Can't forget the gifts! Shawna and Elise gave her a big hoola hoop!
The birthday person always gets to pick their favorite meal. Guess what Elizabeth wanted?!! Chili Cheese Dogs, onion straws and fried mushrooms!! That's right, in the US she came to love them and couldn't get enough of them. Though they are bit hard to do here (only cause we can't get good hot dogs here), we went to a special store in Beijing and purchased her some hot dogs so we could make her favorite meal!
What else is a girl to do when she has more time on her hands?! The little girls enjoy having their big sister, Shawna, paint their nails.
Gotta let 'em dry now girls! Shawna doesn't like to do them more than once each, however, she often ends up doing at least one touch up job on one or more of the girls and this time was no exception :)
Much like Christmas in the Western culture, it's traditional here to give gifts to the children and the all important hong bao (red envelope with money inside).
Serena is enjoys the gifts she's received and these last few days before her parents arrive this Wednesday. She's getting excited about moving to America and we couldn't be happier for her! It's the day we've all been waiting for! We hope that ALL the Forever Home girls find adoptive families.
Elizabeth loves lanterns--especially those that light up and play music!
Hannah's pretty excited about Chinese New Year too!
Elly.....well...she's always a happy girl!
Holly especially likes the music her lantern plays.
While Holly has only been here at the Forever Home for about 3 weeks, it's evident she's happy and adjusting well. One of her favorite things to do in the evenings and weekends is look at books. Though she can't read yet, she loves books. Don't worry Holly, you'll be reading in no time at all and you'll discover that books are even better when you can actually read them!
I LOVE this picture! Holly's personality is beginning to emerge and she's a real sweety!
It is exciting to see the progress Elly is making after just one month here! She's on a physical therapy program at New Day 5 days a week. At home, we also do strengthening exercises each night. That is all on top of the 2 flights of stairs she walks up each night.
Elly wants to walk like all the other children and we all know that a willingness to persevere is the first and biggest motivator in obtaining any goal. Perseverance she has--now all we need is to strengthen those leg muscles enough to allow for the physical part of walking to manifest. We eagerly await and help Elly work towards the day she is able to walk on her very own!! Keep up the good work Elly!!
If you haven't heard, Serena's parents now have travel notice and will be arriving here on the 25th with her leaving us on the 29th. We've begun a count down calendar that we mark off each day until the day they arrive. They'll be coming during Chinese New Year!! What an exciting time for them to be in China!! The biggest and most celebrated holiday in China!
As with all the girls that leave, it is a very bittersweet day for us here at the Forever Home. Though we are sooo happy and thankful for her forever family (and something we actively advocate for each of our girls), we will also miss her terribly when she leaves. Each child has a special place in our hearts that can never be filled by another. You see each is unique in their own special way--just as He made us!
Celebrate with us as Serena will soon join her forever family!!
With a little more time during the holidays, we were able to get the bikes out and have some outside time. Though the girls have outside time at school each day, by the time they come home and have dinner, it's dark outside these days. Usually our outside time is limited to weekends during the cold winter months. It was nice to have a few days to take the girls for some bicycle time.
Serena was sure enjoying it!
Elly thinks these riding toys are great! Since she can't ride a regular bike--yet!-- she can sure ride one of these as you can make them go with by turning the steering wheel back and forth. It's a great alternative for those who have leg muscle challenges.
Elizabeth also enjoys her biking time--something she really misses during the winter months!
Hannah's still on the training wheels, but hope that come spring time, she'll be able to learn to ride without them this year!!
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.