All the Forever Home girls have talked about getting their ears pierced when they go to America, Elizabeth included. After arriving here, however, she really wanted it done but was afraid. We'd go to the store and she'd change her mind. This went on 3 or 4 times. Then Elise got a second ear piercing and Elizabeth saw it wasn't so bad. This picture is waiting to have it done. Notice how nervous looking she is?!
Then she decided to brave it and get her's done.
I have to say, I thought there might be some tears, but there were none. She did great! We'd also had them done at the same time, both ears, cause we were concerned that she'd get one pierced and change her mind about getting the other one done. Now she can tell the other Forever Home girls that it wasn't so bad. When we talked to them last week, the first thing they asked was if she got her ears pierced yet. We had to say no that she was a bit afraid to do it. But no longer!! Way to go Elizabeth!
When we were in Guangzhou doing Elizabeth's adoption physical, we discovered she needed glasses. So....after arriving in the states, we got them checked and sure enough she needed glasses. Here's a picture of the new Elizabeth! How do you like the new look?
For Elizabeth, she's discovering lots of new things and first times on so many things after arriving here in the states. This, however, was new to all of us as we'd never heard of having a "feather" in your hair.
Elizabeth picks out what she wants and they put it in her hair. So pretty Elizabeth!! This feather, we are told, will stay in for a month or so?
Shawna also gets a feather in her hair. It was a new experience for her as well.
As many of you probably already know, we have arrived in the states for a long overdue trip. It has been 2 1/2 years since we've seen our family and friends in the states but wanted to combine it with our adoption trip at the same time. Since we had to take Elizabeth onto US soil, we delayed our trip until now.
This is a picture of Elizabeth waiting in the airport to board our first flight.
Shawna, Elise, and Elizabeth on the plane settling in for the looooong flight to the states. Though we sat on the runway in Beijing for 2 hours before leaving, then had to circle for an hour before landing in the states, we managed to get to our destination on time. The 5 hour layover in Chicago helped :) Though I must say, we originally thought 5 hours would be plenty of time to get us through customs and her through the Immigration process--turns out we were wrong :( After losing 3 hours and the long lines through customs, we made it but wouldn't have if they hadn't bumped us up in the Immigration line. We were ohh soooo grateful as that allowed us to make our last flight. It's not that we asked, the lady just did that saying since all the rest of us were US citizens and Elizabeth was the only one immigrating, she didn't want to make us wait through the long line of entire families immigrating. If she only knew! We thought we were going to miss our flight until she did that. SOMEONE was surely looking out for us! Yes, just like He's done soooo many times through this whole adoption process!!
Elizabeth is now a US citizen!! Once we passed through Immgration in Chicago, it became automatic. Now all we have to do is wait on the official paperwork, which can take up to 45 days. In the meantime, we've been working on other paperwork in order to allow us to return her to China.
Serena got some new bracelets, as well as the other girls. Every time I take her picture these days, she wants me to send it to her mom and dad in America for them to see. I always say, "Yes Serena, I'll put it on the computer (blog) for them to see." She's getting really excited about going to America!
I LOVE to hear them laugh! I'm wishing I'd taken a video of this moment to share with you all, but I didn't think of it at the time. Well...at least we have pictures, huh?!
Lena looks on while dad blows up her balloon. Though she tried to blow it up herself, she found she just couldn't do it. Anyway, dad blows up the balloon and then hands it back to her untied. Then she lets go, sometimes even throwing it up into the air or letting it swirl off as the air goes out.
Apparently this time we held onto it as it got smaller and smaller.
Oh look, it's nearly all done.
It was quite entertaining for some time as you can see!
Moon cakes are a must to eat on this Chinese holiday. There are many different flavors to choose from. Lena anxiously awaits opening the box and digging into these sweet treats! All the girls enjoy these little cakes.
This is what they look like. Don't they look yummy?! Though we've made them in past years, it is a lot of work and most everyone buys them anyway.
Then, it's traditional to look up at the moon remembering and thinking about all of those close to your heart who are far away.
The other day out of the blue, Serena came up and said she wanted her picture taken with dad. We thought "How special!" But I had to wonder if there was more to it than that. I wondered if the reality of her leaving us in a few months had set in and she wanted a special picture to remember him by.
When we were done with that picture, she asked for the rest of us to get in on the picture. She often requests us to take pictures here and send them to her new adoptive mom and dad. I always have to explain that we can't do that as we can't have direct contact. HOWEVER, we can take them and put them on the computer (blog) for them and all the world to see:)) So enjoy Serena's mom and dad along with everyone else!!
Serena checks her card for what's been called out.
One weekend morning we played some bingo outside in the nice weather at New Day. The girls really enjoy doing bingo and don't tell them, but we make it a learning game. We teach them English terms when they play. Things like types of clothing, fruits, vegetables, dishes, shapes, colors, etc.... They have a great time and the winner gets candy, what kid wouldn't love that?!! We always play long enough for everyone to win a game and if someone doesn't and they are tired of playing, anyone not winning gets a piece of candy anyway. You just can't lose any way you think of it. They get candy and they are learning more English each time. They even get to take turns doing the calling so they are speaking it themselves when they call it out to the others.
Elizabeth and Hannah look for the red mittens that was called.
Here they are all playing together and helping one another out if they don't spot it themselves.
Though we are all close to Lena, Shawna and her share a special bond.
We have now heard that she will be united with her adoptive parents some time in October. We look forward to this day as it is what we've long hoped for each of our Forever Home girls--a family they can call their very own FOREVER. We love and care for these girls like they were our own. How can one not be attached to them?! Utterly impossible!! Yet it is what we do--something we've known from the very beginning--that some day we will need to say goodbye. So......though we anxiously await this day, we do so with a bit of sadness knowing she'll be leaving us. We also know it won't be easy but believe that we've done our best to help prepare them for this day that they go home with their forever family. We will miss them immensely but know it is the best thing that could ever happen to these girls!! We know first hand as adoptive parents ourselves. We continue to cherish each day we have left with Lena and each one of these Forever Home girls.
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.
China Love Paypal
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.