Rathjen Family

Rathjen Family
Rathjen, Party of EIGHT

Friday, January 27, 2012

Feeling the Labor Pains in this Paperwork Pregnancy

After we got our LOA's we were able to apply for the boys' Visa's. We then got another stack of paperwork to fill out and I am realizing as it is all labeled "Travel this and Travel that," this pregnancy is sliding into the 3rd trimester. I believe we are having some Braxton Hicks. I am so freaked out that I am going to fill something out wrong, or not send it to the right place...or God forbid-miss something! Sigh I just really want this part to be behind us.

To add to the pressure, it's time to decide who all is coming along! We really want to take the kids.

Tyler is 17 years old, has always loved to travel and learn about other places and desperately wants to come. He raised a lot of money through fund raising to go on a school related trip to Europe last year. He did not reach the target amount and wasn't able to go. The money he did raise, will cover his expenses on this trip. We still have the factor of him missing 2 weeks of school his Junior Year.

Zoe is nine. She ends her nightly prayer with "and Lord, please help me get to China." Bless her heart. She is very excited about this adoption. She definately has her mama's heart, and I can see her traveling down a similar path on her own some day. I think it will be extremely beneficial to her to come. I home school her, the world is her class room and I think this experience would be amazing for her.

And of course you have Rance. Rance is very excited to be a BIG brother. I feel like he will be the hardest on the trip, but I also feel he is the most at risk for being angry with us or the twins upon our return if he is not part of it. When I returned from Uganda, he was bitter with my mom because she had watched him for a lot of the time. We came to the conclusion later, that he had blamed her for my extended absence for some reason. I guess 3 year olds just find someone to blame.

The problem: It is costly. I am so fortunate my mom and possibly dad are coming. We will have the extra hotel room anyway. We will have their help and support. I think we need to just bite the bullit and make it a family affair. Praying for clarity...

As all this spins through my mind, I think about two absolutely adorable, charming, and breath taking boys, half way around the world that are getting closer and closer to having their very own mom and dad and I just want to squeal! EEEEK! I cannot wait to get those babies in my arms. Trigg, Ivor, we are coming!



Monday, January 23, 2012

Letter of Acceptance!!!

Today was a big day! Late morning, Love Without Boundaries Sponsorship program (my parents sponsor Trigg) sent a letter letting us know Trigg's FINAL surgery was a success, Praise God! He is now recovering and is getting close to being reunited with his twin, Ivor. Yay!!!! And if that wasn't enough...late afternoon, I received the long awaited, (46 days) LOA. We are getting closer... I have butterflies! I zipped right over to the office, we got those babies signed and shot it right back to our agency. Now they will file our immigration paperwork. We wait - again - for that. But that's ok, because this thing is moving!

As I was reading over this mighty important document, I came across a line that stirred my emotions (that's not hard to do). Each document lists the boys' names, date of birth, and sex. Then, it says:

Identity: institutionalized child whose birth parents cannot be ascertained

Wow. I am person who grew up in loving home, who was rocked to sleep by my mother as an infant, who knows my parents, and knows them well. I also know they love me and would do anything for me. So to try to wrap my mind around what it must feel like to so many children, millions, and millions of children to have this as their "identity," is impossible. My heart breaks for these children. I prayed a prayer a long time ago, that the Lord would break my heart for the things that break His. I believe my prayer is being answered.

It is our responsibility now, yours and mine; to help Trigg Cody and Ivor Jude to find their real identity. Soon, we will get the chance to love them like Jesus loves us. To ADOPT them, like He has adopted us. To teach them, they were made in His image, and they are beautiful. He knew before they were even born, they would have a mother and a father...He knew.

Step by Step, Day by Day...

Hang in there with us~



Saturday, January 21, 2012

Nine Years

Nine years have gone by since I first looked into my daughters eyes. Nine years and about six months has passed since I first heard her heart beat. Nine years has flown by, not passed, since God sent her our way. Nine years! Wow. People say, "it goes by so fast." Oh, how right they are.

I look back and I think, I remember placing her in an infant seat so big it seemed to swallow her. I recall coming around the corner to a tiny little girl with a whale spout on her head, covered in lentils, smiling up happily at me from her high chair. I look back on the times she was not even tall enough to reach the door knob, and I think to myself, what if I forget? What if I forget all these little moments? Thank goodness for photos and video cameras.

Zoe Cadence has truly blessed us. She is bright and sunny, to say the least. She makes us laugh. She has an incredible heart, she genuinely cares about others and she loves with all she has.

As I watch her develop into a young lady, I get excited about the person she is becoming. She is eager to learn about different cultures and places. She wants to see it all and do it all, and she dreams big. I am excited to see what God has planned for her life.

We celebrate the last nine years with our sweet girl, and thank God for choosing us.

Happy Birthday Love.


Friday night she got some of her girlfriends together and they went swimming.

Then I brought them all to our home and they partied the night away, crafting, eating, and lots of giggling! I think they had a girly-girl good time!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Persistence ~ Patience ~ Prayer

I'm persistent not patient. God is clearly working on me currently, as I PRAY these baby boys home. We are at a "standstill.". Well, kind of. We are waiting for our "LOA." This stands for "Letter of Aceptance," and it is due to come between January 8th and February 8th (give or take). Needless to say, I hoped it would be here January 8th. I'm praying, fasting sometimes pleading, with God that this much anticipated document come quickly. It will come by email, so every time I hear my phone ding I hurry to check it. Every time it's another silly advertisement, I'm some what disappointed. I keep telling myself to relax, it will come, but I remember God wants us to PRAY.. So I do, and beg a little, and I haven't seen it yet.

HOWEVER, HE.is.faithful. He always knows just what I need.

Around lunchtime on January 5th, my mom calls, somewhat frantic. She is beyond excited to tell me the boys current photos have just popped up on Facebook in her newsfeed. (I love my mom, and especially love her enthusiasm for life). Love Without Boundaries had posted them. I of course hurry to the computer, and sure enough, there they are, two of the most darling children in China!


This event prompted me to start looking around on Love Without Boundaries Facebook page. There was an album on there containing 3,870 photos. I began searching back through them, and low and behold, there were my babies! Some photos together, some separate, and as I continued to go further back in the album, I found their newborn photos. I found information written under these photos, telling parts of their story...for instance I know now my sweet little guys were reunited on November 9th. And now they can know these little (but big) details one day too. What a blessing, what a gift. So as I try to wait patiently for a document, I am given these gifts, and to Him I am so thankful.

Join me in praying for the timing of our adoption.



Here are some of my favorites of the little munchkins-

Here they are together!