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

Sunday, February 22, 2015

GREAT is His Faithfulness (Papa always provides)

 Our great and faithful God has already begun providing for our next steps.....
Often we've been blessed to experience Jehovah-Jireh's provision through His people! Especially through our adoption journeys.  And our Divine Red Thread continues to weave threads of provision....

Altered clothing....
 I can't sew.  Lucy needs all  her lower clothing altered (because a body is NOT putting clothing over top of or underneath an ex. fix.!).   Before I even had time to think about getting a new wardrobe put together, two very supportive friends were already steps ahead of me.  One volunteered to alter underwear and several pairs of pants for Lucy to wear,only a day later another friend told me she wants to make a few new dresses (with a wide enough skirt to accommodate her ex. fix.)!

velcro is the name of the game
for adapting underwear to use w/ an ex. fix.

A special adult friend and fun times to look forward to....
Another blessing that recently came together and again showed that God is ahead, beside and behind  us and providing in all different ways.  This blessing  was in light of  my concern about Lucy's psyche (because of having many surgeries and hospital stays in a short time frame), and knowing this next surgery will have such a long recovery time.  I've been thinking and praying about ways to keep her (and I!)  encouraged and happy through this three plus month process.  God brought to mind a friend who has a special love for little children and enjoys interacting and playing with them.  I called this friend one evening and told her that I had something I'd like for her to think about (possibly spending a bit of time regularly doing "special" things with Lucy on a semi regular basis).  She told me she didn't need time to think about it,she'd love to! And as a fun side note to this blessing this friend is also of Asian descent.   Lucy will love the same/same idea (A LOT!).

While still digesting our surprising news of these next medical steps, a special friend/cousin wrote these words of truth, love and encouragement to me.  I've been reflecting on them.  Here's an excerpt of what she wrote  .....“Uncertainties can either shake us or shape us!   I want my faith to be shaped, sharpened.  Just like the uncertainties that the Israelites faced as they were escorted out of Egypt by Moses, they had many and they could choose these paths as well.  It didn’t take them long to begin to grumble and even dare to question God.  I don’t want to follow their example.  I want to see the uncertainties as an opportunity for God to lead me into the unknown and I show that I will be a faithful follower.  I hope these thoughts encourage you also as you look ahead to the journey.” 
More truth,  I too want my faith to be  shaped and sharpened.    But the stark reality is ...the shaping and sharpening process are hard, sometimes really hard and really long too!

Friends if you have some different, creative ideas to help with keeping Lucy entertained and busy while in a wheelchair, I'd love to hear.  Please share in the comment section or send an email to

Thanks for your love and support!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

presents and preparing the princess' for her next surgery

So how does one attempt to prepare a five year old for a surgery that will result in her coming out of anesthesia in pain,being non-mobile and with metal drilled into her leg from thigh to foot?
(you can click on any picture to enlarge)
the expert putting on finishing touches

You brainstorm with an extremely talented and resourceful "Pop Pop"!


"Baby Mei Ling" (sporting her external fix.) with Dr. Pop Pop

It is our hope that "Baby Mei Ling" will help to lessen anxiety by being a touchable and lovable visual while taking some of the scariness out of having an external fixator attached to one's leg.  Coincidentally, Mei Ling also has a right knee that is bent and needs fixed!  Same/Same as Lucy Kim.  Mei Ling's doctor reports that Mei Ling needed a special brace on her leg (that we not so fondly call and "ex. fix.") this needed to be put on so that Mei Ling's little leg can "go out straight" just like her other leg.  It will take a while to fix that leg and Lucy will probably need to help "turn the screws" 4x each day...... you get the idea!  *Note:  As of the publishing of this post, Lucy has not yet  met Mei Ling, so if you see Lucy this next week, know she doesn't yet know about our secret. 

While we attempt to find creative ways to prepare our girl, we believe that the single best way to help her is through intercession - the mighty power of prayer!  We cherish your prayers to the Great Physician - asking that Lucy will be given that peace that passes understanding as she undergoes this next surgery on March 18th and for the months following.
* And friends while you're talking to our Father God, will you pray for Lucy's special cousin, Robert who will also be undergoing a complex surgery just a week after Lucy! This young man 

 (and his beloved Mama) have been an inspiration to me through the years.  Robert has endured many tough seasons in his short fourteen years - surgeries, countless therapies and at times intense pain.  Praying for Robert and Lucy would be a gift!  If you'd like to send your encouragement in a tangible way, you can send Robert and/or Lucy well wishes or cards. I'm sure they would love getting mail!
 - ALL cards (for either Lucy or Robert) can be sent to
Attn:  Robert D. or Lucy Z.
c/o The Bath Barn
723 Rothsville Road
Lititz PA 17543
Robert and Lucy have immediate family that work at the above business and all cards will be taken home to the children,  Cards mailed early will be held until right after surgery time.   
Thank so very much for your love and support!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Hearing Hard News (part 3 of 3)

Worth every dr. visit, cast change, ililerov, and hospital stay x 1 zillion
Worth more than gold!  
A precious gift from the Almighty!
Little Lucy's next surgery has been scheduled for March 18th,(the day after her 5th birthday)!!  We have been told, the surgery will take approximately 4 1/2 hours . Dr. van Bosse will construct and attach the ilizerav,
ilizerav/external fixator
 and also create  something that will keep her recently corrected foot in it's proper position (remember she has been wearing a bar each night to maintain correction that she will not be able to wear while in this crazy contraption).

 We are told she will spend two days in ICU, then move to a step down unit and hopefully shortly soon after, return home. 

The “ex fix” will span Lucy’s entire leg, from the top of  her thigh down to her foot.  This is being put on to straighten the knee (soft tissue).  The pins go through the bones but no cuts are made in the bone, it stretches muscles, ligaments and tendons. 
All of her clothing from waist down will need to be altered (yes that means every pair of underwear too!), Daddy or I
but clever, eh?
 (or dear Pop Pop) will need to turn the struts on the fixator 4x/day (each turn will be a minute step in  straightening her knee).  We will also need to be diligent about daily “pin care” to keep her leg free of infection.
Lucy will have a wheelchair that supports her leg being extended.  We will also need to rig up something to keep her leg propped while in her car seat (have heard a few ideas of how we can best accomplish that).
The fixator is scheduled to stay on for 3 months!  It takes 4-6 weeks to get the knee out straight and then is kept on to get things to tighten up around the knee.  If taken off too soon the knee will quickly go back to being flexed.  It responds better if kept in the fixator longer rather than shorter period of time. 

We continue to be eternally grateful to our Heavenly Father for hand picking Lucy for us and daily thank Him for His guidance and love in growing our family! This next sentence may seem odd to some and it's hard to understand.  But this truth is so alive and so real.... even while walking through a difficult and trying journey, we can say without pause, it is an honor and privilege to be the ones chosen to journey alongside Lucy Kim as her parents!
Like Mama/Like Daughter

Seriously, was she once lovingly referred to as
"Little Miss So Sad" ?!
For those of you that have stuck through this three part series, I'd be remiss not to tell you about the blessings in this journey.
 Our faith has grown immensely in this season.  Our marriage has been greatly strengthened as together we walk this path with our girl.  Our hearts have grown bigger with even more love (for a child we hadn't yet met eighteen months ago), AND we've had the blessing of sharing God's provision and guidance in our adoption journey with many other families.

As we journey these next hard steps, I hope to continue to blog, keeping our friends and family updated and asking you all to please remember Lucy in prayer.
* If you have been following our blog and wait for facebook notifications to know when a new post has been added, please note that I'll be taking a facebook leave of absence for a season beg. the end of February. If you'd like to get an e-mail notification(only  when a new post is published), you can sign up on main page "follow by email" but NOTE:  after signing up within minutes you will receive an e-mail from "feedburner subscriptions" and need to do one more step. - confirm via e-mail you want to subscribe to our red thread notifications.  If not confirmed, your account will not be activated.*
If you have a problem setting up, you can contact me at

Hearing Hard News (part 2 of 3)

  The x-ray that was taken at Shriner's hospital revealed that Lucy's knee contracture was closer to being a 55-60 degree flexion contracture.  With a contracture that large, performing the surgery that would insert 8 plates around Lucy's knee (that would have been used in the originally anticipated surgery) would not get Lucy’s knee completely straight.
Dr. vanB. proceeded to explain that for Lucy to get FULL correction she will  need to be put in an ilizarov for three months?!  As he was explaining, I kindly interrupted him and told him that I didn’t understand what he was referring to when he used the word “ilizarov”.  He then used two words that I DID understand!!  External Fixator (halo type thinger ma bob)

Is it me, or does thing thing look
like something out of the stone age?

I think Lucy's will look similar except be from thigh to foot

a bit barbaric looking I think

I cried. A lot. Often.  

      I cried for my girl knowing she  has yet another BIG surgery ahead of her which will entail a lot of (severe) pain.  I cried for purely selfish reasons, I cried because I know three months of more immobility (again) will be tough on the entire family (read lots of self pity),  I cried.  I walked around in a bit of a daze for several days (you know when you're so darn distracted by thoughts and feelings that you can't possibly complete any task from start to finish)
Finally, after the hard news seeped it's way into my head, after my dear parents and some close friends encouraged me with their love and support, and my emotions leveled out, I decided I needed to meet with my Heavenly Father.  I needed to seek Him for the strength, perseverance, energy and renewed stamina in the journey.  So,  I turned my brain off as best as I could, laid down on the sofa with my Bible, put on music that spoke to my heart with truths from the Bible and talked to Jehovah Jirah.
  Details and more news in 3rd  post. of this series.....

* If you have been following our blog and wait for facebook notifications to know when a new post has been added, please note that I'll be taking a facebook leave of absence for a season beg. the end of February. If you'd like to get an e-mail notification(only  when a new post is published), you can sign up on main page "follow by email" but NOTE you will have to confirm the first time that you want notifications or your account will not be activated.*

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Hearing HARD News..... (part 1 of 3)

The end of January Lucy Kim had her appointment with her Dr. in Philadelphia at Shriner’s Hospital.   This visit was to re-check the position of her (now) corrected vertical talus on her right foot and also give us more information about the next steps needed to repair her knee and hip issues.  (If you have met Lucy in person, you have seen that she is unable to straighten her right leg as her leg is in a continual bent position).  We're told that her right leg has been most likely contracted around the knee since before her birth. In the medical world, it's referred to as a knee flexion contracture.
 * you can click on any picture to enlarge
passing time playing Hello Kitty Uno
friends make life fun
Knowing Merle was out of the country on a mission trip, a special friend (and her dear teen daughter) graciously rearranged their schedule to go with Lucy and I to see Dr. vanB.
  My friend had made this trip to Shriner’s hospital with us this past fall, going to one of Lucy’s leg casting procedure and she knows from experience that an appointment at Shriner’s could be an hour long or eight hours! I was so appreciative and grateful to have her company and a “second set of ears”.
Pleased with the way things looked with Lucy's foot from her November and December surgeries, 
Dr. vanB. then began to assess Lucy’s gait (walking pattern), did a quick measure of her knee contracture and reviewed a previous x-ray of her hip.   Deciding he did not want to miss anything internally, he ordered a new set of x-rays of Lucy’s leg as well as new orthotics. 

We then proceeded across the hall to the x-ray department, and then onward to the orthotic/prosthesis lab.

After x-ray and measurements were completed, 
Measuring for her KAFO (knee, ankle foot orthosis) to
be worn post surgery.
 the four of us grabbed a quick lunch in the cafeteria, and then headed back to see Dr. vanB again.  He would review the x-rays and determine what he thought would be Lucy’s next medical steps.  Dr. vanB. looked at the x-rays and was surprised to see what he thought was a slim chance of seeing,  This new found information (via x-ray) now meant he would need to perform a much different type of surgery than originally anticipated (for correction of Lucy’s knee contracture).  He noted that the position of Lucy’s tibia on her femur means the contracture is larger then what they measured when done externally. I was.not.prepared for the news ahead....
this is how they measure Lucy's contracture externally - Lucy' leg isn't this hairy though :)
(didn't we use an instrument like this in geometry class ?)

* If you have been following our blog and wait for facebook notifications to know when a new post has been added, please note that I'll be taking a facebook leave of absence for a season beg. the end of February. If you'd like to get an e-mail notification(only  when a new post is published), you can sign up on main page "follow by email" but NOTE you will have to confirm the first time that you want notifications or your account will not be activated.*


Monday, February 16, 2015

Lucy's colorful and continually changing footwear.......

We thought our friends might enjoy seeing Lucy's ever changing footwear since October of 2014.....
(click on a picture to enlarge)
Starting the process in PINK!

Sunshiney YELLOW!
Tie Dye

Sissy came home and wore one too "Same/Same"
Pieces from all SEVEN of her casts
Last cast -a split cast overlayed with green ace bandaging

Ahhh.... I wore ALL of those?!

Now that the casting process is over, it's time to move onto some snazzy new shoes.

The "elevator" shoe
This shoe lift helps with Lucy's gait A LOT!!
Difference in her two shoes