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.