Rathjen Family

Rathjen Family
Rathjen, Party of EIGHT

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Prayer Mat

Pictured along the lower right hand column of photos is Eseza. Eseza was the first child we sponsored through Blessings for Joy. Aids took her mother and father at an early age. We would write letters and send photos and receive mail in return. When we first took on the financial responsibility of this little girl, I never realized what it really meant to her (and me for that matter) until she died.

An email came in from Blessings for Joy, delivering the news of her death. I remember sitting there stunned. It had never occurred to me our sponsored child could die. But why not? She was in fact orphaned do to aids. She very well could have it herself. She was of course living in Uganda, a third world country, known for poverty and disease. Why had that thought never entered my mind? When the email came, tears burned my eyes. But the part that literally took the wind out of my sails was this:

"Eseza's last request was this: once she is gone, she would like her prayer mat to be delivered to her mum and dad."

At that moment, I realized the difference you can make in a child's life, half way around the world, without ever even holding their hand, tucking them in at night or teaching them the ways of the world. Eseza cherished the thought of us. She prayed for us...on that mat. A little girl, with nothing to her name but a school uniform, a crib mattress to sleep on (provided by us) and prayer mat; prayed for US.

It is humbling.

I eventually got to visit her country. I attended a Bible study with several Ugandan women working to get out of prostitution and told them of Eseza. Tears ran down these ladies dark, soft cheeks as they listened. They cried for this little girl, even though they all know ten more like her. Each one of these orphans matter. Their stories matter.

Eseza's mat finally found it's way to us this week. I will always look at it and remember her, and remind myself to pray for others, even when I need all the prayers I can get.

Here is the first letter she sent us...

In loving memory of Eseza~

Friday, October 21, 2011

The first two squares have sponsors!

A genuine thank you goes out to the Onions family and the (Adam) Mars family! It warms our hearts and we cannot thank you all enough. I know your families are both on fire for the orphan, supporting them, praying for them, and making a difference in their worlds...thank you, thank you, thank you.

I have chosen to make a classic American 1950's quilt. I was going to do a more "baby" looking theme, but changed my mind, remembering, this quilt will be displayed in my home forever...so I went with some patterns I love and will "go" in my home forever...

Here are the first four squares...two of them are sponsored, YIPEE Jesus!

Truly Yours,


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Piecing Together Our Family

It's no secret, adopting costs money...it's time consuming, it's stressful.


The common question: "But isn't it expensive?"

Here is the truth: it is no more than the average Amercian's car! I am not trying to be ugly. I am just making an effort to put it into perspective. If you are interested in adoption and would like to know about the fees, contact an agency to send you a price breakdown and discuss the fees involved. Don't be afraid to ask, and please don't let it scare you away!

Here is what we are doing to help us with our adoption. This is not your typical fundraiser, this is a keepsake for our family to have forever, and we want you to be a part of it!

I love quilts.

I love to quilt.

I love what quilts represent.

There is something special, something warm, and safe about a quilt.

I have decided to make one, one square at a time to help with our adoption. We are asking if you feel led to contribute (no matter the amount) financially to our adoption, that you "sponsor" a square of this family quilt. Each person, or family that sponsors a square will have their name written on a square of the quilt. I am so excited to one day tell our twin boys, what this quilt represents. This quilt and each of it's squares will represent the people that helped bring them home; these are the people that helped "piece our family together."

We understand not everyone has a lot of extra money sitting around...which is why we do not feel we should put a price tag on these "squares." If you want to be a part of this blessing in a financial way... we would apprciate it so much, more than you know. You can do a couple of things, you can contribute by clicking on the paypal button along the right hand side of my blog, or you can email me at misty297@hotmail.com for an address to send a check.

From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for all the forms of support you are each showing our family as we grow through adoption.


Friday, October 7, 2011

Step by Step

Last week the big accomplishment was getting our documents successfully through the certification process and on to the embassy to be authenticated. As of of 8:15 a.m. we have completed one of the final steps in our paper chase. We got our finger prints captured for immigration. The best part about this liitle jog to a very official appointment is we had a few hours to discuss the names of these cute little guys (with no distractions.). We are finding naming twins is a lot more difficult for us. We have agreed, they need to be strong and catchy, not one cooler than the other, and they don't need to rhyme or start with the same letter. Names are a big deal to us, I like to keep meanings in mind. As you know, they have been named officially Ning And Ping. They are in an American Foster Care Center, which means they have also given them American names, Max and Matthew. We are not really sure what they are used to being called at this time. Either way, we feel a name is a gift and each of our children deserves one that has been thought about, pondered and carefully considered. As soon as they are set in stone we will put them out there...for now we are going to avoid the opinions, not because we don't value them, but rather because we do. Then we get really confused and start going backward and it just ain't no fun!