Rathjen Family

Rathjen Family
Rathjen, Party of EIGHT

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Winding Down and Looking Up

After a wonderful Christmas, a great one, one full of joy, excitement and love, we are looking toward a new year. A year we will add two more beautiful children to our family, Lord willing, and a year I will continue to grow as a mother, a wife, and a follower of Christ.

But first, we will look back and remember 2011.

This year, Clay and I each lost a grandparent as well as a good friend taken far too young from us.

We moved our family, again. This time to the home Clay grew up in for most of his childhood.

I fulfilled a life long dream. I went on a mission to Uganda, Africa.

Zoe had her most successful year of her life in rodeo, thanks to Turbo, Papa and Charmaine. She brought home a record 3 buckles in one summer.

Rance turned from a toddler to a kid and started pre-school.

Tyler joined the National Honors Society and went to State with the Bayfield Wolverine football team. He also earned his 2nd high school letter.

As I reminisce, I look up. I thank the Lord for the year, for the hedge of protection He provided over my children, my husband and myself and our parents. I thank Him for the beautiful people of Uganda, many of which, I now call my friends. I thank Him for the success he has allowed my children to experience. I thank Him, that not a day went by this past year, that my family felt hunger and we had no food to give them, that they needed shelter, and it was not available. I thank Him that we have started the journey toward adoption, another one of my life long dreams. I thank Him, and I know I don't thank Him enough.

So, for 2012, I pray that I am reminded to thank Him more. I pray that my family will not only be rich physically, that we will also be richer in faith. I pray that we will each get to know our Creator more this year. I pray we will spend more time in the Word. I pray He will continue to guide us through our adoption and keep our treasures safe and protected for us. All of them...all five of them.

2012~we are ready for you.



Monday, December 12, 2011

LID~and looking back at the match...

This morning we recieved confirmation that on 12/08/2011 our information was officially logged in, in Chin*!!!! Woo~Hoo~

I have been saving these up for a special day, to have a special way to celebrate the L.I.D. (Log In Date)! We have not yet shared our "match" photos with the public. I think it's only fair that the sweet people that are rooting for our boys, praying them home and supporting our cause, get to see the very first photos we saw of our little guys. They stole our hearts from the moment we first layed eyes on them. It's amazing to see how much they have changed, and sad to think of all we have missed in their lives; first smiles, rolling over, sitting up, crawling and recently Trigg's first steps. But we also know there will be so many "first's" once we meet them, I think it will be amazing in its own way. We long for that day...

In the meantime, we await new photos and updates. We jump for joy with each step of completion.

What a journey, oh what a ride!

Enjoy these sweet faces....

Trigg Cody~official match photo

Ivor Jude~official match photo

Trigg Cody~In his Bumpo Seat

Ivor Jude~In his Bumpo Seat

Trigg Cody~chillin' in his walker

Ivor Jude~having some floor time

Trigg Cody~having some floor time

Ivor Jude~just being cute



Friday, December 9, 2011

Shocking Statistics

Our agencey, CCAI (Ch*nese Children Adoption Internat*onal) just sent out a newsletter announcing their Number 1 ranking in the WORLD. They are truly amazing. In the newsletter were some numbers that shocked me.

9,664 children have found their forever families through our agency.
8,770 of them were beautiful little girls.
894 of them were bouncing baby boys.
1,886 of these children were special kiddos with some special needs.
Included in these numbers were 71 sets of twins/siblings, confirming that...

our boys are truly one in a million! You will agree when you read this paragraph taken directly from the newsletter:

And I quote:

"The orphan population in Chinese orphanages today is quite different from what it was five or ten years ago. In most orphanages, 90% of the children are children with physical and/or mental special needs. Among all the special needs children, less than 10% are truly adoptable. Even among the adoptable, only a small percentage will have the opportunity to find a forever home because of the reality that families who are willing and able to adopt a child with special needs are understandably in the minority."


So, as I did, you ask yourself, why so many with special needs? After reading through this letter, I think I finally understand. As our economy declines, China's is actually improving. In 1986 a college professor made approximately $8 per month. Now days, a college professor makes about $1000 per month. Big Improvement! What does that mean for orphans? Well, it means now families can afford to pay the "fine" for having more than one child rather than abandon them. Another big change in China has been that boys are no longer prefered, and the sexes are being abandoned equally. Phew...that's good. Can you even imagine a country full of men, fighting over the few women? The men need us, ladies!

Do to the fine, along with the costs to care for children with special needs, they are the ones more commonly abandoned.

I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you.
John 14:18

Have a blessed day,


Thursday, December 8, 2011

He Listens and He Heals

As we work on the adoption, putting one foot in front of the other, celebrating each step, life still happens. My grandma had to put her husband of over 50 years into a nursing home yesterday for better hospice care. My son's undefeated football team made it to state and experienced their first loss of the season, in the most important game of the year. My husband continues to battle our suffering economy in order to support our family. Along with the rest of you, I am trying to pave the path to another beautiful and memorable Christmas by decorating, buying gifts, making gifts, mailing cards and baking. And through it all, our Lord is with us and He listens and He heals. Let me share with you a story...

In the middle of the night last night, Rance woke me. He was in anguish, he was tossing and turning. He was holding his tummy (which I could hear grumbling), and he was swallowing, CONSTANTLY. Clearly, he was going to throw up. I carried him to the kitchen, selected a bowl to take to bed with us for the dreaded moment. He informed me, we needed a bigger bowl. I ignored the request and went back to bed. He started shivering, brought his knees up in attempt to comfort himself, and I waited...waited for it to come.

I began praying. I prayed healing for his tummy. I prayed the blood of Jesus over my son, and I prayed some more. And what I saw was truly amazing. Amazing, just like our God. Rance's little face relaxed, his knees relaxed, along with his body and this little person, peacefully fell back to sleep. I kept telling God, I trust you have just healed him and I can go back to sleep.

In the morning, I woke, next to my little guy and thought back, I never did need that bowl. When Rance woke up this morning, he looked at me and said, "Jesus healed me again, Mommy." We thanked Him and on we went with our day.

It is comforting knowing all the broken hearts on the football team, Jesus is healing, and He is listening. The struggling economy, Jesus is listening and He is with us. My Grandparents, Jesus is healing and He is comforting....

Thank God we are not in this thing called "life" alone...



Friday, December 2, 2011

We are DTC! (Dossier to China)

Finally! All the document gathering, notarizing, certifying, authenticating, mailing, tracking and waiting on papers is through (for the most part). Last week our paper chase came to a close and the our pile of paperwork made it's way through translation and is on it's way to CHINA!!!

Trigg Cody and Ivor Jude~ Daddy and Mommy are one step closer to you beautiful boys!

We will diligently pray that your paperwork travels quickly through the system in China so we can have you home soon, surrounded by siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles, grandparents and friends. FAMILY! That's what is in your future baby boys~a FOREVER FAMILY!

God would have nothing less for you!