Tuesday, May 10, 2011

LizzyBeth ... Rippee

The day has finally come!!! The Rippee's FINALLY received their LOA (Letter of Acceptance) and have permission to share a photo of their new daughter!! 

"Dang Yue Jing" --Also known as Elizabeth
(Look how much she's grown and changed from when she first was whipping up a pie with Carrie when she first arrived at ND and was recovering from her heart surgery! She's so little!)

Did you anticipate who she is? Are you totally blown away? Is that not some of the sweetest news ever?
And boy, I didn't have to wait long after the LizzyBeth post yesterday to have the opportunity to come clean about this skirt name did I?:
Yes, this skirt that I named "LizzyBeth" is in honor of Elizabeth/Yue Jing Rippee

You see, one year ago this week I went for a run. 
Yes ... something I need to do again on a regular basis ... but to be honest I'm a little afraid to go there, and not only because I'm sorely out of shape. 

You see last year on that run down our gravel road I had similar intentions of getting back into shape ... but instead, I had one of those "God moments." You know the kind when you know that He's "talking" directly to YOU. And I don't want to freak anybody out 'cuz it wasn't like I heard his voice,  didn't see a burning bush ... but it was something so much more "quiet" and deeply felt/moved in the heart and something so very not. my. idea
I guess that's why I'm so sure it was Him. 
I had this "thought" arise ... this "gut-feeling in my heart" that I was going to help someone fundraise for an adoption.

WHATEVER!!!!! Are you kidding? me?

I know zippo about fundraising and not much more about adoption.
What a crazy idea! But I remember saying outloud, "Okay, whatever it is I'll do it, but you're in charge because I'm. clueless."
(Yah, I'm sure He needed that info and permission. NOT.)
And then the next day in my email In-box (pretty much out of the blue) was an email from Rita asking if I would consider helping her fundraise from The States for the adoption of their hope-to-be daughter Elizabeth.

Can you  imagine?
You see ... I'm not long-time friends of the Rippee's having "met" Rita only 6 months prior to May when I signed up to be a ND Updates editor for the sponsored children. However ... in that short time ... I had emailed her a few times about Elizabeth knowing that she was her "foster" mom at the time ... and about her adoption status and things she liked to do so I could send her a few things. She was on my heart so much for some reason since the May of the year BEFORE when God really moved my heart for orphans and I was able to share this with my husband through her story and how God had used it to truly break my heart ... (I wrote a post about that but can't seem to locate the specific one I am thinking of. But there also was an apron and doll and doll apron that was made for her and perhaps was the first inklings of my LOVE for sewing little-girl-things!) 
(Notice the name of the doll on the box ... "Lindsey"--isn't that cool?!
 God obviously was working long before moving Rita's heart to ask me if I would help. He had been preparing me through these email conversations with her and the littlest of things even before then. And that just moves me SO MUCH! To think that HE saw a speck in me that He could use to bring Him glory. To bring a little one to Him. Wow.
So humbling and I'm so very blessed!
And to see now those little seeds of preparation that were being sewn without me even knowing what would grow from them. wow.  What a lesson in patience.
(I LOVE this photo of Samuel and Elizabeth!)
It's one of those times where I was overjoyed and scared and reassured and overwhelmed all rolled up at once. But excitement was clearly there too. 
And after asking my husband if it would be alright if I accepted this position as fundraising chair we moved forward and Blessings A Hundred Fold was born!

It's been a LONG year of waiting and growing ... and LOTS of praying!
And when I had to step down as the fundraising chair at the beginning of the year at the request of my own family and their needs (which was a difficult decision,) seeing now this day come, knowing that He had the perfect person in Lindsay to take over when I had to step back and how He had this orchestrated from the beginning of time and always in His control, and so full of HIM and all that He has done to make this happen is SOoooo SWEET!~
A true, deep answer to prayer!
I can only imagine how hard it has been for Rita and Randy not to SHOUT this from the rooftops long before today!--especially for the sake of fundraising. Try fundraising without a photo of the child you want to adopt! Especially since you not only know who she is but to have her living with you daily! Now that is HARD! 

They still have funds to raise before they complete this adoption. They are still hopeful that they will receive some grants (they have 2 requests still to hear back on) to help pay for this adoption ... And yes, they DO need to travel back to U.S. soil to make the adoption complete ... so it's not going to be cheaper because of their location (bummer!) But I'm prayerful that NOW that the word is out about who they are adopting that the blessings will truly flow to them! 

They are volunteers and do not make an incredible amount of money beyond what they need for their daily lives--they truly give from the heart and walk by and in faith. And as you soak this all up today and celebrate with them I ask that if you feel led that you might help them complete this journey in bringing closure to this adoption by donating to their adoption fund!  

And me?
I think right now I'll go for another run ;-)


Gretchen said...

That was such an amazing story!

I love when God uses us to be a part of His wonderful plan. You are blessed, my friend. Thank you for being obedient to His call.

The Sanders Family said...

I love your heart. So compassionate, so loving and so willing to help and do what the Lord leads you to do, even when it seems so unexpected as this fund-raising venture. But what a blessing you have been to the family. And now you get to see the fruits of being obedient as you follow them through blog world and share in the joy of their new daughter. Neat what God can do through us when we let Him work! Love you!

Shawna Kurth said...

It doesn't matter how many times I hear this story, I get chocked up every time. It's so amazing to see how God uses some of His children to help His other children. I'm so proud of you for being obedient and following when you were called to.

What a precious daughter of His and now of the Rippee's!!! So glad to see her sweet face!

Girly Girl Mommy said...

I knew it!!! Oh my, how I had such a strong inkling that it was Elizabeth!!
How did you manage to keep it quite too!! Valerie, what a blessing you have been. Thanks for being a role model of what allowing God to use you can look like. What a blessed announcement!!

Tara Anderson said...

I had an inkling from the very beginning. :) So glad that the news is public now!!!!

Rita said...

Valerie, you have said it better than I could have. You have been soooo much of a blessing to Elizabeth and our family as well. Thanks for being so willing and obedient to whatever He has called you to do even if you don't understand it at times. THAT shows true faith in Him. You have such a compassionate heart and it is very evident to many as you do all the things you do! Keep up the good work Valerie!!

TanyaLea said...

Oh Valerie~ How is it that everyone else seemed to have this 'inkling' ...but I was totally CLUELESS!?!

I cried tears of joy when I seen the exciting news that Lizzy was matched with her family. But I had no idea it was "HER" current family! PTL for the great things He has done! I am extra excited for the Rippees now!

And thank you to BOTH you and Lindsay for helping them to raise the funds they needed. You are both so special to me. I wish I had more to give to help them out. They are such a wonderful family! Praying that all their needs are met and that the provisions come pouring in!!

And I know I've said this before but I truly cannot wait to see what 'rewards' God has in store for you! You have been such a servant of all, and your compassionate heart just touches and blesses me to the core. Thanks for being the hands and feet of Jesus and and example we all could learn to follow!


Anonymous said...

What an incredible story! Thanks for sharing and thanks for all you do!

The family

The family