Rathjen Family

Rathjen Family
Rathjen, Party of EIGHT

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Walkin' with Rance

After church Rance and I went on a walk. Daddy kept the others and for the first time in a long time- it was just us.  I got a really sweet Schwinn bike for Christmas, from my parents that I am dying to try out.  Yep, parents even buy their adult children bikes for Christmas.  We had trouble navigating the mud, snow, and slush, so we swapped the wheels for bogs.  Smart move.  If you have never taken the time to just listen to a five year old talk...you are missing out.  The way their minds work is quite entertaining fascinating.  He had to take a backpack and a gun and holster (in case we saw a mountain lion).  The freaky part is, some one killed one on our property not too long ago.  Rance's gun was obviously not real, so I found myself wondering if a mountain lion would be threatened by the looks of one.  I decided, probably not.

As we are going along, I start trying to get to the bottom of why he did not want to go to church this morning.  I start by explaining why we go.  One of the things I brought up, is we are able to learn ways we can help others.  "I love helping poor people," Rance says.  "I think when you see a poor person, you should pretend they are rich.  That way, you will treat them good."  "I know if Jesus was walking, say in like Africa, and he saw someone just sitting on the side of the road, homeless, He would give them everything He had in his pockets."  Hmmmm...so you are learning something.  "I like to help people cause' it makes me feel good on the inside."  Hmmmm....so you are feeling things.  "I like to go to church, it's just that sometimes, I don't."  Of course, you are a child and you need guidance.  But yelling and threatening and pushing you out the door is not "guidance."  I think I need to start treating Sunday's like holidays.  We should work hard at making it a day the kids look forward to.  What do kids want more than anything else?  Time.  Time with people they love.  One on one time.  Play time.  Time to play with friends and family.  That happens to be exactly what we do on holidays.  We look forward to them mostly because they are centered around fellowship.  What is a Thanksgiving meal when you are eating it alone?  Not near as tasty.  Of course kids look forward to gifts, but honestly, Christmas is made memorable by who we spend it with.  Holiday's don't have to be expensive.  You don't have to spend lots of money to create a great meal.  You can simply throw on some spaghetti and meatballs and you know the kids are pleased anyway.

We have spent so many Sundays being lazy, catching up, getting ready for the week, stocking the cabinets.  I think, we need to get back to making them special.  Holy.  About worship.  About Him.

Rance and I sat on a bridge and talked.  We threw rocks at the icy lake.  We ventured out onto the ice, which my husband informed me we should not have done.  I figured if it could hold the cows, it could hold me.  It should have occurred to me who I was talking to before we gave all the details.  Haha.  I worked very hard at not rushing my little guy.  I even stopped with him to let his stuffed bear pee.  (Rance has quite the imagination.)  What I got~refreshed.  A refreshed me and a refreshed kid.

Be blessed,


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Our 1st CNY

I discovered last Saturday night the Chinese New Year may just be more fun to celebrate than the American New Year. Most Americans bring in the New Year with a few friends and some cocktails. I am sure some people have cool traditions but I have never been exposed to any.

The Chinese however, (as well as other Asians) have several really neat traditions. The main one is-they eat. It's a time for lots and lots of food, including dumplings, noodles, rice, and deliciously prepared vegetables. They also pass out red envelopes to the children with money inside. The money the children collect is their spending money for the entire year. Leading up to the new year, they clean their homes from top to bottom, sweeping away the bad luck. Each family member gets a new set of clothing to wear for this special time. They relish in the moments of enjoying the company of their friends and family for FOUR days!

We had a little gathering at a friends house last Saturday night. Asian adoptees as well as local Asian families gathered together in their Asian attire and listened to Asian music, ate Asian food and did some crafts. We had a wonderful time.

It is so important to me our boys grow up learning about their birth countries traditions and culture. I want them to be proud of where they came from. I never want them to feel we took them away and never looked back. I want them to have a sense of who they are. They are all American boys, born in China and I pray they are proud of their unique story.

In hope,


Monday, February 4, 2013

Love Without Boundaries-Part One: Healing Homes

Since we got home with the boys,  I have been considering volunteering for Love Without Boundaries.  I can finally say, I am one!  I fell in love with this organization when I learned they had taken in my twin boys, one by one, when they were extremely sick and helpless in China.  Love Without Boundaries has healing homes, also known as Foster Care Centers.  There is Heartbridge, in Beijing, which is the one my boys were in.  They also have Anhui Healing home in Anhui, which is a cleft healing home, as well as True Children's Healing Home which is in Fujian.  Until a week ago, there was one in Henan, called the Henan Healing Home.  Tragically, it was closed down and all the children are now living with Foster Families, except one, which had to go back to the orphanage.  The government implemented this change in Henan after a fire broke out in a foster home outside of Kaifeng, killing seven children.  It was a tragic incident but it deeply saddens me that the Love Without Boundaries home was closed as a result.  Their home was very modern and well staffed.  They had plans in place if there was indeed a fire, including aprons that would allow them to carry out several babies at once.  None the less, it has happened.  Therefore, we must be grateful the home helped as many as it did and pray for those who have been relocated as they adapt to this change in their life.

I will be writing updates on children to their sponsors.  This is so awesome to me, considering while Trigg and Ivor were in China, we sponsored them through LWB, and these monthly letters were highly anticipated as we waited to bring them home.  Since they have been home we have sponsored other children and it is such a joy being a part of their journey and healing  as they receive the love and care they so desperately need.

Healing Homes are places for healing, simply put.  If you would like to be a sponsor, I have included a link to enable you to do so.  If you have any questions... please don't hesitate to ask.

Below is a photo of Trigg and one of Ivor taken at Heartbridge,