Rathjen Family

Rathjen Family
Rathjen, Party of EIGHT

Friday, July 27, 2012

Mission Accomplished!

You may remember the shout out in this post:


Well...the quilt is finished! 

We felt a huge out pour of love and support once this project was under way.  People as far as Germany, and as close as our home town showed their support through donations to help bring home our babies.  It was humbling, moving, and totally amazing to see first hand the love other's shared for these two little boys who deserve a family.  We received checks in the mail as well as online donations from friends, family, and people we had never met.  It was truly incredible.  I won't keep the exciting news from you.  The total money donated came to:


Thank you ~ Gracias ~ 謝謝 ~ Danke ~ Terima Kasih  ~ спасибо ~ gratias ~ Asante ~ ありがと

When we set out to adopt, we never imagined all God would teach us through this journey.  We learned how true the saying is..."He will provide."  We saw how much He wants the oprhans in homes.  We learned how kind this broken world can really be.  We learned that prayer really does work.  We found that people really do care.  We discovered that He is in control.  We learned to trust His timing.  We found out what it feels like to be in the center of His will. 

We also want to thank all the families who provided meals and support once we were home.  It is truly imeasurable how much it helps. 

We thank God for the sending us people like you...


Many Blessings,

Misty and Family

"In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35

Monday, July 23, 2012

Happy Birthday Hubby :)

The new "Father of Five" turned 33 today! His memory is slipping already, he had to ask me how old he was~ Uh-oh.

We celebrated his birthday Saturday with his dad, my mom and my aunt and uncle as well as some cousins, and of course Ryan. Not to mention pine-apple upside down cake. Yikes.

Zoe, is preparing him dinner tonight. She has chosen to make meatloaf, baked potatoes and glazed carrots. Mmm-mmm good!

I think it's important to let kids do things for others that really comes strait from their heart. Giving is something that benefits the giver, even more than the reciever. It is heart warming, rewarding and fullfilling to give of yourself. Often a service is much more appreciated than a material item, so the next time you can't think of what to get daddy from the kids, consider a service!



Thursday, July 19, 2012

Ivor Has a Happy Heart

"I am recording in Ivor's medical records that he has a normal and healthy heart". These were the words spoken by the Pediatric Cardiologist today after he listened to Ivor's heart and reviewed the echo.

We knew Ivor had a hole in his heart when he was a baby. When we were in the process of adopting the twins, we received a call, letting us know. We took it strait to God and started praying. We had it prayed over in church one Sunday as well.

When we brought Ivor home, no one could hear the murmur. Not the doctor in China, not our pediatricians here. Then, while in Denver, the pediatrician at Children's thought he heard it and ordered an echo.

Today, we heard music to our ears when he was cleared!

Praise God for our sweet boys happy little heart.



Wednesday, July 18, 2012


I am the kind of person that loves FAMILY. I love getting together with aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, nieces, nephews, my sisters, and my parents. I have a very close family. We see each other a lot.

This past weekend we enjoyed our annual Lake Weekend," we call it. We have been gathering at Navajo Lake for nine years now in mid July. We look so forward to it and our kids have gotten to where they know exactly what to expect and it is officially a tradition.

Trigg and Ivor loved their first "Lake Days," trip. They are so amazing, the way they just adapt, and act like they have been with us forever. They loved the boat and the camp fires and the relatives doting over them. Several times, I would reflect on the past year and how hard it was to get them here and how long I waited, but oh, how worth it!

Watching two children go from being orphans and living in an institution, to being in a family is amazing. They bloom. Their personalities have exploded. Ivor was always described as sensitive, and a sympathy cryer. He would fall apart when he heard other babies cry. I imagine that was pretty often, considering where he was. He is not that guy now! He laughs several times a day. He is silly and sweet.

Trigg went from throwing fits and losing his marbles over every little thing to pouting a minute and getting over it. He is witty and flirtatious. They are both stronger and happier. Why? Because they are in a family. They belong. They are part of a group of people who love each other. Even the best orphanage or care center can't replace that.

If you have a family, realize you have something that 147 million children in the world don't. Family is a gift. Appreciate your family members, support them, reach out to them, they are yours and you are blessed to have them.

Be Blessed,


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Day at the Children's GI Clinic

Today was all about Trigg. We did not learn anything we did not know, but it was confirmed we are caring for him correctly. Phew. Our doctor was a cool Asian dude and he seemed to think our twinkles were pretty cute.

We love the Children's Hospital. Very neat place, but definitely sad to see all the sick children. I felt very weighed down by the reality of where we were. Then it dawned on me how fortunate these children are to live in a place were they can access great medical care and they have hope.

The wagons are great and Trigg and Ivor love them. Today I snapped some shots of our true warriors.

Monday, July 9, 2012

A Day at the Children's Cleft Clinic

Today was all about Ivor Jude. We finally had our CL/CP consultation.

Here is what we learned:

Children should get their palate closed around 12 months of age. Ivor is 22 months. We should do this ASAP. However, when a surgery is done on a newly adopted child, it can in some cases create issues with trust. The child is finally getting comfortable in their new family and then a traumatic event takes place- the surgery. However, in some cases, it creates a time for the child to "need" mom and dad, so it may create a stronger bond. You just don't know till you go down that road.

We learned Ivor will stay 1-2 nights in the hospital and then be on his way. His recovery will take about two weeks in which he will be on all puréed foods.

He will most likely not have his nostril repaired until he is 5 or 6.

He needs some genetic testing.

He does in fact still have a hole in his heart. We will now need to have that evaluated by a cardiologist.

Ivor is one tough little cookie.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The 4th of July and Finding an Old Friend

We had a great holiday this year! The first one with our family of seven. It was so cool seeing our two newest members sporting their red, white and blue and enjoying a warm summer day, chomping on some watermelon in a FREE country!

Another super duper exciting thing I can't wait to share, is my reunion with a special little friend. This past Sunday we had outdoor service in the park and across the lawn I spotted a (too cute for words) little African boy, running, tumbling and giggling his way around. Right away, I knew who it was: Jethro!

Jethro lived in one of the orphanages I was fortunate enough to serve in on my Uganda Mission over a year ago. At the time, Jethro required a lot of attention. He was a thin, frail, nine month old baby with serious burns on most of his torso. The first time I saw this precious boy, he was whimpering in his crib, flat on his back, stiff as a board. Big tears streamed down his brown cheeks. I picked him up and his many bandages were revealed. Immediately, I asked a "momma" what had happened to this poor boy. She informed me this baby had pulled a pot of boiling water off the stove and burned a large area on his mid section. Hmmm, something very unsettling about this story.

Day after day, we returned. Our team fell in love with Jethro, especially my good friend Stacy. We were able to change his bandages, feed him bottles and sing him sweet songs. As the days went on Stacy especially grew more and more attached to him. She spoke to the director about the possibility of adopting him, and got some indirect answers. She prayed and prayed for him and for God to give her some direction.

After our return home, Stacy and her husband talked and prayed a lot about little Jethro. Eventually, God showed them he was not their child. Their prayers for Jethro changed direction. They began to pray his mommy and daddy would find him soon. Stacy and her family began their adoption process on their sweet daughter, Olya, as she continued to pray for Jethro's future.

Prayers were answered and mountains were moved, and just recently, Jethro's parents brought him home after serving as missionaries for several months in Uganda. They are two wonderful, Jesus loving people and they plan on returning to Uganda, with Jethro in tow, and living there permanently as missionaries.

Now that you know the background, you can imagine the emotions that waved over me as I saw this once neglected, injured little orphan child, running and laughing amongst hundreds of people who love him.

These are the stories that give me hope. I never dreamed that frail little boy would belong to my church. I never dreamed I would see him again. But my God is and awesome God and He has big plans for that little one, as he does the rest of them. I pray each family is as blessed as Jethro's, and that each child is as loved as him by a mommy and a daddy.

I scooped him up and kissed those soft little brown cheeks and could not help but look at his once burned tummy. What I saw is nothing short of a miracle. I.saw.nothing. The skin was normal colored and just as soft and smooth as the rest of him. Thank you Jesus for healing. Thank You for loving the least of these, for bringing them home to a free country. Thank you for trusting us with them.



You can read more on Jethro on his families blog : journeyfortheorphan.blogspot.com as well as on Stacy's : imaginethatpushinglimits.blogspot.com

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Tummy Trouble

Fifteen days after we got home I started to feel very sick. I went to the doctor and discovered I had Giardia. Naturally, we got the twins tested. Ivor tested positive for it as well and Trigg for a different parasite called Crypto. We were all put on medication. Soon after, Zoe and Rance began feeling sick. It was assumed, they too had it and were treated. Poor Zoe has continued to feel bad. A few days ago we had her tested and she has yet a DIFFERENT one. Tomorrow is July 4th. I am in hopes I can get my hands on the medicine she needs at some point. This is really starting to freak me out, and overwhelm me a bit.

Why are there parasites in China? Parasites are everywhere. However, it is more common to get them there do to the unclean water and lack of refrigeration. I wish we knew exactly where we ingested them.

Here are some tips for all you world travelers:

Don't drink the water. Don't even brush your teeth with it.

Wash your hands every chance you get, especially if you are caring for a baby.

Only eat thoroughly cooked foods.

Pray-pray-pray! Seriously.

Please pray that these darn things would be out of our lives forever very soon!

Just think, some children in orphanages and people living in poor conditions all around the world are infected with parasites and may never receive treatment. They will live day after day with tummy aches, fatigue and all the other nasty symptoms that can arise. Did you know, some of these parasites, if left untreated can be deadly?

We are beyond blessed to live where we have access to healthcare. Thank God for that and for the healing He gives us.