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......