Isaiah 43:5

Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. Isaiah 43:5

Thursday, February 28, 2013

February Update

   February 1st through February 7th, our sweet oldest daughter, Linsey ran an "on-line auction" to help raise money for Lucy's adoption.  God really blessed her precious investment of time and energy!  Many generous friends and family donated and bid on the 100 various auction items and $4000 was raised to help bring our sweet girl home!!  We've been asked what the cost is to bring a Chinese orphan home to the United States.  While giving exact figures is almost impossible (namely because of variation in airfare costs) the approximate total it will cost for "Lucy's ransom" is $30,700.  Like all orphans she has no voice in the matter. This is the cost of bringing a Chinese orphan into a family here in the United States.  And let me tell you she is already worth it!!  How can we put a price tag on a life?  All life is created in HIS image.
God is already providing through His people and we are blessed to watch it unfold.  Very shortly our next fundraiser will be announced.  We're working on a  fun way to help raise more of Lucy's "ransom".  More info. coming SOON!
   Concerning the on going "paperwork trail".....on February 11th, we sent our “I-800A” application to the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services)
The thick mailer was sent via Fed. Ex. and had a folder that included our application to bring a child into the United States, a notoriety copy of our home study, two checks, one for processing the application and a second one for Kurt (because he is over 18 yrs. and lives at home), Merle and I to get the required biometric fingerprinting.  
    On February 15th, we received a text and e-mail that the mailer had arrived and we were given a number to refer to for any future correspondence.
     February 27th,  USCIS mailed the paperwork we'll need to have biometric fingerprinting  completed.  In an effort to "keep the process moving" as quickly as possible, we're going to take the paperwork we receive for fingerprinting and travel to York the first week in March and pray that they will take us as a "walk in" and allow the three of us to be fingerprinted.  

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Little Red Envelopes

   On Sunday, February 10th a dear friend handed me a little red envelope and told me it was for our  Lucy girl!  As I took the envelope from her, she proceeded to tell me about the Chinese tradition.  
   Chinese New Year, which began on February 10th this year, is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. Children in families receive money in red paper envelopes and celebrate with large feasts, festivals, and lots of time with relatives.
   I thanked my friend (dressed in a beautiful Chinese silk coat most likely gotten in China where she lived for several years), not only for the envelope and money but also for the education and sweet gesture of love.  I love to learn about culture!  And right now I'm especially excited to learn about the homeland of our newest daughter!
    At one point in the day a thought washed over me,  up until a few weeks ago, Lucy didn't  have her own family, has she ever received her own "Little Red Envelope"?  Most likely this is her very first!  
Lucy Kim, your special red envelope is waiting for you at home!  Happy Chinese New Year sweet girl!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Wait or Wake Up?

Hi Friends!
This is Merle writing  -
I’ve been thinking and reflecting the past few weeks about all the things God has done to confirm and facilitate our call to adoption. And as I look back at that sentence I just wrote I’m struck by the realization that it’s not about me and Kim. We’re just pieces of the puzzle He is using in the life of a little girl to bring glory to God. Praise God for His answers to prayer. As I look back, He has blazed such a clear path for us that we only had a few times (and they seem incredibly small now) that we felt lost or unsure.
I must say that this has so far not gone exactly as I envisioned. The process of adoption especially international adoption is an extremely long process. If you’ve read Kim’s earlier blog posts you know some of the red tape that is a part of the process. Friends of ours have been in this process for 3 or 4 times as long as us already and are still waiting to bring their child home. I was ready for this and expecting this. Scripture is very clear about God’s timing and we are encouraged to “wait on the Lord”(Isaiah 40:31, Psalm 27:14). I’m a pretty patient guy when it comes to the big things in life, especially the difficult ones.  I usually like to take lots of time before making a big decision, so I was prepared to wait for God’s clear timing. As usual God is always in the process of stretching us. While some of us need our faith stretched by waiting on God, mine was to be stretched by being pushed by God.

My early expectation was that the agency would send us a referral once our dossier was completed and approved by China. When Kim called me to the computer to watch the video of our “Little Miss So Sad” I had no expectation that this could be our daughter. In fact my “guard” was up as it often is when Kim shows me pictures of precious children in need. (See video here  When the video came to the image of Lucy waving at the camera, it felt like she was waving right at me.  I think I connected with her at that point, but it was such a long shot, could we really connect all the pieces to adopt this particular child? Our home study was not even complete; we still had forms to fill out and training to complete. This didn’t feel like “waiting on the Lord”. But as it turns out my faith was to accept what God was putting in front of us. We did a few things to see if our adoption agency could get Lucy’s file, and we had even given up thinking that this was perhaps our daughter. But God miraculously brought her file to us, and it was sweet confirmation that this was His will.
All I can say is that every day we love her more, and God can’t move too fast for me anymore. But perhaps now I’ll get my chance to wait on the Lord.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Helping to bring Lucy home!

Helping Lucy Home
     As the wonderful news of finding Lucy Kim circulates, some are asking how they can help in bringing her home.  We have created a separate page on this blog so that those who would like to financially support Lucy through a tax deductible gift could find all the information at one central location. 
    On the side bar of this blog is a Support Information"tab that will take you to a page that explains how you can donate. Thank you so very much for loving an orphan in such a tangible way!   "He sets the lonely in families!"  (Psalm 68:6) and we know that where God guides He will provide.
With Much Appreciation, 
Merle and Kim
(and Lucy Kim!)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Giving Miss So Sad a special name!

  Giving "Little Miss So Sad" a very special name!!

   Our sad looking little girl needs a name!  There are many names that we like, Bible names, family names and modern names….such a big decision!   Add in the adoption component, there is the decision of keeping or changing birth name or orphanage given name. (A discussion for another post).
   One evening as I was yet again thinking about the name thing, I was reflecting on special relatives that have passed on that have changed the course of our family's lives or what I will call “generation changers”.  There was one particular very special woman that came to my mind, my maternal great Grandmother.  She was one of those "generation changers".  Known as a hard working, kind and gentle woman whose faith was seen by the way she lived her life.   She was one of those Jesus lovers and had a personal relationship with Him!
   Fast forward two generations and  because of Great Grandma's love of Jesus, her granddaughter (my mother) was introduced to God and in turn accepted Him as her personal savior.  Both Merle and I were extremely blessed to have been brought up in God loving home.  Our parents had a strong and definite “love of Jesus”.
   How does that piece of  family history relate to naming our little girl?  My great Grandmother whom I wrote about above was the care taker for my mother!  You see my precious mother doesn't remember the love and care of her birth parents. She was “orphaned” shortly before her 2nd birthday. 
  However, in God’s providence she was raised under the loving hand of her paternal Grandmother, Lucy Rhodes!  
Reflecting on the fact that my mother was an orphan herself (our daughter Emily carries Mom’s name as her middle name) and raised by this very special Grandmother – we thought  “Lucy” would be a wonderful name choice  for our beautiful, loved newest little girl!  
In loving memory of LUCY Rhodes and in honor of my sister, Rhonda LUCY,  our "Little Miss So Sad" will be given the name ......
                           “LUCY KIM ZIMMERMAN”
It is our deepest desire that our little Lucy will one day also have this personal relationship with Jesus and be a woman of God (like her Great, Great Grandmother and her Aunt Rhonda Lucy).  This is our prayer for her little life!
And God continues to weave the thread of our lives.....

Friday, February 1, 2013

Little Miss So Sad I have exciting news to share with you!!!  On January 28th, we were "pre-approved" by China to move forward to adopt a specific little girl!  Only our great God could weave the "red thread" to our daughter!  We are still amazed and  my heart and mind are still spinning as I type this.You will want to read the whole way down where you'll see a video link which shows her sweet "sad" face!

   Let me back up several weeks and tell you the story from the very beginning.  On December 17th, I received a phone call from one of my best friends who told me I needed to get on facebook NOW and look at a post that a mutual friend (and orphan care advocate) had just posted.  It was a you tube clip.  I had been working on adoption paperwork and gladly laid it aside for a few minutes to check out what she was talking about.
   I watched the clip and immediately called Merle to come and check it out and then blabbered out loud , "I've been praying that God would make it unequivocally clear WHO HE wants us to adopt" - I guess if He brings her to our computer screen - that would be pretty clear!"  I had said it off the cuff without a lot of thought and not really thinking "oh this is the one God wants us to adopt."  But I did have the feeling we should at least call the phone number at the end of the clip and inquire a little.  So after Merle and I discussed it, we both decided we should indeed at least  inquire and "make a call."  I dialed the number and got a voice mail message stating that he was "out of the country" and would return calls once he was back in the states.  Didn't bother to leave a message.
   We gave his number, the link to the you tube clip and the limited information we knew to our adoption social worker, she too called but she did leave a message.  A few days later, she said that she hadn't heard back yet (now we know that's because the creator of the you tube clip was only returning from China), so I decided I'd try calling once more.  Dave answered the phone!  I gave him a short synopsis of who we were and he in turn gave contact information to share with my adoption social worker.  At the end of our conversation, I remember telling Dave that we believe in the sovereignty of God, and if she is meant to be our daughter, God will lead us to her.   He told me that he had several people who called and were interested in getting information.
   Our adoption social worker had tried all avenues she knew of  but was unsuccessful in reaching the point of contact person in China.  By this point, it seemed as though all the doors had closed.  And I had peace about it because I was asking God to please open and close doors so that we would know His leading.  In fact my friend (who had originally told me to check out the link on FB), inquired at the end of December - "what's up with Little Miss So Sad" -- I told her that "it looks like God has closed the door, we did all we could and we have peace".  In reflecting back on that time, I'm pretty sure that God was chuckling as the words came out of my mouth.
   January 3rd, I received a totally unexpected  e-mail with direct information on "Little Miss So Sad."  I remember thinking - "Oh, the door must still be open a crack?!"  So, I did what again I felt like God was telling us to do and proceeded to give the information to our case worker.
   Fast forward a few weeks to January 21st.  Our family is taking a long anticipated vacation to another state and I get a phone call from guess who?  YEP, our adoption worker.  She excitedly tells me that she has "Little Miss So Sad's" file!  We will have it (electronically) by midnight.  WHAT????  Is this really happening?  We're not home and we know that once you have a file you have 3 days (yes that's right 3 days!) to decide if you want to proceed with adoption.  As I excitedly relay to Merle the phone conversation I just had, he said to me....."and what Kimberly in that file will cause us to say no?"  My heart was saying the exact same thing.  God is directing us specifically to this child, no matter what her "file" may tell us (or not tell us), He is "making our path straight" to her!  So in a step of faith and obedience (and already a heart of love for her) -- we write our "letter of intent" to China asking for permission to adopt her.  A few days later on January 28th, we received an e-mail from our agency stating that we had "pre-approval" from China to adopt her!!! Wohoo!!  Praising God for HIS faithfulness.
   So....what does "pre-approval" mean?  The short version is... we're kind of "tagged" with "little Miss So Sad" (her file can not be given to anyone, etc.).  Certain paperwork will need to get to China (after having been authenticated and reviewed by either our adoption agency or the United States government or both) be approved, etc.  This process will still take many months.   Possibly in another post, I'll explain in more detail some of the elaborate "process."

Surely by now, you've asked yourselves repeatedly - why does she keep calling her "Little Miss So Sad".  Well....we didn't have a name for her and after watching the below link -- it will all make perfect sense.  Here is the video that started our journey to our daughter.
We will let you know in an upcoming post what her name will be!!  So you'll have to "stay tuned!"

   MORE GOOD NEWS...... the man who God used to advocate for her and record her story (David Peters) is a fabulous producer of documentaries  He has a heart for the "least of these."  He uses his incredible talent/gift as a tool to help these voiceless little ones!  He is currently working on  putting together a phenomenal documentary about Chinese orphans and former orphans.  There's a very good chance that you will get the opportunity to follow "Little Miss So Sad's" journey to her forever family!  If you'd like to see a sneak peek at a trailer click here

If you'd like to have fun and help our little girl on our journey home you can check out the on-line auction currently running (February 1 - February 7, 2013).
On-line auction for Little Miss So Sad

Or you could purchase gourmet cupcakes in time for Valentines (order by Feb. 9th)
Gourmet cupcakes
100% of money raised from both fundraisers will help pay the adoption cost and in turn help turn "Little Miss So Sad's frown upside down" !!

Please join us in praise to our graciously Heavenly Father for His guidance and direction and we would covet your on-going prayers as we continue our journey!!