Wednesday, December 16, 2009

God Is Faithful

Making cane syryp.

Hard work.... and messy!

Forever friends!

A new fasion statement!

Bacon County Student of the Month

Thinking back to last year this time.... no referral, no hope of a referral! Dec. 11, 2008, I posted on our blogsspot the story of how the matching room works, and even posted a photo! I was depressed. I never dreamed that our file was actually in that very room! Mark, being the good husband he is saw the desperation of my situation and made a command decision to take the family to Aunt Cheryl's for Christmas. After that we flew to Ohio for a week to be with family. I tried to enjoy it, it was a great visit... but something, (someone) was missing. Referrals came on December 27th and I once again tortured myself with all the photos posted of adorable babies who had just been matched to a forever family. I happened to notice that they were all from the same Province... Jaingxi.
We returned home and quickly found our groove. School was started back as well as Basketball season. January 6, 2009 we were at an out of county game. The moment I will NEVER forget! It was 8:09 p.m. when I heard my cell ring. Noticing it was the Adoption Agency I made my way down the bleachers to take the call. Still, in NO WAY thinking it was a referral, I assumed it was some information that needed updating. The voice on the other end of the phone said, "Congratulations Cindy! I'm holding a photo of your beautiful new daughter!" I literally felt my heart in my throat! I quickly went back to get Mark and we were in the parking lot on speaker phone to gather every detail available about our new daughter. I will never forget Mark jokingly asking the social worker if she (Lydia) looked like him! (and now we all know that she actually does!)
Truly it was a "match made in heaven." The following day when we received our official paperwork from China Mark noticed the date our paperwork was signed and official in China... CHRISTMAS DAY! It was a wink form God letting us know that after 3 long years of waiting, our faith was coming to sight. A gift from Him!
You may be reading this and you've been waiting on answers from God for a long time. I encourage you today to keep your self focused on Him and the promises He has given you. He is a faithful God who loves His children and He is still on the throne!


Monday, December 14, 2009

I'll Fly Away

Lydia and I flew to Ohio for a vist in November. She was born to travel! We stayed at Mamaw and Papaw's so Lydia could spend as much time as possible with them. She did a pretty good job letting them get close. A highlight of the trip was seeing Granny.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Joy Unspeakable!!

So comfortable... She has fit into our family like a hand in a glove!
She loves wearing my glasses. She puts them on the dog.
At a hotel in Cleveland, TN. She had no problem making herself at home.

The Tennessee Aquarium... Lydia loved it! What a smile!

The days are quickly passing... Jason's Senior year and Andrew's Junior year is flying by. Jason just turned 18... we are feeling a mixture of happy, sad, proud... and yes, relief! Now to get him focused on college choices and future plans while he is focused on basketball and experiencing Senioritis! Say a prayer for us...
~Much love,
Cindy (for Mark, Jason, Andrew, and Lydia Joy)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Yu Xin Fang is Lydia Joy Grimes!

The best babysitter ever!

Sporting my "wild woman" look.

Lots of hugs for the babysitter!

"I don't do mornings."

It just looks like I'm not having fun.... I LOVE to help mama clean.

How does one merit such favor with God to have such a sweet little soul to look after??? This is a question Mark and I have been asking ourselves lately. If China had only known what a smart, sweet daughter they were giving away, they would have never let her leave the country! But she is all our now! And... on Oct. 5, 2009 she will officially go before a judge here in Bacon County for her "U.S. Adoption," and will then be able to have a U.S. Certificate of Foreign Birth. This allows her to use her American name on official documents such a Birth Certificate and Passport as well as insure her rights as our daughter. We will share her Chinese name/meaning with her when she is older.
Lydia's adoption has given us much to reflect on as we consider our own adoption in Christ Jesus. The moment they placed her in our arms she was given a new lease on life. One with lots of opportunities and freedoms she would never have had in China. Now, simply because she is the daughter of Mark and Cindy Grimes, she gets to go to Church and raise her little voice to the Lord in song. She lifts her hands in worship to a God who loved her so much He gave His life for her. (OK, she imitates mama and daddy), but that it how learning begins.) ;-)
Last month we were visiting grandparents who happen to have a set of perilous brick steps in the den. Lydia had just learned to climb stairs and would NOT stay off of them. It worried me to death. Then Mark decided to let her "play" on the steps... helping her go up and down them over and over. Later Mark reflected on the event and he insightfully shared with our church this truth... That Just as he was watching over Lydia, how much more does our Heavenly Father watch over us. We may be having the time of our life, completely unaware of the dangers surrounding us, and God is faithfully keeping watch over us all. He sends Angels to take "charge" over us! Such love is amazing to me!
Our heats fill as we watch this beautiful creation blossom with each new day and opportunity. May it remind us all to continue to thirst and hunger for the things of God, ever growing in the knowledge and wisdom of the Lord.

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Much Love,
Cindy (for Mark, Jason, Andrew and Lydia Joy)
We took the video below in Valdosta as we were waiting for Jason to get in from Peru. She loves to splash in mud puddles... some things are universal!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Jason in Lima, Peru 2009

Literally moving a mountain! The rocks they were moving were to fill in the terrain. The next step will be to pour concrete and smooth the field for a soccer field and playground.

Women from the community preparing a special meal for the team. It was cooked underground. It cost the families a months wages to feed the team this precious meal.

The kids will forever hold a special place in Jason's heart. He ended up leaving his visor with the one on the left. Saying goodbye to these kids was one of the most heartbreaking moments of the trip. Jason told us that a piece of his heart will always be in Peru!

Typical "mountain" housing in Los Limas, Peru.

Jason with Jeff and Carol Morgan, the missionaries who helped make this experience life changing!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Daddy's Girl

Lydia's new hot tub.
I'm mama's girl too!

" "I love my Andrew!"

Cool girl glasses!

Look what I can do!

Have I told you we have a serious problem at our house??? It's the problem of a mother who very much wanted a daughter... got one... who happens to be a major "daddy's girl!" Lydia is head over heels in love with her daddy and truly I couldn't be happier about that. ;-)
It was wonderful to enjoy her first 4th of July celebrating her new found freedom. The video is from the family night service at church. Lydia loves music and daddy was in rare form! For many of our members it was the first time they have ever seen him just as "daddy." He took his pastors hat off to have some fun with Lydia!
Our summer is flying by very quickly. Andrew still has 2 weeks of camp to work, and Jason is preparing for his missions trip to Peru. Please remember our family when you pray.
The joy of the Lord is our strength!
Much love,

Monday, June 29, 2009

Look Who's Walking!

In Ohio with Mamaw and Papaw and Granny
Chillaxin on Daddy

Aunt Fer-Fer and Lydia

I love the beach!

Cutting teeth at the beach!

We've had a very busy month, so we are late posting. Lots and lots of firsts to tell about! Since June 1st Lydia has cut 6 teeth, attended her first Kid's Crusade, first S. Ga campmeeting, first beach trip to Jekyll Island, had her first Father's Day with a Father, first trip to the ER (more on that later) and her first Mommy and me trip to Ohio. And to top it all off... she's walking!

We have come a very long way since March 9th! She loves going to church, especially the music. Poor Mark is expected to preach the Word while his entire congregation is being entertained by Lyida. She puts on quite a show! Jason and Andrew are equally smitten with her. She will search the pews until she spots them and blows rapid fire kisses with cute little waves.

Jason is getting ready for his missions trip to Peru. He leaves July 22, so please remember him in prayer. I'm going to exercise my parental perogative to tell on him... he was driving to campmeeting for youth night and aquired 2 tickets! One for speeding, the other for talking on the phone while speeding. We almost fainted! If you happen to drive by the parsonage anytime soon you may notice that the yard looks particularly immaculate! :-)

Andrew went to tennis camp while we were on Jekyll and is leaving to work youth camps . We may see him in time for the school year to start.

Now, for the ER trip... Lydia waited until we were in-flight to Ohio to bust a raging fever! She was at the ER within hours of landing with a nasty virus. (Hand, Foot, Mouth) Our entire visit to Mamaw and Papaw's was spent crying... not eating... overall just plain miserable. She has since recovered and is back to her sweet, bossy self.

We also had to tell Aunt Cheryl and family good-bye as they move to their new job in Texas. We will miss them very, very much!

God is in control of it all!


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Day 6

Jerusalem from the Mt. of Olives
Garden of Gesthemane - Olive trees are tested to possibly be over 2000 years old

Traditional crusifixion site

Via Dolorosa

Lion's Gate

Hippodrome - Ben Hur - Horse races

The Band in the Mediterranean

Promontory palace on left - Hippodrome on right
Theatre - 4500 capacity

This will be short and sweet - it's 12:30 and I only got 5 hours of sleep 4 days in a row not including tonight which will be the same!
Went to Caesarea (Maritime, Pontius Pilot) on the Meditteranean Sea - Very beautiful - the hippodrome is huge!
Visited the traditional Via Dolorosa, crucifixion, and burial site
Visited the church of all nations built on the garden of gesthemane
Went to a park on the Mt. of Olives with an incredible panoramic view of Jerusalem - watched the band take camel rides
Had a great Arabic Bedouin dinner at the Shepherd's Valley Village Tent Restaurant - they performed a traditional Dabkah dance for us too. The food was GREAT! Best yet.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Day 5

Riding on the Sea of Gallilee - We listened to a couple of traditional upbeat Arabic songs at the beginning of the voyage - but in the middle they played "Blessed Be The Name" The wind was blowing and the waves were high enough to hit the side of the boat and spray water on your face. Looking around at same mountanous view around the Sea of Gallilee that Jesus looked at turned into a very powerful experience - "Blessed Be The Name" will never be the same song for me ever !!! - I cried like a baby...again - Guess which song we will probably do Sunday Morning!!
Flags on the boat

Peter's house

Shores of the Sea of Gallilee

Church of Primacy - Peter's calling to ministry

Church of Multiplication - The rock is where jesus placed the baskets - notice the fish in the tile

Steps and path where Jesus walked in the temple of pan - yea cried here

Synagog like the one Jesus taught in

Church of Annunciation - Where Gabriel appeared to Mary

Yaku Faruc

Skipped breakfast to get a case study interview this morning with a nice old man named Yaku Faruk that owns a souvenir shop next to the hotel.
Walked to the church of the annunciation - the church is built on/around Joseph's family home.
Went to a Synagog like Jesus teached in

Visited Caesarea Philipi where the people worshipped the god pan - Jesus asked "who do you think I am?"
Visited the church of multiplication - feeding of the 5,000
Visited the mt. of beattitudes and the Church of the Primacy of Peter - where Peter was called
Visited Caphernaum and Peter's home
Took a boat across the sea of Gallilee