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, December 17, 2015

Wrapping up 2015 with updates (part 3 of 3)

*clicking on red lettered words will take you directly to a link of a previous post

I'm one of those people. The person wanting more details, has one more question and cares deeply for the marginalized and most vulnerable in our society.  And because many of you too have wondered (and asked), have given generously and care deeply,  I wanted to update about 3 of our little friends that were once upon a time orphans.....
In March of this year, many participated in "mail mania" in honor of Lucy's 5th birthday.  It was an incredible blessing to have so many of you join with us in caring for orphans, especially "Little K"  and "Sophie" in this fun way!   

 If you missed it, post results of mail mania post here.
Nine months later, - an update -
Low Down on "Little K" - 

We fondly used the name "Little K" back in March due to privacy laws and restrictions. "Little K's" name is Kristin!  Kristin's adoption was expedited because of her fragile health and in particular her heart.  Kristin kicked the orphan status in June when she was officially adopted into her forever family.  Kristin has integrated into life in the United States well, is bonded to her parents and siblings and is getting fantastic medical care. She has (and continues) to go through much needed medical testing and procedures.
Kristin's community sent Santa to their house early
in anticipation of the early Dec. surgery that had been scheduled.
(you will note that Kristin's lips are blueish/ most likely due to heart
issues that require surgery)
 Please pray for Kristin and her family as most recently an open heart surgery scheduled for early December had to be postponed due to an uncovered thyroid issue they became aware of during pre-op testing.  Open heart surgery for Kristin is now re-scheduled in January 2016.  Each $5 donated in mail mania made a difference!  Kristin is h.o.m.e. and getting the best medical care but it took a village to help her home, THANK YOU for being part of her village!

Kristin and Mommy
This was recently posted by Kristin's Mommy on facebook:
"I went into kiss Kristin goodnight again after I had already kissed her earlier before bed. She was sound asleep. I found her holding a small family picture gripped in her hands. Oh my heart. I just started to cry." 

Sweet Sophie's Story updated:
Sophie with her crib mate in orphanage
Sweet Sophie girl was born in China with pigment and eye issues.  She has albinism. In China albinism is considered by many as a curse from the gods.

 Sophie girl WAS an orphan for 3 1/2 years.  Now this silly and adorable four year old is a beloved daughter and sister. She is receiving the visual adaptations and therapy needed to help her succeed to her fullest potential.  
  Here's what her Mama recently wrote:
"Adopted in June, Sophie turned four years old in October and started preschool.  She already speaks fluent English (she just came home in June!!!)."  Sophie's mommy has told me that Sophie is wicked smart." (here's to kicking to the curb the lie - "albinism is a curse from the gods")  
Every $5 you gifted to Sophie helped her home to a loving family.  Thank you. final update.....
If you've watched Find Me, "(the documentary that features Lucy's adoption in China ) you will remember seeing our cute little friend CALEB.  His adoption was also included on this film....
mile emoticonCatching up with Caleb: Some of you may remember Lucy and I advocating for Caleb two Christmas' ago.   this post was written inviting readers to help this special little guy home. It's time for a "Caleb catch-up"!
 Catching up with Caleb!  Two Christmas' ago, shortly after Lucy was home, Lucy and I were advocating for Caleb.  He was an orphan living in the same province as Lucy once lived (Shaanxi).  Here was that post from December 2013

Caleb has now been home for over a year and a half. He is a loved son and brother and has bonded to his new family beautifully.  Like Lucy, an MRI unexpectedly showed that Caleb had a complicated tethered spinal cord and needed surgery.  Caleb underwent a detethering surgery this past June at the same hospital with the same fantastic surgeon as Lucy.  The surgery was successful in helping Caleb and he has recovered wonderfully.  .
Caleb & Mom before spinal surgery in June
  He is noted to be enthusiastic, spunky and full of energy (hmmmm, those Shaanxi kiddos must have similar DNA - "same/same" as Lucy).  Thank you to those who partnered with Caleb's family in caring for this little man, once an orphan now a son.  

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this, to look after orphans and widows in their distress and keep oneself from being polluted by the world."  James 1:27

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Wrapping up 2015 with updates (part 2 of 3)

*click on any picture to enlarge
December brings more fun updates to show 'n tell you about!  Lucy's sporting a "new/shorter do" and earrings!

Big sis, Emily is performing in a children's play at a local dinner theater.  Daddy, Mommy and b.f.f.,Sadie Joy enjoyed an extra special day together with a stop to see Emmy on stage!

 picture with actress/sister
(in her very blonde wig)
Could these two be any more adorable!
I'll end this post with the most fun and exciting news to shout out  .....our family is growing (again!)  Lucy's getting another big brother(in-law)!  Lucy's only sister still living at home will be moving out next summer to marry the love of her life, Michael.  Mike has seen and experienced the shenanigans and chaos of this big family and loves us in spite of it all!  We're excited to welcome Mike into the family!    
Emily and Michael - Summer 2015
stay tuned for update 3.....

Monday, December 14, 2015

Wrapping up 2015 with updates (part 1 of 3)

Lucy Kim has now completed three months of kindergarten and continues to be much like a big 'ole sponge, soaking in and learning so many new things each and every day.  She attends afternoon kindergarten which is only two and half hours in length.  Afternoon school is good for Lucy as it fits nicely with Lucy's home and physical therapy schedules.  She is doing well both academically and socially. This is nothing short of  amazing, considering that two years and three months ago, this little one knew not a word of English, and lived in an orphanage on the other side of the world!
Xi'an orphanage, China
Her first kindergarten field trip was to a local pumpkin patch.  Venues like this field trip are reminders that she is differently abled then her classmates in some ways.  We don't think much about her disability on a day to day basis.  A field trip to the pumpkin patch seems like a simple field trip:  board the school bus, travel to the pumpkin patch, get on a big tractor driven wagon and ride to the pumpkin field, chose a favorite pumpkin, get back on the wagon for the ride back to the bus and then a bus ride back to the school. These things are not easy when you can't easily bend one of your legs.  Do-able?  Yes(at least with supports) but not easy.  Bus steps are steep for Lucy, steps into the wagon didn't have any hand rails and the uneven terrain of pumpkin patches can be a trip hazard when you have an orthopedic disability.  A hand (sometimes two) for help with balance is all that Lucy needed and Mama went along to join in the fun and lend a hand.

 After what seemed like a lull, we are now seeing some measurable progress orthopedically.  Most progress is being noted in her ability to bend her right knee (some) and also straighten again on command.   Lucy has never had a proper walking pattern (gait).  Her leg  contracture along with a slight limb difference  kept her from walking properly the first 5 years of her life and now because she's only recently had the ability and is learning to straighten and bend her knee, her gait is still obscure. 

Lucy  "peg legs"it when she wants to get somewhere quickly (which is 95% of the time). She has learned that if she holds her right leg straight and swings it out and around each step- she can run (sorta), and walk a lot more quickly which enables her to (almost) keep up with peers.  However, this adaption has created bad form and habit. It's hard, very hard for Lucy to consciously walk extremely slow and mentally try to think about bending her knee with every step.   Recently, I purchased "hip helpers" (very tight spandex like shorts) that she wears for short periods of time throughout the day.  These "helpers" remind her both mentally and physically to not swing her right leg out in a "peg leg" fashion each step (or gallop!).  However, she can/should not wear continually because of over correction.  Once again, forward progress is happening!
stock photo of "hip helpers"

more pictures and updates coming in parts 2 and 3......

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

"Find Me" starring Lucy Kim Zimmerman now on DVD! (or download)

available on dvd or download
*pictured is Lucy on adoption day*

Celebrating National Adoption Month with some B-I-G news
  Many of you have lovingly followed Lucy's journey home via this blog.  Words can't express our appreciation for the love and support you have shown to our family and especially Lucy girl.  Lucy has her own little "fan club." We're excited to tell all her friends, our faithful blog readers, that now you can watch Lucy's journey home.  "Find Me" is available on dvd or download!

November is national adoption month and Lucy wants all her friends to know that if you place an order for "her movie" (this is how she refers to the documentary) via the link below and TYPE THE CODE "redthread" (not case sensitive) during the month of November, Vision Video is offering 25% discount (on dvd only not download)

The documentary is 77 min. in length and I'd suggest that you have a tissue (or two) nearby! Our "Red Thread" guided us in "Finding" our girl and we are eternally grateful!  We invite you to watch as we met our girl for the very first time.

Three years ago this month, we sent our application into our adoption agency.  We put our yes on the table and followed God's lead in bringing another child into our family.  It has been our prayer since then that #1) God would be glorified through this adoption (and documentary) and# 2) that many, many families will prayerfully consider adoption and help more children bust out from behind orphanage walls and into their family's living rooms!

"Find Me is a profoundly moving documentary that tells the stories of three families who adopt children from China as well as the stories of those who loved these children first; The biological parents who feel they can’t keep their children and the orphanage nannies or foster-families who must say goodbye to the children they’ve raised for months…or years."  

"Thousands of Chinese children now find themselves in the homes of families across America. With great love and personal sacrifice, people adopt these precious little ones, bringing them home to love them and raise them as their own. But few know the veiled back story. This moving, personal documentary tells the stories of those who adopt children from China as well as the stories of those who loved them first; The biological parents who feel they can't keep their children and the orphanage nannies or foster-families who must say goodbye to the children they've raised for months...or years. Come on an emotional and uplifting journey full of unexpected twists and turns alongside three families who have answered the quiet cry of China that says, Find Me."

Much love, gratitude and appreciation to Michael Rottina (part of orig. crew in filming), David & Kathi Peters (producers)

** I'd love to hear from you!  After viewing "Find Me", please give us your feedback!  Comment here or email me at 
****we are not receiving any compensation for the sales of Find Me.  

Monday, September 28, 2015

Two Years HOME

*click on any picture to enlarge
September 13, 2015 marked two years h-o-m-e and two years as an American citizen for Lucy Kim.  So very much has transpired since meeting our little girl for the very first time that hot September day in 2013.  The trauma, emotions, grief

and number of life changing transitions Lucy has experienced in her five years supercedes more than most of us will experience in a lifetime.

We just completed Lucy's two year post placement report for China.  When adopting from China, the Chinese government requires an annual post placement report of all children adopted from China.
 With each report, eight color photographs need to be included.  These reports and photos are required for five years following an adoption.  Did you read that last sentence?  It's not a typo, I will be sending a post placement report to China five years after Lucy's adoption.  I have rolled my eyes, sighed and mumbled as I worked through an eight page document reporting updates on various aspects of Lucy's mental, physical and social well being.  I question if anyone really reads these reports.  However, at the end of the day, if those of us who brought our children home from China do not fulfill our commitment, what will that mean for the thousands of other Lucys that are behind orphanage walls longing to be in their families' living rooms?

If we paused and looked only at the medical journey she has been on in the past two years, it would evoke a large and breathy sigh.  And the reality is the medical portion is one fraction of the changes she has experienced in her transition from orphanage to family.

Home three months and a fall down the staircase results in a fractured arm.(Dec. 2013)...

Finding out her spinal cord is tethered and a serious surgery is required.(April 2014).....
It's  hard to convey in words the privilege it has been to walk the emotional, hard, life changing journey with Qu Yan/Lucy Kim as her Mommy and Daddy!  Truly God does not call the equipped, He equips the called!
 "This is adoption. It is a bold love that is not scared of seeing hurt, touching hurt, or being hurt. There is truly transformative power in the pursuit of loving another hurting soul."                  Kylee Cragggett 

Castings and surgery to correct her vertical talus in her foot (Oct.2014 - Jan. 2015).....

Correction of leg contracture with external fixator (March -.June 2015)......

 Two years ago, we brought an adorable, bright and very scared toddler home from China, we blinked and now she's a bold, sassy, loveable, confidant kindergartner!  Many tears, much laughter, hundreds of appointments, lots of pain, tremendous growth, increasing trust, and ongoing transitions....Easy journey for her or us?  Nope.  Worth every step of the journey?  YUP!  (x 6 gazillion!)  

September 2013

nothin' better than n.o.o.d.l.e.s!

September 2013

Tah-Dah - Here's the School Girl
"Spirit Day" (less the cheery spirit) - go
red and black!
 Put your yes on the table to whatever God might have in store for you, step out in blind faith and believe He will walk every step ahead of you, beside you and behind you.