Tuesday, June 23, 2009

It's here! It's really here!

OH MY HENNA! He will never cease to amaze me! As I entered into this adoption, my time frame has NEVER been the same as His! Why should it amaze me that I received my REFERRAL ACCEPTANCE (RA)papers in less than 4 weeks? Yes, you read that correctly...my REFERRAL ACCEPTANCE is here! For those of you not familiar in the adoption community, The RA is the next piece of paper I needed for my adoption! Some agencies will call this a Letter of Acceptance (LOA). They are the same thing. It was supposed to take 1-3 months after I received my Pre-approval. NOPE! God decided He wanted to do it sooner! Woohoo! In about 3 weeks time He did it. The next step is waiting for my travel approval. I don't have papers in front of me because I am sitting in an airport in Seoul, South Korea waiting for my plane to take me home but I think it is now 2-6 weeks to wait for my Travel Approval (TA) and then about 2 weeks until I travel.

Here is your part in all of this. PR*Y! PR*Y long! PR*Y hard! PR*Y without ceasing that all the money I need comes in. He is sooooooooo good that I know He already has this all worked out. I was hoping to be able to work 6 weeks of summer school to raise the money but He may have a different plan. I am hoping that all of this testifies too all of His power and His greatness as we trust in Him and walk where He wants us to especially when the world looks at us and says we are crazy. Crazy for giving up a job that pays almost 10 times what I am making in Ch*na...Crazy for giving up job security...Crazy for not having health insurance (which may be different now that I will have a daughter)...just plain CRAZY for going to Ch*na when you are alone and no one there to support you emotionally. I have seen Him do miracles at Shepherd's Field Children's Village and I believe He can do a miracle financially in my adoption! Just keep on pr*ying! I am thankful for all my prayer warriors out that! I couldn't have done all that He did through me this year without you behind me. You are like the people left back in the camp when Joshua went out for battle. Thank you for your continued support. I can't wait until I find out when I can finally post a picture of her on here for all of you to see!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Children's Day

Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me. Matthew 18:5

June 1st is Children's Day in Ch*na. It is as big as Mother's Day is in the states! People go all out to celebrate! Our children were going to celebrate too! Each one of them is a gift from above and they were going to know that! Needless to say...celebrating with 250 adults and 175 children is not a simple matter. It takes lots of planning and lots of people to put it together. Fortunately, we had Dawn Choate's team, the Benslay family, Sally Lockett of Portion for Orphans and Janelle and Jeff Cater here to help. We spent the day blowing up pools and pool toys, washing tables and chairs and made some potato salad from 50 potatoes. In the evening, we made 230 hamburgers, cut almost 400 rolls, and peeled/cut 100 potatoes for more potato salad.
Potato salad and jiao zi central started first thing in the morning. One thousand jiao zi were made! I was blessed to be able to use our new kitchen with the Shepherd's Field chef! I don't think he knows what to think of me yet but he will get used to me by next year!

Dawn and Shepherd's Field Cook

Throughout this year, I have spent plenty of time in the Baker's kitchen. Xiao Wang, one of the Baker's ayis (nannies) is used to me and my American food. She and I spent the time making some deviled eggs and the rest of the potato salad.
Xiao Wang and I

While we were cooking, the children sang for all our staff and guests. We had over 350 people on the grounds today celebrate children. Teacher Wangs students did an awesome job. The children were dressed in their best and looked adorable, from the youngest to the oldest.


Emily, Margaret and Luke




Tiffany (Mei Mei)


Teacher Zhang's students

Kathy, Anya, Joy, Fiona, Jerak Robbins and Elizabeth

Teacher Wang's students join the group

(L to R) Christina, Joy, Fiona, Jerak Robbins, Elizabeth

(L to R)Anya, Kathy, Timothy (L to R) Gregg, Jamison, Joseph, Seth

There are so many pictures I want to post but there isn't enough room! Check me out on Facebook.com. Friend me (Dawn Rittenhouse) to see more pictures. These children are truly a gift. They do embody His unconditional love. Come one day and meet them. Better yet, adopt one and take them home as your own child!

Good Morning

My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD; In the morning I will direct it to You, And I will look up. Psalm 5:3

Hearing the voice of the one that you love first thing in the morning is such a sweet sound. I imagine that is how our voices sound to Him every day. What a gift we have to be able to have a G*d that loves us enough that He wants to talk to us.

I hear Him everyday too! I start my morning off by hearing Him in the children here at Shepherd's Field Children's Village. What a gift! My apartment is directly across from Samaritan's House and first thing in the morning, one ayi (nanny) loves to take her children with her as she gets food from the kitchen or brings the trash out. As a speech therapist, you know any one who is really helping children's language to grow by how they talk to the children and how the children imitate them. This is what I hear every morning with this nanny. When the puppies were outside, I would here her say "xiao gou" (meaning small dog) and Zephaniah, Emily, and Margaret would be repeating it right back. It brings a smile to may face, even though it is happening at 5:30 in the MORNING right outside my window while I am trying to bury myself deeper under my covers. Any of you who know me well know I love my sleep and mornings are challenging to me! G*d has a funny sense of humor as He does these things! I just wanted to share with you what I woke up to this morning outside my window.

Zephaniah (tricycle) and Luke (red car)

Adrian (blue and white car), Mei Mei (Tiffany),
Tristan (in orange) and Ginger on the potty

Who says potty training has to occur inside? :) Have potty, will travel!

One of my latest tasks I have chosen to do first thing in the morning is to take care of an abandoned kitten. This one was abandoned last Sunday and it was not ready to be without a mother. I have been feeding it formula with an eye dropper.
For a few days, it started to take in more and more food and was doing well. Over the past two days it has started to deteriorate...probably the reason the mother abandoned it. I don't expect it will make it through the day as its breathing is slow and labored. Many have asked "Why do you feed it? Why don't you just let nature take it's course?" This is the reason why.
This is Ling Ling. She is 16 and comes over daily to check on the puppies and the kittens. She helps me feed them and she in turn gets some unconditional love right back. Isn't that why many of us have pets?

Ling Ling and Obi Wan
I made a rules for the boys. We don't name any of the "orphaned" pets anymore. This means they are ours. Our daily pr*yer when we get new "orphans" is that the puppies and kittens get homes. He answered the one for the puppies. The kittens may be going to an pet shop in Shunyi later next week as I will be heading home for the summer soon. Until then, Ling Ling will help me by giving them love, food and some attention.

Ling Ling and I
I am so thankful for my time with Ling Ling. She is precious. The older girls here have a hard time with her as she is a little sister mentally yet in a teenager's body. I love that about her. She just loves life to the fullest! She finds joy in the little things, such as riding tricycles that don't fit her, riding bikes with a broken seat and figuring out a way to do it because it is her favorite one or coming over to check on the liang ge xiao gou (2 puppies)and wu ge xiao mao (5 kittens) as soon as school is done for the day. Her smile always brightens my day. May you too come to love the Ling Lings in your own life.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." Romans 8:15

Many mothers have certain things she pr*ys for before she has her child in her arms. I can say that I have several. My latest is for her vision. As an albino, she will have vision problems. I do not know the extent but I do know she will have them. My pr*yer is that she will be able to see her mama's face and see how much I love her. I also want her to "see" Him in me.

All along, I have always pr*yed that someone would come to see her before she came to me that would love her with His love. I was given that opportunity as I visited 3 precious little girls in Jianjin. I shared His love with them and pr*yed over them before they were placed in their families. I now have shared pictures with their forever families. I desire that too for my little one.

A few days ago, a women named Erin came here to visit a team from Florida. As Erin and I spoke, I shared with her that my daughter was from the city she works in. She told me that she knew a woman who spends time at that orphanage. I emailed her. Guess what? He hears the desires of our heart! He sent someone to spend time with her! My daughter is said to be "very, very, very lovey! She loves to hug and NOT let go." Sounds like she has "touch" as her love language too! I can't wait to be the one that she is hugging but I am glad that He sent someone to her before she is mine to love her! Wow! That is how much He loves each one of us! He wants to fulfill all our dreams, wrap them up in the prettiest of boxes and hand deliver them to us when we least expect it! This is as good if not better than an update from the orph*nage!

I am so glad that someone else has been hugging my daughter for me. I need to ask you a favor though. For those of you who have adopted children...there are many days and years that you didn't get to hug your child. Hug them an extra time today...hug them just a little bit longer today...help to take away and replace those hugless days with all the hugs you have for them now. If you have children...hug them...hug them lots...hug them long and lovingly. Let them know how much they mean to you. We often think children know how much we love them but tell them that you do anyways. They may just be needing to hear it.