Lena loves bubbles and we often do these when we go outside.
Serena decides to blow her balloon WAY up--seeing how big it gets before it pops! BANG!! She found out on all 3 of them! Cheap entertainment I guess you could call it :)
Elizabeth and Lena do bubbles together a lot.
No, we're not headed to some place special. Elizabeth just decided she wanted to dress up to go outside. She's not a rough and tumble sort of girl--rather a girly girl--so no matter. I don't have to worry so much about her tearing her dress. After all, a girl's got to look her best, right?! Though she's got a couple of years to go to be a teenager, you wonder don't you?! Well, that's most likely due to their couple of older sisters'(who are teenagers) influence.
Though Elizabeth doesn't have a summer job like big sisters Shawna and Elise, she still loves hanging out with the little kids as much as possible.
Every time she goes to New Day, the little kids are like a magnet that draws her to them. I often have to tear her away--it isn't always easy :)
Doesn't seem to matter to her what size they are. Even when we went on our adoption trip, the others in our group often remarked that she really seems to love little kids. She's the same with animals--just can't get enough of them! She's a social bug!! No doubt about it!
First, there's Tiny, our dog. He's greatly loved and pampered. He thinks he's one of our kids! The only thing he needs is a place set at the table:) Though he's our family pet, him and Randy have a pretty special relationship. We have no doubt--he's dad's dog!
Hannah gets a kick out of feeding the bunny!
Serena also enjoys holding the bunny every chance she gets.
With our girls out of school for the summer, they decided they wanted a part-time job working with the foster home kids. I tried to convince them that they already do that as our foster girls are the very same. However, as you know, THAT is different as they live with these girls everyday. They help out with these girls all the time and it is just so normal now they don't see it as a "job." Sooo they began working each day for the foster home helping out---just can't get enough of taking care of and/or helping out kiddos! We're quite proud of the BIG hearts our daughters have! Keep up the good work girls!!
Elise helps out with the upstairs babies and realized very quickly that if you aren't used to holding a baby--your arm begins to hurt and those muscles eventually build up over time. Elise thinks holding and cuddling the little ones is the best job there!
Shawna, on the other hand, thought babies smell bad too often with dirty diapers, spit up, and possibly spew all over you--then you gotta clean both of you up!! She, instead, preferred working with the little older kids past that stage. Isn't it cool how He made all of us different with differing gifts?!! She does a great job helping teach English to kids who've been matched with adoptive families and need to learn as much English as possible before they leave.
It also includes some one-on-one time just talking and playing with them. It's an important job, wouldn't you say? No more or less important than what Elise does, but both very necessary jobs.
Here Elise helps a little boy. If you're wondering why the helmet indoors--well, it's probably because he wears it outdoors for safety and didn't take it off. He is one of our miracle kids who was never supposed to be able to walk, talk, or do much of anything. Previously having a very severe case of hydrocephalus--you can clearly see that didn't happen. Not only can he walk now with the help of a walker and leg braces, he is a very smart boy! Though this isn't Elise's normal job function, she just jumped in to help him while waiting for Serena's birthday party to start. Our girls love to help whenever needed.
I know it was hard to see his braces and walker in the last picture, so I'm giving you a full view of him when he goes outside for walks each day. He's an amazing boy!
Not long ago, some guests came to visit. We all went to dinner at one of the local restaurants. Outside is a cool statue the girls were terribly attracted to while waiting for the rest of us to get ready to leave. They were soo cute I had to take their pictures:)
Simply beautiful Serena! You've got this picture thing down pat,huh?!
Here, Hannah says "Did I say you can take my picture?!" Something she often says these days. Only thing is, if you're not taking her picture, she's asking "Why aren't you taking my picture?"
Lena (Jenna's new name) doesn't look too interested in having her picture taken but complies with a not so very real "smile."
Elizabeth is never too busy to pose for a picture.
The day after we came back from our adoption trip, New Day Foster Home held their monthly birthday celebrations. These kids always have 2 birthdays!! Isn't that great?! Who wouldn't love that?!
Here they crown the birthday princess and she excitedly awaits for her party to begin!
Everyone sings happy birthday and she blows out the candle!!
Here's a video of them singing to her and her blowing out her candle. So sorry I missed getting the first part of the video. I guess I was in a brain fog due to the early morning getting in from the airport (1:30am) and getting up at 6:30am to see the kids off to school and missed that:(( I'll get back into the swing of things after a little more rest:)
Now, this next video wasn't part of today's birthday festivities, but of her birthday party at the Forever Home on her actual birthday. I forgot to include it in the last post and thought you'd still enjoy seeing it.
Serena has been looking forward to her birthday for months now! She had a great time opening all her presents from each of her foster sisters and us.
We gave her a computerized game that has many cards to use that helps her learn more English and also Chinese. We thought it'd be helpful for her when she goes to the states as well. It has voice and pronounces the word in both languages. Perhaps it'll help her keep up on her Chinese and/or help her parents learn some Chinese if they want to.
Serena opens another gift from one of her siblings and thinks having a birthday is great!
A close friend gave her a barbie doll. That was also a hit with Serena!
I must apologize for such a long blog silence, but as many of you may already know it, we have been gone on an adoption trip of our own. For those of you who didn't know it, we just returned from adopting Elizabeth!! That's right, she was one of our Forever Home girls! We are thrilled that it is now finalized and look forward to taking her on a family trip to the US in mid-September. We MUST take her onto US soil to complete her US citizenship. She's excited about a trip to the US and has lots of questions about what America is like.
Now that we are back, I'll be catching up on some blogs:) I hope I don't overload you all with catch up blogs, but I know so many people are waiting to see pictures of their special kiddos and have probably been greatly disappointed at such a long blog silence. So sorry:( I intended to get them finished and scheduled to post while I was gone, however, I just didn't have enough time to do that and get everything in place for our travels with the adoption. I hope you understand, but stay tuned for pictures soon!
Today was Serena's 11th birthday. She received many presents but one special one here that came in the mail. Luckily it came in the mail just today! In fact, though we'd checked in at the New Day office earlier in the day, it had not yet arrived. It wasn't until after Serena and the girls returned home for the day that we got a call saying it was in--so back into New Day we went (actually it was Randy) to get her special gift.
She got a wonderful bear she can dress up and even says special things to her that helps love and encourage her. She also received a beautiful locket and book.
She loved all her gifts and will treasure them always. Thanks so much to her special "friends" for sending those to her!
We are soooo happy they arrived just in time for her special day!
More pictures tomorrow of her special birthday party at the Forever Home and other gifts she received.
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.