Happy Birthday, Ruthie!!!

I can not believe it. She’s five. Five years old and going on fifteen, y’all. How can it be that the baby we brought home from a Lagos orphanage, who couldn’t speak in sentences, or often even audible words, is bossing all her friends (and especially her brother) around like she owns the world?! The scared and shaken baby girl who couldn’t sleep without night terrors is now telling us over her favorite breakfast oatmeal about the silly dreams she had. Her face was once constantly an expression of “about to burst into the biggest tears.” Now, she sparkles, and laughs more than anything!

She isn’t “lucky” to be adopted: we are blessed to have her as a daughter. She isn’t better off because she’s now in America: she is healing and growing and thriving because she has a loving family. Ruth Arawa Haff is a wonder to behold, and we have the true privilege of loving her and telling her about Jesus. How bright she makes our days and how happy we are to call her daughter and sister! We are thankful to get to spend this birthday with her, and anticipating all the future birthdays to celebrate well!

Some of Ruth’s accomplishments and exciting life moments leading up to her fifth birthday:

Ruth has started to really embrace dance. She was able to take a class while we lived in Muskogee, and now that we’re settled in Elgin we are letting her choose her music and moves and watching that natural African rhythm work its way through her body! It’s so fun to see her express herself through dance!

Ruth has lost two teeth! Both of her bottom front teeth, just 2 days apart! The tooth fairy brought her a gold dollar each time. She was so excited! No more loose teeth yet, and her new ones are almost all the way grown in!

Ruth has grown, and when I say grown I mean gone through about 6 shoe sizes (including half sizes) in the past year! She is tall, lean, and has muscle tone that makes her daddy jealous, ha! She is definitely going to be the tallest in our family…

Ruth completed her physical therapy schedule and no longer needs orthotics! She will start speech therapy in school, but has already improved soooo much. We think a very talkative brother (and adenoids/tonsillectomy) had a little to do with that, ha!

Ruth can swim without any floatation device (with supervision) and swing on the monkey bars unassisted! She is learning and trying new things all the time! Ruth is PRIMED and ready for school. I have no doubt she is going to thrive and flourish and we can’t wait to see the growth she experiences in the 2019-2020 school year! I wish I could be a fly on the wall to see all the amazing things the kids will do… But I’ll settle for volunteering in their classroom for exclusive viewing!

Ruth has started asking questions about when she was a baby. We are telling her the things we know: that she wore a diaper, just like all babies do (the kids currently find diapers hilarious), she drank milk from her tummy mommy, and her tummy mommy was not able to take care of her the way she needed, so we wanted to be her forever family and give her a brother. A now, a sister! She seems content with those answers, and we know it won’t always be that easy. We wish we had more to give her about her past, but we will continue to teach her about the love of her Savior, and pray she will rest in his sovereignty when her questions are too big.

We love you so stinkin’ much, Ruthie-girl. You amaze us! We can’t believe we have a front row seat to the incredible show that is your life. Shine bright, sweetheart!