Thursday, August 18, 2011

We're Back!!

We made it back home to Beijing early this morning. We are glad to be home! More glad that the adoption is now finalized and Elizabeth is officially our daughter. One or two final steps is yet to be completed and that is to take her onto US soil thereby making her US citizenship complete. That, we will do on September 13th when we leave for the states for a family trip. We are more than ready for a family trip back to the states as it's been more than 2 1/2 years since our return. We've missed our family and friends and look forward to seeing them all! We'll also have some paperwork to do so we can obtain Elizabeth's US birth certificate, social security number, and then US passport so we can take her back to our home in China.

We feel soooo blessed and cannot find words enough to thank you all for what you've done to see us through this special phase of our lives!! From all your encouraging words, prayer, and financial help, we are blessed beyond words!! Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts!!

Now that the adoption is complete, we will not be updating this blog any longer. HOWEVER, if you'd like to continue to follow our family and/or Elizabeth, we do have another blog you may do so on. It is We look forward to having continued contact with you all! Again, thank you for all you've done for Elizabeth and our family!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

It's Official!!

This picture was taken at the registration office today:)))

Today Elizabeth is officially our daughter!! We have her adoption registration certificate in hand and will just be waiting the next few days to finish getting the notary paperwork back and her passport. Then on Friday we fly to Guangzhou for her visa appointment. We couldn't be happier or more excited!! We've awaited this day for ohhh soooo long!! The day finally arrived that she is legally our daughter, though she's been our daughter for far much longer than that!!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Abounding With Blessing!

Hi Guys,

Just wanted to let you all know we have now reached our adoption goal for finances!! We are sooo thankful for all of you who've blessed us in so many ways and thank you for continuing to pray for us as we complete this adoption. As you know we leave on August 7th to go to Zhengzhou to do the adoption. We couldn't be more excited and know to Whom we owe all the thanks! If not for all of you who've touched our hearts and lives, we would not be where we are today--about to complete the process of getting our new daughter, Elizabeth. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

We Have Travel Notice!!

I know you all are as excited as we are! Yesterday we had official travel notice but not a for sure date until this morning. Our group flies from the states on August 4th, but we are skipping the 2 or 3 days of Beijing tours and meeting up with our group in Zhengzhou on the 7th. We are so pleased and have much to do to prepare for our travels. Our visa appointment in Guangzhou is on the 17th and we will be able to return to Beijing on the 18th. We plan to take a family trip to the US about mid-September when the rates are a bit cheaper. Since Elizabeth must travel to US soil, it will also complete the final process of her adoption. She's excited about getting to go to the US and being a permanent member of our family. We couldn't be happier and are excited about finishing up the process of adoption.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Article 5 Issued

Hi Guys,

Just thought I'd let you all know that we received notice that our Article 5 from Guangzhou has issued on July 6th. We can expect travel notice in 2-4 weeks. We are hoping for 2 weeks:) We are anxious to travel and finish up this adoption. Then about mid-September we'll make a trip back to the states as a family taking Elizabeth onto US soil thereby completing the last step of this adoption!! Yippeee!! We are so ready for a trip back to the US as it's been more than 2 1/2 years since visiting all our family and friends. We really miss them!! It should be very exciting for Elizabeth to visit the states as she's heard so much about it. She's been asking lots of questions since we were able to tell her we were adopting her. One in particular sticks in my mind as funny and that is, "Do they have stores in America, Mom?" She has no idea what to expect but it should be exciting for all of us! We can't wait to have her meet everyone and get to know the rest of her family. She has yet to meet her older brother and sister, and grandparents, and aunts and uncles, and so many others!

The last grant we've been waiting on has informed us that they delayed our application yet another month, until August. I guess they were thinking we wouldn't travel until then. We are hopeful it will not be that long.

We have $2837 yet to raise to complete this adoption. We are hopeful that the rest of our needed funds will come in soon. We are sooo close and it's hard to believe that we've raised sooo much! YET, it's not hard to believe at all!! Since the very beginning, this entire adoption was began and continued purely on faith. In the natural, it seemed overwhelming and impossible. However, we had ABSOLUTELY NO DOUBT that He has orchestrated all of this and we stepped out in faith knowing that if He called us to this--He would not only provide the necessary funds, but go before and prepare the way. You see, it was not just the funds lacking, but other things as well--like the fact that we didn't qualify by either governments standards. A way had to paved and HE did just that!! And soooo much more!! We are so very blessed by this adoption and know to Whom gets the glory and honor! We have so much to testify about and know just how much we are blessed through this entire process! Thank you all for whatever part--whether it was financial, emotional, or prayer support--you have played in helping us through this adoption journey! As soon as we get travel notice or other information, we'll be sure to let you know.

Monday, June 6, 2011

We have a Winner!

And the winner of the raffle is... (drum roll please)

Joe and Terry Bernatt!

The Bernatt's will be receiving the pearls from China! And don't forget, we still have many "Never Alone" t-shirts! Just e-mail me at to order one. Thank you to everyone who helped with the raffle, because of you we are one step closer to bringing Elizabeth home!!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Speechless and Oh SOOO Blessed!!

This adoption has been one incredible journey!! God has truly gone before us and worked out sooo many things that seemed overwhelming if it not for our faith and trust in Him. Knowing--without a doubt--that He was leading us into and through this incredible adoption journey, we've seen His hand working in it soooo many ways and we are simply in awe of Him. Knowing that His blessing was upon us to take this leap of faith, we did just that but had no idea of how it would all work out--only the end result of getting a new daughter. We just trusted and obeyed knowing somehow He'd lead us through the entire ordeal--and we've come to expect that and lean on that especially when times get a bit rough. Take the past few weeks or month for instance. Knowing that we needed quite a bit more finances than we originally expected (even that original amount we didn't know where it'd all come from), we did our best to move forward with necessary paperwork and fundraising and do our part rather than just sitting back and expecting Him to do it all. Each time there was a deadline, even though it may have been at the last minute, somehow the money was always there. It has not always been an easy place to be. Worry and doubt wants to creep in (especially when a deadline is fast approaching and the funds aren't there--far from it) and you have to push the thoughts back saying no, I'll continue to trust in You and stand firm in our faith that You've led us to do this and though I don't know how, I trust You.

With all that said, I wanted to let you all know that today we were blessed beyond words. SPEECHLESS actually! An individual sent us an email today telling us they were donating a very large--HUGE-- sum of money. If you've noticed the thermometer, it has moved an entire $10,000. Yes, that's right $10,000!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can you believe it?!!! We are pretty much speechless and still in shock! It is incredible that someone, anyone, would help us out in such a huge way! I can also tell you we haven't even met them, only someone closely related to them. It is someone whom adoption is very close to their own hearts. I KNOW that God will bless them for their obedience and generosity. I pray that the windows of heaven are opened to them and so much blessing poured out that they haven't enough room to contain it all.!!! I also hope that someday we are blessed with the finances to be able to do such a thing for others as well. After all, that's what it's all about isn't it?! We are blessed so we can be a blessing to others--helping one another in love. We are ohh sooo grateful to their obedience to Him and continue to stand in awe of Him and all He's done for us through this amazing adoption journey!!

We have one more grant organization that is to make a decision in early June. Perhaps it will make up the difference of what is left to be raised. If it doesn't, at least now it seems much more do able with some fund-raisers. We have no doubt He has a plan and has used so many to bring this to pass. Rejoice with us!! Our new daughter is close at hand as this adoption journey is soon to come to an end.

Friday, May 20, 2011

News on a Grant

I know you all have been waiting to hear, believe me, so have we!! Though we were supposed to hear in early May, we didn't and sent them an email early this week. We got up this morning to a response. They turned us down for a grant and we are disappointed by this news. We'd hoped and prayed for a large grant hardly even considering the idea that they'd completely deny us a grant. I guess there are other more needy families out there than us. We don't know what their criteria is for making these determinations except that they said they have to turn down 40% of the qualified families each month. Naturally that doesn't help our disappointment much, but we aren't looking to them as our source anyway, there is One much greater whom we trust and rely on to supply our needs. Obviously this grant organization is not one of the ways He is using to bring our daughter, Elizabeth, into our family forever. Though we don't know how He will bring it about, we continue to put our faith and trust in Him and do all we can as He leads us in the right path and direction He has planned. Continue to keep our situation uplifted as we are now awaiting our travel arrangements (TA) and we still have much funds yet to be raised to bring her home.

I'd also like to say a few things about the reason we changed and had to up the cost of the adoption. I'm sure many of you are wondering and we certainly do not blame you as it seems unusual. First of all, in the beginning when we began this adoption journey, now 2 years ago, we had deducted a few costs from the total amount thinking it would be unnecessary in our case. Things like the post adoption fee, which we thought we'd pay AFTER the adoption and come up with somehow later. We were wrong in that thinking and found out only recently that it must be paid upfront and they've already asked for it and we were able to send in the check for it. In addition, the law in China has recently changed and if we don't get TA before August 1st, we are required to do many more additional post placement reports up to 5 years. That also added another $1,500. Both of these are now paid as they required them upfront a week or so ago. If we come in under the August 1st deadline, they will refund that extra $1,500 and we can use that for other costs.

Another thing we deducted is air-fare costs or at least partially. We thought if we had to, we'd just one of us would go and save on those costs so that we could just complete the adoption with one parent knowing many before us have done the same. It wasn't until recently that we learned it would be nearly impossible in our case however. Not only is much more paperwork necessary, which would not be a big deal, but the biggest reason it is not possible for us to do this in our case is the US citizenship issue. We found out that if only one parent goes, it messes up the automatic citizenship when they enter the US soil. The child then is required to go through the regular naturalization process and that takes a loooooong time which makes it pretty much impossible for us living in China. Just taking her to the US and trying to return to China in a month or so could be challenging enough for us. For those who already live in the US full time, it's not a big deal, just a matter of waiting.

Another issue is most all the fees are based on an infant or child under 2. Since Elizabeth is 10 years old, on some things such as air-fare, buses, or train fares, even food costs, we need to pay full adult prices which adds a bit to the total as well.

I have to tell you we REALLY didn't want to have to change that total, but found there wasn't much of an alternative. It is what it is--even if we don't like it much! We consulted Lindsay and Valerie on their thoughts after we realized this total was not all that close to the real amount. They also felt we should change it to reflect the correct amount so everyone knew we still had much to raise.

We'd like to ask you all--do you have ideas on how to raise that much money?!! This comes especially in light of the news about the grant denial we received this morning. For those of you who've done it, how did you do it?! Can it be done in our situation while living here in China--possibly with the help of Lindsay and/or Valerie there in the US? Do you know of people in your churches or other organizations that would be willing to help us do a fund-raiser? We have a relatively short amount of time to raise these funds as we are hoping and praying that we do indeed get TA before August 1st to avoid all these extra costs involved in the new law requiring more post placement reports. So you can also keep that uplifted in prayer as well. Please do not hesitate to contact us, Lindsay, or Valerie with ideas you have to help us in our fund-raising efforts. Thank you all for standing with us and seeing through this incredible journey to bring Elizabeth into our family forever!!

New Announcements, New Deadlines, New Costs, New Prizes!!

Hello everyone, this is Lindsay! We've all been doing a happy dance now that the Rippee Family was finally able to announce that their new daughter is Elizabeth! I hope you've joined us!! : )

I want to apologize for the being so late to post about the raffle. We've had some posting issues, blogger was down at one point and I couldn't log in. We have good news though! We are extending the raffle by two weeks, so you have until June 3rd to enter to win one of the prizes. Remember, one entry is $10, and three entries are $25! You also get an additional entry if you post a link to the raffle on facebook, or your blog.

We also have new items to add to the rafflee, two fabulous keychains that were donated by Gina!

You can check out more of her shop and keychains at this website

We are all so excited for the Rippee family! We also need your help. Unfortunately, we learned that many costs of adoption have recently risen, so we still need about $13,330, which is more than was previously expected. This may seem overwhelming, but we continue to put our faith in God and believe that through Him ALL things are possible. So, if you have any items to donate to an upcoming auction, could talk to your church or organization at home about putting on a fundraiser or donating, spread the word, or pray, we would all be so thankful! Recently a organization in my town made cupcakes and sold them for one to two dollars a piece to fundraise for Elizabeth. They took orders beforehand and had a great turnout! Please e-mail me with any questions at !

We continue to be amazed by God's blessings and miracles throughout this INCREDIBLE journey and cannot wait for the day when Elizabeth will finally have a forever family to call her own. That day is getting closer and closer, however we still have to raise $13,330. Will you help us, so Elizabeth can be a part of the Rippee family that she has dreamed about for so long?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Introducing Our New Daughter!!!

Dang Yue Jing --Also known as Elizabeth

The day has finally come!!! We can now announce our new daughter!!

This morning we got up and had received our LOA (Letter of Acceptance) on her. I know many of you have not understood the reason we could not share a photo or information on her, but perhaps now that you know who it is we are adopting, you clearly understand. Our circumstances are so unique and until our agency gave permission for us to share that info, we had no choice but to wait.

We've been busting at the seams for a looooong time now!! We've been at this adoption more than 2 years now and we are now in the final stages. We are now awaiting TA to "travel" to get her:) Those are expected in the next 11-15 weeks which will put it sometime in August probably.

We still have much funds to raise before we complete the adoption. We are still hopeful that we will receive some grants. There are two yet that emailed us in late April or early May that will decide very soon. As soon as we hear, we'll be sure to let you all know.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Spring Raffle for the Rippees Adoption!

Welcome to the Rippee Raffle! 
Now through May 13
For our next fundraiser, we are raffling off these 4 fabulous prizes!
One entry is $10, and three entries are $25.

If you post about the raffle on your blog or facebook, you will get an additional entry! Please e-mail me, Lindsay, at to let me know that you have posted!

Pearl Necklace
(These exquisite pearls were bought in China and donated by a family during their trip to bring home their newly adopted daughter!)


Set of 2--Chinese Magnetic Bookmarks Set

Chinese ladies with orange and red dress
(From the New Day Gift Shop)

measurements: 2 3/4 x 5 3/4cm

Kokeshi Doll Earrings

These sweetly cute Kokeshi Doll earrings are made by 2 very talented sisters from Adelaide, Australia, who have enjoyed working together and seperately on craft and art projects since they were little, under the instruction of their very crafty mother, who also contributes items to their store SARAH'S STUFF

Although they are sweet as earrings, I would LOVE to detach them from the earring hook and string them on individual necklaces for either 2 sisters or a mother and daughter! Either way, as earrings or necklaces, these are truly the sweetest bobbles!

Bridges and Blossoms Skirt

Donated by Valerie at Ruffled Feathers Company

Size: 4T/6
(4T as a longer skirt, 6 as a shorter skirt)
Exact Measurements: 14.5" length (waist to hem)
20" waist (unstretched)--stretches to 25"

Skirt Description:
The main top layer of fabric on this skirt finds Asian fishing boats drifting across deep crimson seas. Amid green boughs and Spring blossoms there are also tea houses, arching bridges and wooden walking paths through peaceful water gardens. The bottom layer of fabric peeks out in contrast along the bottom edge and through a sassy side-split. Ancient Chinese characters flow freely, telling untold stories across a papyrus colored background.

This skirt would pair beautifully over leggings during cooler weather or for more tom-boyish play. It can be worn either longer in a more traditional manner or at shorter lengths over leggings or tights for growing girls to enjoy for several delightful seasons.