My sister is a publisher for a Louisiana magazine and each month she writes a column. This month she wrote that column about Ruthie. I thought it was a beautiful picture of how God works in the hearts family members who may not understand your choices to adopt at first.
Here is the contents of the article:
One Last Thing
Several years ago, my sister announced to the family that she and her husband had decided to adopt a little girl from an orphanage in China. At the time, I didn’t understand. She had two healthy little boys and was clearly capable of having more children. So why adopt?
Not long after, she told us she had agreed to take a special needs child, and that really left me baffled. Most of us spend our pregnancies praying for a healthy child with no special needs, and Ginny has volunteered for the task? Did she know what she was getting herself into?
Fast forward to today. Ruthie Mei Henderson has been part of Ginny’s family for a year now, and all I can say is this: I am so envious.
Ruthie’s special need turned out to be her special gift. Ruthie has arthrogryposis, with her case best described as “wrist drop” in both arms with weak elbow and shoulder muscles. Ginny believes that without this disability, Ruthie would likely have spent more years at the orphanage, as many children do, in part so she could help with the younger children. Because she was disabled, we suspect she was adopted out sooner.
Her disability is also her special gift because it made her a perfect match for my sister, who is a physical therapist. Ginny was told by doctors that Ruthie would never be able to bend her arms to feed herself, but because Ginny is so skilled at working with her, Ruthie is already able to do this at just 3 years old.
I believe the biggest mistake God made, which he promptly corrected, was not giving her a disability, but rather having her born in China. This little girl was clearly meant to be an American.
The first meal that Ginny and her husband, Trent, had with Ruthie was in an American hotel in China. The staff at the orphanage told Ginny that Ruthie had never had anything but rice cereal, a bottle of milk, and biscuits, and they warned she might not like traditional American fare.
Well, the minute Trent sat down with a plate full of bacon and eggs, her eyes lit up, and she grabbed a piece of bacon. Trent tells the story she ate 5 pieces in that sitting. That’s when they knew she would fit in just fine in Houston, Texas.
But Ruthie is not just American, she’s an all-American girl. Each night when she climbs into bed she asks Ginny to open her closet door and let her pick out her dress she will wear tomorrow. Ginny then puts it on a chair beside her bed so she can look at it while she goes to sleep. I can only imagine how beautiful her brightly-colored clothes must seem to her compared to what she wore for two years in the orphanage.
Recently I had a flight cancelled while traveling and found myself spending the night in Houston. When Ginny and Trent picked me up at the airport, I crawled into the back seat of the car next to Ruthie. She immediately started hollering “Pink! Pink!” and proceeded to rip off her sandals and expose her toes.
Ginny turned around and instantly knew what was happening. I was sporting hot pink toenail polish, and Ruthie had never seen painted nails. I then insisted we pull over to a pharmacy where I took her in and let her pick out the polish she wanted. That night I gave Ruthie her first pedicure while Ginny looked on, snapping pictures. The best pictures, however, were the pictures of the manicure she insisted on giving me, with nail polish covering my fingers up to the second knuckle.
I have since told Ginny that if she ever decides she wants another girl from China, to check into two-for-one specials. In the meantime, I will revel in the Ruthie pictures and stories and marvel at the little angel who clearly won life’s lottery.