YUM!!! Here, Shawna gives Serena and Hannah instructions on how to put the coating on them. All you gotta do is put them in the bag and shake it up. HOWEVER, you MUST be sure the top is closed BEFORE you decide to shake!!
Here, Serena and Hannah decide to give it a try on their own. What fun!!!
Somehow Hannah ends up with more on her face than the donut!! How'd that happen Hannah?!! Perhaps we forgot to close the bag before we shook it?!
Jenna gets finished with cutting the donut holes and decides she wants in on the shaking process! Move on over girls, I want a turn--Jenna says!
Wow, you girls are fast!! We're not even done frying yet. There's still the donut holes to finish.
TASTING!!! The best part of all!! Hannah has a try!
Elizabeth also has a taste test. She thinks they pass inspection:)
Jenna now has a try too. She apparently thinks they are heavenly as she closes her eyes to savor that sweet delicious goodness! Jenna has a BIG sweet tooth and, I think, you could coat anything in sweetness and it would pass her taste test!
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.