Wednesday, March 25, 2009

First Look

Last week this time we were preparing to land in Jax and see our boys. I couldn't wait to wrap my arms around both of them. Over the last 3 years we have flown occasionally, and each time we came back home I would say, "one day we're gonna come around this cornor with our little girl!" That day finally came! As you might imagine, it was quite emotional. My sweet Jason tenderly cried on his daddy's shoulder before greeting his sister with a sweet kiss. Andrew was running late due to an out of town tennnis match. His Aunt Cheryl was not gonna allow this moment to slip away from him, so she rallied our youth pastor to rendevous with the team and Andrew made it to the airport while we were in luggage claim. He was adorable as he ran through the airport to meet his sister. My heart was so full in that moment! They are so loving and patient with their sister. She is blessed to have them!

Friday, March 20, 2009

We're Home!!

Thank goodness we're home. Lydia was an excellent traveler and will fit into this family like a hand in a glove. She loves her brothers and the feeling is mutual. She is slowly getting her days and nights turned around. It helps that there are lots of cousins to play with. We are ready to begin our new norm.

We had quite the welcoming comittee at the airport which made Lydia's homecoming so very special. It was 11:45 p.m.!! It was wonderful to see Frank, Allyson, and Molly too! It was equally appreciated to have a spread of food delivered from the church. It smelled like "Homecoming" in the house. Uncle Mave and Mamaw had the house all clean and cut the grass an shrubs, and hung a banner out front. Aunt Cheryl had lumineries lining the drive for a special arrival! It was wonderful! Thanks to Simon for driving at the speed of light to have Andrew at the airport! You rock! (thanks to Cheryl for enduring the ride)

Lydia is sitting up independntly, rolling over and no longer has spaghetti neck. She stands with help and I can feel the muscle tone in her legs hardening. Her diet is slowly improving to include rice, congee, (thanks for the recipe Lori) Cherrios and potato chips. (thanks to daddy)

Our hearts are full as we arrive home and feel the love of family and friends. We are so blessed. We will dedicate our precious daughter to the Lord her very first Sunday. Being in China was an unforgettable experience, but there truly is no place like home!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Guangzhou Day 3

One week ago today a very sweet, but sad little girl was placed into our arms. Her life, as well as ours will never be the same. She has blossomed into a much stronger, happier baby than I could have ever imagined possible. We know it is because of all of the prayers you have all been covering her with. She can sit up, roll over, try to stand holding on to someone, and smiles the most heartwarming toothy grin the Lord ever made. When we answered the call to adopt from China we were prepared for whatever the Lord had for us. What the Lord has given us is a loving, funny, very laid back baby. Adopting Lydia has revealed to me a deep look into myself as I reflect on what God did for me when He claimed me as His own. The good people of China are very happy to see Lydia with American parents. The often give us the thumbs up, and say "lucky baby." Mark and I respond... "blessed parents." Where would any of us be with out God? One more Day!!!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Guangzhou Day 2

Another great day! Today we attempted to go to church, however our laundry delivery came too late, and Lydia was napping. After the nap we went to the Chen Museum and shopping. Lydia loves being outside and took a great nap in her stroller so mommy could shop for pearls. She has relaxed and finally feels safe enough that we don't have hlod her 24/7. She is content to sit on the bed and play with her toys from time to time. Have I mentioned what a great daddy Mark is? He is so good with Lydia and actually more patient than I am.
The photos are from our walk around the hotel, and the bed in the photo is from the museum. The bed has large white porcelean blocks that were the pillows! I especially love the bamboo scaffolding that construction workers were using.
Tomorrow is our Consulate appointment, and we must be in our room to answer any questions that may arise. Then on Tuesday afternoon we go for our ceremony. Lydia continues to blossom each day and is sitting up and rolling over! She especially loves to stand while we hold her. She also ate some congee and potato soup today. Still no fruit or juice. We are looking forward to spending much of tomorrow on Shamain Island. We love reading the encouraging words. We are having her dedicated this Sunday so we hope everyone than can will be there to help us celebrate this incredible gift. ~ Cindy

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Wow, what a difference a flight makes!! We are so happy to be in Guangzhou. Today we took Lydia for her physical and we are very pleased to say that other than allergies, she is very healthy. We even saw the same doctor that diagnosed Emilie's VSD. I just wanted to hug him! Next we did our paper work and finally had some free time to walk over to Shamain Island. It is less than 1 mile walk. The walk happens to be through a street market that sold everything from things for your aquarium, spices, dogs,(for pets) to dried sea animals of all manner. It was a palooza of smells! The walk also carried us past 2 mothers begging on behalf of their infirmed children. It caught me off guard. I've been to China before and seen the beggers, as well as others places I've been priveledged to visit. But this time I was holding my perfectly healthy baby in my arms as I walked by these 2 moms who obviously loved their child very much. They could have abandoned them to an orphanage, but instead chose to keep them and provide the best care they could. We are above and beyond blessed to have the means to be here in China adopting our Lydia. It may take a while to pay her off, but well worth it!

We made our way to Lucy's for a delicious lunch, then off to Jennifers for some shopping. It was a wonderful afternoon. Lydia is such a good baby. The video was filmed on SI while we waited for Daddy to scope out the Christian Church. Lydia loves to sing and be sung to. Weather permitting we hope to attend in the morning. This journey on China side is quickly coming to an end, and soon we will finally be "Grimes party of five." I can't wait to hear that the next time we eat at Cracker Barell. We are missing our boys, but I know they're having the time of their life at Winterfest. Much love to you all!

Mark, Cindy and Lydia

Friday, March 13, 2009

Nanchang Day 5

Today we fly to Guangzhou. We ahve spent the morning gathering, packing, and weighing. Lydia has been so sweet. Her congestion continues to improve, thank you all for the much needed prayer. It's a vulnerable feeling to have a sick child in a foreign country. She has been laughing and smiling. Just plain ole sweet! She readily makes eye contact and initiates interaction from both of us. Although she has a preference for Mark, she has learned that I'm not so bad either. She sits up for longer and longer periods of time. She has attempted to roll over, I feel she actually could, but does not want to end up on her tummy. She hates it! I forgot to mention that Mark got to visit a flea market yesterday. He said it was unreal... ducks tiedtogether, frogs in baskets, snakes in baskets, every internal organ you can imagine from all manner of animals ...etc. You get the picture. There was also dog on the menu in the hotel resteraunt, I kid you not! We are beginning to get a little homesick. I am looking forward to not having to boil water for everything. We have a very busy first day in GZ, but we will try to post as soon as we can. We are not going to be at the White Swan. :-( Instead we are at the Holiday Inn Shifu. I'm tod that the rooms are much bigger and accomodating. Don't stop praying now... we're almost home! The photos of the newspaper is actually Lydia's finding add the govt. places to search for her family. The doctor is taking blood pressure and pulse for free at a park. I tried to upload a video of Lydia but it would not go through. I'll try again later tonight.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Nanchung Day 4

Today was a very rainy day. Lydia and I spent the day in the room. She is beginning to "wake up." She has a sweet disposition and has yet to actually cry when she is hungry. She just waits on me to pad around the room getting things together and mix her bottle. We are left to guess that she has learned in the past that crying didn't help, so a quiet patience was learned. She is such a sweetheart! Daddy got to visit the Ten Wang Pavilion in the rain! Then he was taken by our guide to a "reputable" masage salon. He got the 1 hour work over and has returned refreshed. All for the bargain price of about $12. Lydia continues to have congestion in her head and chest and Sally (guide) was able to obtain American antibiotics for us. We love her very much. She speaks excellent English and has seen to our every need. Although most of todays photos speak for themselves, the photo of the clothes is what she was wearing when we got her. It was not all that cold, but she was bundled like an Eskimo. The pants are split pants. The city photo is the view from our window. As I type this post Lydia is playing on the floor with Daddy. She is sitting up for longer periods of time and is scooting across the floor laying on her back and pushing herself with her feet. We feel so blessed have this sweet baby girl. At nearly 44 for both of us it has taken some getting used to, but we wouldn't change it for anything in the world. Tomorrow we are off to Guangzhou, the las leg of this journey on this side of the world. Thanks again for the the e-mails, posts...etc. It means so much to hear from you while we are so far from home. Pray for us as we travel tomorrow. We are praying for all of you.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Nanchang Day 3

Today was another wonderful day. Lydia is doing terrific. As you can see from the video, she love, love, loves her daddy!!! They were playing with toilet paper. She is a very laid back baby, and just rolls with the flow. She is making good eye contact and now cries when we put her down. Today we went to to the country side to see a typical foster home such as the one Lydia was in. We were also able to photopraph the seperate kitchen. As you can see it is very humble means, but the people in the community were quite happy. There is also a photo of a school that we were permitted to briefly tour. The classroom through the window was a 1st grade class. The little boy at the gate of the school was in trouble for not taking his studies seriously. China no longer uses corporal punishment. As we were driving down the street there came many buffalo being driven by a man with a stick. They appeared to know where to go. The sights, smells, and sounds are unforgettable. Our last stop was on "Pottery Street." Jiangxi is known for it's fine porcelean production. We were able to purchase a meaningful gift for Lydia from her home province. We are having a blast, but our hearts are hungry for home. we have what we came here for! Again, thank you so much for the e-mails, and blog comments, and facebook messages! Proverbs 25:25 says "As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country." We can't wait to be home with all 3 of our children on our arms!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Nanchang Day 2

We have had a very busy past 24 hours! Not only was March 9th Lydia's gotcha day, it was also her adoption day. Provincial rules usually require the adoptive family to spend one night with the baby, but for some reason we were allowed to do both. So we promised to never abuse or abandon her and signed many many papers and poof! We're paerents again! We could not be happier! She is such a sweet baby. She has 4 teeth, weighs 21lbs, and LOVES her daddy. She has been smiling a little for us, but mostly she is content to look around and be held. She does not want to be put down. I had to put her in my bed last night and today Mark held her for her nap when she fussed about being put down. We learned through our guide that the Chinese language has 4 tones, and tone is everything. This afternoon Mark sat Lydia on the bed and she began to fuss. Mark jokingly said to her in a fatherly tone "you're not gonna start that little girl," and she squalled her head off. Lesson learned, tone is everything. We have been to the city center park today and Wal-Mart. I have heard about the magnetic carts on escalators, but seeing it was unreal. I have a photo of it to post later. Tomorrow we are going out to the country and we can hardly wait. Thank you all so much for the e-mails and blog comments. It is wonderful to hear from you while we are so far away. We are overwhelmed to be a part of this wonderful journey charted by God. We continue to ask for your prayers, Lydia has a bit of congestion in her head and chest, but no fever. :-) She is not rolling over yet and only sits up for short periods. We have much ground to cover! Much love to you all!
Mark, Cindy, and Lydia

Sunday, March 8, 2009


We are in Nanchang!!!! We loved the Great Wall, but it was time to move on to our girls home!! We are staying at the Gloria Grand feel very comfortable here. The beds are Fred and Wilma beds, but we were so exhausted we slept "like rocks." Our guide told us that we are getting her at 11:30 a.m. We were able to Skype so I have arranged to talk to the boys at 10:00 for a trial run. We should have photo's of Lydia soon!!