14 and 15-On The Way
MADE IT!!! Thought I would start our journal entries this way
to immediately ease the minds of the moms and grandmas! This
is Connie—I am writing this on Saturday at 9:50 am which
is 8:50 pm your time on Friday. Our flights came and went without
a hitch—thank you all so much for praying! We have all
of our luggage and customs was a breeze. I can’t even describe
the international flight. Twelve hours in a tiny seat—there
just are no words. Please pray for our return trip as it will
be longer, and we will have Lydia to keep occupied.
Caiti are doing great. Lacey made it through her first flying
experience. On our flight to Denver she sat next to a guy close
to her age who was a real chatterbox and kept giving her “plane
crash scenarios”. She was thrilled as you can imagine!
We got to
our hotel around 7:00 pm. Jonathan and the girls decided to check
out the local Carrefour, which is kind of like Wal-Mart, but
is owned by a French company. Jonathan bought four bottles of
water and a power adapter and paid less than $1. Be sure to remember
to ask the girls about the “live food section” at
is great! Each room has two beds, each of which are slightly
larger than twin beds. I slept from 9:30pm-5:00am—we were
just so exhausted! This is enough about the travel days. On to
more interesting stuff. . .
Connie again. Right now I am sitting in a bus in the middle
of Beijing by myself. Our group is touring Tian'anmen Square and
the Forbidden City. I had a bad asthma attack this morning so decided
to skip the tour as it involves a lot of walking. I hate missing
the historical stuff, but am really enjoying people-watching. Beijing
is a city of 14 million so there are lots of people everywhere. The
streets are filled with cars, taxis, buses and bicycles—all
together! Bicycles are everywhere—all different types and those
riding weave them in and out of the streets with no regard to the
flow of traffic. Somehow it works!
many American influences here. The very first thing I saw was
the Michelan Man. I had no idea what the billboard said, but
I’d know the Michelan Man anywhere! There are Coke and
Kodak signs everywhere, and McDonald’s is prevalent too.
KFC is here too—you should see the picture of Colonel Sanders—he
must have an Asian twin! HA!
here is okay—very, very humid. There is no sunshine though.
The skies are completely gray due to the smog—lots of air
(Jodi, I just
saw a little boy wearing hot pink sandals. Tell Kael I will get
him some if he would like. No cowboy boots here I’m afraid!)
After a long day
of walking, walking, walking and having our guide say, "Everybody
come over here...listen to me!" our
day is finally done. I
will hit some highlights for you and add a few pictures as we
people everywhere. We were told that one million people pass through Tian'anmen
Square and the Forbidden City each day. This is but a small sampling
of the masses assembled today.
isn't a sucker for a little kid? In this case, it's the Chinese
pictures with the American! Randy (the boy) was very famous today!
the Forbidden City! Why is it forbidden, you ask? It has something
to do with dynasties ending in "ing" and emperors with
a great love for security. The ground you see the people walking
on is actually 15 layers deep of stone. It was designed this way
to prevent enemies from digging their way into this city. Forbidden
and I have adopted the official military policy for eating Chinese
food: "Don't ask, don't tell."
note the fries and spaghetti--YUM!)
pearl factory...a wonderful place to learn about the formation
of pearls. And a wonderful place to lighten the weight of one's
Summer Palace...China's answer to Camp David for those in power
back durning the dynasties. We arrived
for this tour by boat.
silk factory was an interesting tour where we were able to see
silk go from the cocoon to finished product. The quilts, clothing
and scarves were all very nice...and none of them are going home
with us. (Too expensive!)
evening comes to an end with yet another Chinese dinner (what you
see was only the beginning) and...
maintianence men "fixing" our air conditioner. Only one
more day until we see Lydia!
from today that I don't have time to tell but you should ask us
- The lady
who walked 1/4 of a mile with me and my refusal to give any money
to an older woman
- Lydia's first
technology gift from Carrefour
- Blue Moon
- Losing the
man in red
- Happy Buddha
at the pearl factory
those hoping for direct emails, we won’t be able to do that
in Beijing because the cost of internet is very high. Things should
be different in Chongqing. Again,
thanks for praying and keep it up! God has given us grace when
we’ve needed it and we are so thankful for that! Love to
all of you!
do you know how to put an elephant in the refrigerator?)
It's the little
things in life that you truly appreciate. Like bacon. Each morning
we have our one meal with food that is somewhat recognizable...poached
eggs, fruit, breads, potatos and bacon. This is a nice switch from
some of the fare we've been enduring. I used to think I liked Chinese
food. I was wrong.
our group traveled to the Beijing International Christan Fellowship.
As you enter the building (a rented theater) your passport is checked
to verify that you are not Chinese. Once inside, we participated
in a service that most Americans would find familiar. As we worshipped,
I was struck with the awe of worshipping with people from all over
the world in one place and experiencing the fact that our great
God is truly supreme over all. I was humbled to tears knowing that
God allowed us to travel to China to bring home not only our daughter,
but His daughter. Finally, I was struck with great sorrow knowing
that the Chinese people face great persecution for a privilege
we often take for granted. May I be more fervant in my pursuit
of God realizing that each day truly is a gift.
church, we traveled to a jade factory. Here we saw jade taken from
its original state and carved and shaped into amazing things like
the ship seen here. In China, it is a tradition for the women to
have a jade bracelet that has often been passed down from their
mothers when the daughters turn 18. The bracelet is to be worn
on the left wrist which is closer to the heart. The properties
in the body. This was an interesting experience and as always,
shopping opportunities abounded!
yet another traditional Chinese lunch at an eatery located inside
the Friendship Store and a little souvenir shopping, we were off
to the Great Wall. Thankfully, the weather was a little cooler
(think Houston in June, not July and you'll know how things felt).
The Wall is
something that must be experienced to be understood. We can tell
you about the masses of people, the uneven steps or the nearly
vertical climb, but this would only give you a small picture of
the reality that is the Great Wall.
you view the winding path as the letter "s", Lacey, Caiti and I
made it half way up the "s." This was no small task...the Great
Wall is the ultimate Stairmaster!
dinner after our trip to the Wall, we had the Chinese delicacy Peking
Duck. The proper way to eat Peking Duck is to take a pancake (actually
a thin tortilla), put a few slices of duck inside, place some bean
sprouts inside, roll it up and dip it in the duck sauce. We all tried
it and decided that it wasn't too bad. However, the food staring
back at us (see picture) was a greater cause for alarm. None of us
touched this fish dish. Needless to say, American food will taste
very good when we get to Chongqing!
dinner, several families attended a Chinese acrobat show. Still
shots of this program does not do it justice. That's one of the
reasons I took nearly 1/2 hour of video at this program. Pictured
on the left are people spinning plates on small sticks. This may
not sound impressive until you realize that each person is spinning
about 10 plates each...at the same time! Amazing stuff...
Hey all—this is Connie. What a day it’s been! We left
for the airport this morning at 6:20 am. Our flight to Chongqing
took about 2 hours, and then we were bussed to our hotel. At the
airport we met our local guide, Kevin who is WONDERFUL! He announced
to us at that time that the babies would actually be brought to us
at our hotel—earlier than expected! (Initially we were supposed
to meet the babies at the Civil Affairs Office at 4:00 pm) The babies
arrived a little after 2:00 pm and it was mass chaos. There are only
10 families here, but we all had to go to our guide’s hotel
room to get the babies so it was pretty crazy.
Lydia is finally with
us. There is too much to say, but I will try. She is as beautiful
as we thought she would be. She is very petite—one
of the smaller babies in our group. (Tonight she is wearing size
6/9 month PJs, which are just about too small—we’ll see
how clothes fit tomorrow.) She appears to be in good health—not
undernourished. She may be in the process of catching a cold as we
heard some sneezing and wheezing tonight so please pray about that.
Fortunately there is a pediatrician on our team so we’ll see
about a “house call” tomorrow just to check things out.
She is having some attachment
issues, which we knew could happen. She went straight to Jonathan
and wanted nothing to do with me at
first. However, as the day went on she warmed up a little. She is
still guarded, still not completely relaxed. But she has been through
so much. I am not upset about any of this—we knew she might
have struggles with attaching.
Lydia’s personality is, well. . . very entertaining. She is
VERY stubborn, strong and independent. Boy, do we have our work cut
out for us! In truth, she will probably fit in very well with the
Workmans! She hates going to sleep—had screaming fits before
finally conking out on two different occasions today. She has hand
gestures that mean “I’m mad” and a thing she does
with her lips that means “You’re frustrating me”.
She loves being the center of attention and loves to have us clap
when she does something well.
Lydia is very close to walking. She can crawl okay, pulls up by
herself and loves to walk around with the help of anyone standing
close by. I imagine she will be walking on her own by the time we
leave China. And she loves Chicken McNuggets and French Fries. She
can really eat!
So much more I could
say, but I’m exhausted and need to sleep
while Lydia does—apparently the orphanage still has her on
a schedule where she gets up in the middle of the night to eat. Trust
me—this will not last at our house! HA!
Changing the subject—we now have internet access in our room!
YEA! Hopefully we will now be able to post updates on a daily basis.
Also—just a note about Chongqing—it’s an absolutely
beautiful city—much better than Beijing. It was built on a
mountain and the Yangtze River runs through it. It is a city of 32
million so there are lots of traffic issues, but we really like it
here. The hotel is wonderful and McDonald’s and KFC are close
Again, what a day! Thank you all for everything—can’t
wait for you to meet Lydia!
After a quiet
night of Lydia sleeping from 9:00pm until 7:00am, we started the day
with a bath. Lydia is not the youngest baby in our group but is the
second smallest baby, so we were able to bathe her this morning in
the sink. Lydia was not a big fan of this process, but we made it through.
After bath time, she was worn out from the fight of the bath and getting
dressed, so lydia and daddy catnapped while mom got ready. After mom
was ready we all made it to breakfast at 8:40am.
a feast with even more variety than Beijing. While mom and dad dined
on pancakes and maple syrup, Lydia ate steamed egg, pancake and melon.
After breakfast it was off to the store for supplies...our outing
for the day.
Our group boarded
the bus with babies in hand for our trip to the Carrefour. Once there,
we were able to buy enough formula and rice cereal for the remainder
of the trip. We also picked up 8-24oz bottles of Sprite, a box of bottled
water, a couple of new outfits for Lydia, a new bottle, two nipples,
some toys, batteries, M & Ms and
a stroller. Total cost? Less than 50 U.S. dollars. Try that at
your next trip to Wal-Mart!
of the day was spent doing whatever we wanted. For Lydia, this meant
playing with toys (the
box of water is her favorite toy), taking a couple of bottles,
napping, taking a 40 minute stroller ride
through the mall and discovering the new love of her life...Cheerios.
As I write this, we just finished dinner (McDonalds again)
and Lydia is playing in the room and walking around with Lacey holding
about customer service. In Carrefour, there are employees literally
around every corner ready to help. Even with the language barrier,
easy to communicate what you want. If they don't understand, they
would find someone who could. If they did knew what you wanted, they
would often lead you to where it was. After paying for your items
there were men standing there ready to carry out your items. This
involved about a fifty cent tip, but they would carry (not push
in a cart and unload) your purchases wherever you wanted. All duties
are performed quickly and courteously with a smile.
will most likely grow up to be President of the United States.
She marches to the beat of her own drummer, is very strong willed
and doesn't (yet) take no for an answer. While those are great qualities
to have for the future leader of the free world, it makes the pre president-elect
Lydia a challange. These qualities rear their ugly collective head
in the form of prolonged screaming fits when she doesn't get what she
screaming fits when daddy isn't holding her or is out of the room and
moments of beauty when she plays on the floor or is sleeping peacefully.
Lydia is a paradox. Her life will be an interesting one to be sure...
About our day:
What a crazy day, but so much fun! We started by going to the Chongqing
zoo today. “Zoo” is a bit misleading
as there were only a few different animals in cages, but that’s
what they call it so we’ll go with it! Our guide told us the
government will not provide adequate funding so the zoo is suffering.
However, we got to see 3 of the 4 pandas who live there which was
the main reason for going anyway! The trees and other vegetation
there were magnificent. Definitely nothing you would see in Kansas!
The best part of the zoo, though, was watching Jonathan negotiate
with the many women who were following us around, trying to get us
to buy their panda merchandise. We got some great footage of Jonathan
and one woman going at it! We then visited an art gallery and learned
about Chinese paintings. Many people bought some beautiful works
for very low prices.
to our hotel for naps. Some people went to a WWII museum and went
shopping, but we decided to opt out—too much action
for all of us! We tried KFC for lunch as I was hoping to let Lydia
try mashed potatoes. Unfortunately, everything we got was so full
of pepper we could barely eat it. The girls have made friends with
a street vendor across from our hotel so later in the day they ran
across to get pop and ice cream. We had the best “drumsticks” I
think I’ve ever had—and Lydia had her first introduction
to ice cream. She was very funny as she isn’t crazy about cold
things and made a face every time we gave her a bite. Still, she
went back for more!
was interesting to say the least. Some in our group decided to
take a boat ride on the Yangtze River—the longest
river in Asia and the third longest in the world. We decided this
definitely sounded like fun so we joined the group on the bus at
7:30 pm to head to the waterfront. Getting to the boat was an adventure
I won’t go into, but once we made it we sat on the very top
level of the boat in the open air. It was extremely hot and humid,
but the city lights were incredible. We sat at tables and were served
tea, which as Lacey puts it, tasted like potpourri. The boat was
adorned with flashing coconut trees (tacky at best) and the entertainment
was, you guessed it—karaoke. Jonathan got it on film—there
are truly no words. When the ride had finished, we made our way back
to where we were to meet our bus. Unfortunately, the bus was nowhere
to be found. Kevin, our guide went looking for it, but was unsuccessful
in locating the bus or making contact with the driver via cell phone.
He finally contacted the driver’s boss who brought another
bus himself. Apparently, our initial driver had gone to the casino
while we were on the boat and forgot about us. Needless to say, on
the way back to the hotel we got to hear our driver yelling in his
cell phone—translation: you’re fired. What a night!
About our Lydia:
Lydia had a great day today. She hung with all the traveling and
the heat really well. Her personality continues
to amaze us. She is very laid back unless she is not getting her
way—then, look out!!! Lacey and Caiti are her playmates—walking
her across the room and cheering when she makes it. Lydia has come
to expect the applause and will let you know if you are not being
attentive enough! She is attaching better now and seems to know that
she has a mom and a dad.
One thing we have come to realize is that Lydia stands out in the
crowd. People are always staring at her and at the art gallery her
antics drew in a group of Chinese women. One of the ladies said, “nice
eyes,” which seems to be the consensus of most. Even the other
adopting families we are with are constantly commenting on her eyes
and her size. One of the other dads calls her “princess”.
Amy, the guide for our entire trip, is also enamored with Lydia,
making it quite obvious that Lydia is her favorite. Let’s see—how
many people can I get wrapped around my finger???
Lydia is a true
joy—we could not be more blessed. Each day
brings new surprises about who she is, and we are loving every minute
of it. Love to all of you!
started early with Lydia waking up around 5:00am. She lay in bed
with Connie for a short time while Jonathan got cleaned
up and dressed. We then switched off with Lydia sitting on Jonathan’s
lap at the computer while Connie got around. After we were both dressed
and ready for the day it was time to change Lydia’s diaper
and get her dressed. Her diaper was definitely wet but so was something
else…daddy’s leg! Lydia left a grapefruit size wet spot
on dad’s shorts, prompting a quick clothing change for Jonathan
Today was a
day many families had been waiting for…the trip
to the orphanage, Fuling Social Welfare Institute. This was a once-in-a-lifetime
opportunity for parents to get to see where the children spent the
beginning months of their lives and for families to get a chance
to ask questions of the girls’ nannies. The two-hour trip to
the orphanage provided a valuable opportunity to get to see the Chinese
countryside on the way to Fuling, a small city compared to Chongqing
(only 1 million people). This was a great trip that allowed us to
get lots of video and pictures that will help answer some questions
for Lydia later in life. The crib in the picture is the one Lydia
slept in while in the orphanage.
After returning from Fuling, we had lunch in the room and then Jonathan
went to a paperwork meeting at 4:30pm, outlining what will be happening
during the next few days. The rest of the day was spent playing in
the room and relaxing with our little bundle of dynamite.
Snapshot of the day: This morning while venturing down the streets
in the early morning hours, I happened upon a small food business
opening shop for the day. One gentleman was manning a large wok-
looking pan with a healthy fire built underneath. The wok was
filled with (now) hot, bubbling oil and another gentleman was dropping
large pieces of dough into the oil. I could tell from the delicious
smell that I had happened upon Chongqing’s version of Frosty’s
(a local doughnut shop in our hometown). I took a picture of the
establishment, showed the owner his picture on my digital camera
(which he enjoyed) and promptly purchased a huge piece of fried
dough that could be compared in size to two extra large twists
purchased at my aforementioned hometown doughnut shop. It was like
a funnel cake, but a bit denser and was not sweet to the taste,
but very good. This Chongqing treat cost just $0.50 or 5 Yuan Chinese.
been getting up each morning around 5am with Lydia (sometimes earlier,
rarely later), I try to make it a point to go
out on the streets of Chongqing and observe the goings on. While
Chongqing, like New York, is a city that never sleeps, it begins
its daily routine around 6:00am. At this hour, the sidewalks are
populated by the older generation doing Tai Chi, younger men hauling
all manner of product on their backs and in carts and the streets
are beginning their bustle with the appearance of taxis and busses.
I have loved my morning strolls along the streets of Chongqing, a
city of both the modern (there has been a 2006 Converse shoe convention
held in or near our hotel and the connecting shops carry the latest
styles from all over the world) and the simple. At this point, if
someone asked me where I would live if I could live anywhere in China,
my answer would be Chongqing. I will truly miss this place.
Today we said goodbye to Chongqing and flew to Guangzhou. Although
we are definitely ready for the “final stretch” of
our journey, it was a little sad to leave Chongqing. The city is
so beautiful and the people so friendly. I hope someday we can
come back, when Lydia is older, and enjoy more of the city.
we finished packing so the bellboys could get our check-in luggage
and transport it to the airport. It is so nice not
to have to worry about that—especially now that we have an
additional “carry-on”! Prior to getting on the bus, Caiti
and Lacey made one final trip to the “ice cream lady” across
from our hotel. They had been buying things from her all week and
so they decided to give her one of the extra gifts we brought from
the US. She was very surprised and happy. Jonathan took a picture
of them with her and she came to the hotel a few minutes later, asking
for the girls to send her a copy of the picture. She also delivered
four free ice cream novelties to us. Keep in mind—she knows
no English and the girls do not know Chinese. Truly, kindness and
friendship are so much more than words spoken.
We got on the
bus around 11:45pm for the ride to the airport, and our plane left
around 2:30pm. I was very nervous about how Lydia
would do on the flight (her first!), as she has been sick all week
with what we think is an ear infection. However, she did great on
the bus ride (she LOVES to ride!) and was a real trooper as we carted
her around the airport. We prayed for her right before we got on
the plane, and we are happy to say—she was wonderful! She slept
most of the way and while the rest of us were feeling our ears popping,
she didn’t even seem to notice. We thank God for this answer
One last note
about the flight—Caiti and Lacey are claiming
it as one of their most embarrassing moments. We’ll let them
tell the story later on, but it does have to do with a certain male
flight attendant seen here!
We got to our
hotel around 6:30pm and it is now 10:30pm. Lydia is asleep in her
crib—her dad did a good job of getting her to
sleep tonight. She has made such progress in the last few days, and
we are so proud of her. Today she barely fussed at all when having
her diaper changed and seemed to almost enjoy her bath—until
Mom had to go and rinse off her hair! Both of these events used to
be met with screaming and a major amount of wiggling—now she
is doing so much better! We continue to find her fascinating and
love getting to know her more and more.
We are glad
to be in Guangzhou—glad that half of our trip
is over. Please continue to keep us in your prayers, as this week
will be filled with paperwork. Please also pray that Lydia will begin
to feel better. She did great today, but we could really tell she
was feeling crummy. Love to all and thanks for your constant support!
We’ve had a very relaxing day today—something all of
us needed. We didn’t wake up until 6:30—and Lydia slept
until 7:30! She still gets up at least once every night, but it was
nice of her to let us sleep in!
We are staying
at China Hotel—a Marriott Hotel, which is very
nice. Breakfast is again included in our stay so we tried out another
huge breakfast buffet this morning. Now that we are in Guangzhou,
all of the adoptive families are together again—33 babies!
It has been so fun to see all the new babies of the people we were
with in Beijing. Breakfast was filled with all kinds of baby sounds
Jonathan went to a paperwork meeting at 10:30 while Lydia and I
took a nap. Caiti and Lacey were anxious to check out some local
shops so they scoped things out for us, and later, we joined them
at a small mall next to the hotel. We found a couple of cute outfits
for Lydia, but otherwise decided to wait on other purchases, as we
will be shopping almost every day this week.
Some of you
have asked about Lydia’s weight and clothing sizes.
Well. . . she is small! Most of the clothes I brought for her are
way too big. She won’t officially be weighed until next week
at her medical exam, but there is a set of scales in our bathroom
so we tried weighing her on those and she is somewhere around 15
pounds. She definitely can’t wear anything larger than 12 months—and
to be honest, most of those are a little big right now too. But the
way she eats, we are trusting she will grow quickly! She is crazy
about Cheerios and Fruit/Veggie Puffs and ate a huge amount of them
today. (In contrast, another couple in our group adopted a 10 month-old
baby who weighs 27 pounds!)
we visited the Starbucks in our hotel. YEA!!! I got a non-coffee
drink (much like a milkshake) so Lydia got to have a
few tastes. She was very impressed! She’s a big ice cream lover
just like her mom! Caiti and Lacey found more shops in the hotel
to visit this afternoon while Lydia had her picture taken for her
American visa. (She was less than happy about this as it interrupted
Tonight we ordered
in from an “American” restaurant
called Danny’s Bagel. As none of us like the local cuisine,
we were happy to have Danny’s as an option. Caiti and Lacey
were a bit disappointed at their burgers—not quite Kansas beef—but
otherwise everything was great. Lydia especially enjoyed her introduction
to macaroni and cheese!
It’s now a little after 9:00pm. Lydia is fast asleep so we
think we’ll join her! Good night! (Actually, good morning where
We started the
day on the bus (as usual!) on our way to a Chinese Folk Art Museum.
It was a short drive, but allowed us to see more
of Guangzhou. It seems to us that Guangzhou is a cross between Beijing
(which none of us liked) and Chongqing (our favorite city.) It is
another city of several million that seems to be growing by leaps
and bounds. The cities in China grow up, not out. Most people live
in apartments, in buildings that soar into the sky. In China the
people cannot own land or even their own apartments—the government
owns it all and the people lease their apartments from the government.
of us were really thrilled with the idea of going to the Folk Art
I don’t know what we were picturing, but after
visiting I was so glad we went. The museum is actually a former temple
owned by a very rich Chinese family. Children lived there and received
their schooling there. It is an indoor-outdoor facility and reminded
me of some of the buildings in “Anna and the King”. The
carvings, statues and ornamental décor were all amazing. While
there, we also got to shop for Chinese paintings and prints and watched
an artist paint with the sides of his hands and his fingers -unbelievable!
We then went
grocery shopping at a place called “The Friendship
Store”. There is nothing to compare this store to in America.
We entered and took escalators to the 6th floor (remember—they
build up in China!) to the “baby” section. It
of people in a small space. We bought a ball for Lydia, which was
a major ordeal. In China, unless you are grocery shopping, you don’t
just take all your things to a “checkout” place. In this
particular store we took the ball and had to find a salesperson to
make out some sort of ticket for the item. She then bagged the toy
and sent us to the 5th floor to pay for it. After we paid, we then
had to return to the 6th floor with our ticket to receive the item.
Although customer service in China is great, this process is a bit
ridiculous. We returned to the 5th floor where the “grocery” section
was located. It was really odd as part of the 5th floor contains
expensive jewelry, fine china and other “department store” items. We
bought a few snacks and then visited the 4th floor -electronics.
We then returned to the bus, totally wiped out, and rode back to
we made our way to the basement of the hotel where two very nice
shops are located—a silk shop and a traditional
Chinese gift shop. We then stopped at Starbucks (our addiction!)
and finished the night chatting and eating in our room.
be a huge day as all the babies will be receiving their medical
exams. Please be praying for Lydia—these are
generally very basic exams, but she has been sick and I don’t
want anything to hinder her getting a clean bill of health. She is
actually much better—thank you all for praying. Please pray
for the other babies too. Many others have colds or ear infections
and one baby even has bronchitis.
Lydia had a good day today (except for a major fit in Starbucks!)
She is feeling better and playing more. She goes back and forth from
Mom and Dad easily now and is even letting Caiti and Lacey handle
her a bit more. We know her adjustment will continue to take time
as she learns to trust us and trust that we are not going to abandon
her. Again, thank you for praying and see you tomorrow!
Thank you all
for praying—we survived the medical exam!!!
Trust me, “survived” is the appropriate word. The whole
process was ridiculous. Lydia had to endure three examination “stations”—one
for ear, nose, and throat; one for height, weight, and temperature;
and one where they took off her clothes and listened to her heart.
I’m not kidding when I say the actual “exam” took
less than 10 minutes. The “ridiculous” part of it all
was being there for TWO HOURS, packed in like sardines, waiting our
turn. It was hot and filled with crying babies—needless to
say, an experience I don’t want to repeat. Thankfully, Lydia
handled the wait much better than I did, fussing (screaming) only
during the actual exam. For those who have been waiting for the official
statistics, Lydia weighs 16.2 pounds and is 27 inches tall.
exam we all went shopping on Shaiman Island. The medical exam office
is located there as is the American Consulate, therefore
there are many neat shops and street vendors targeting tourists.
We shopped until we dropped—some dropped earlier than others,
including Lydi and me! We went to the bus early and took a nap.
The rest of
the day was spent napping and playing. Lydia tried another new
food—chicken quesadillas—and loved them! (Don’t
worry—they aren’t quite like the ones in the States—no
spices.) It’s now 8:30pm and Lydia is asleep. Jonathan is watching
TV and the girls left a little while ago to check out the pool. Again,
thanks for your prayers over the medical exam. We are basically home
free now barring any complications from the American Consulate. We
are definitely counting the days until we are back in the States.
There’s no place like home!
After yesterday’s drama, today was a piece of cake! This morning
we toured a teahouse and participated in a tea ceremony. We learned
about the importance of tea to the Chinese people and tried four
different types of tea: Rose, Jasmine, Ginseng, and Oolong. None
of us liked any of it, but we wanted to say we had tried! One of
the women on our team asked our guide about “Lipton”.
Our guide said, “We don’t talk about Lipton in China.” The
Chinese know nothing of tea bags—they use actual tea leaves
and go through quite a process to prepare their tea.
In the afternoon,
Jonathan, Lacey and Caiti took a taxi to a DVD/CD store recommended
by our guide. This was a very exciting venture
for them—the sales staff, noting they were Americans, immediately
ushered them into a “back room” not much bigger than
a closet. There, the three of them found DVD heaven, paying an average
of $1.25 for each DVD. Shown here are a sampling of the titles they
found—many of which are still being shown in theatres in the
States. Another exciting moment during this excursion occurred when
Caiti and Lacey hailed a taxi. They were quite proud of themselves!
Later in the afternoon, Jonathan, Lydia and I walked to the hotel
next to ours to do some shopping. This hotel had some really unique
shops and our wallet was again lightened.
After a rough
start this morning (Lydia is not a morning person, and it doesn’t help that her mother isn’t either!), Lydia
had another good day—playing, eating and attracting attention
everywhere we went. She chuckled for the first time today—there
is no other sound as beautiful to our ears.
Only two more
full days left in China—we are all homesick.
We’ll be stuck in the hotel much of tomorrow for paperwork
so feel free to email us—we’d love to hear from you!
Today was spent
trying to keep busy. As we had no scheduled activities, it was
a long day. Jonathan, Caiti and Lacey did some shopping in
the early afternoon with Lydia and I joining them later on. We went
to a Chinese bookstore and bought a children’s fairytale book
for Lydia, which is written in both English and Chinese. We then
stopped by McDonald’s. Caiti and Lacey eat there everyday—I
think they both may turn into French Fries! It’s interesting
trying to order there—we do a lot of pointing. Actually, a
few people do speak English, and they do a good job of figuring out
what we want.
we did a little more shopping in our hotel and then Jonathan, Lydia
and I spent some time playing in the hotel
lobby for a change of scenery. Lydia had a great day today. We are
getting to know each other better, and as we understand her more,
it keeps her from being quite so frustrated. (Thus, fewer fits!)
We have a long way to go and lots of things to tackle when we get
home, but it’s nice to see even a small amount of progress.
favorite moment of the day was trying (and loving!) peach juice.
Still hates the sippy cup though!
Thank you for
all your emails today. We are all anxious to be back home—Caiti
and Lacey even packed their bags tonight! Only one more day! Yea!!!
Commentary from Jonathan
The date was
September 7, 1979. The very first broadcast of SportsCenter was
beamed to the masses courtesy of Entertainment and Sports Programming
Network, ESPN. Sure,
the initial programs were a bit rough (tractor pulls, pool tournaments
featuring Minnesota Fats and Australian Rules Football), but
we loved the idea of having an all sports network! As I've been watching
a little bit of television this week in Guangzhou, I've been treated
to the likes of rugby, equestrian, soccer and of course, the 2005
Kaohsiung World Pool Championship and on the Asian ESPN. The graphics
are the same as the US version, but their programming transports
me back, back, back, back to ESPN, old school. For the approximately
18 people who care
you know who you are) that's my take. Out.
It feels so
good to be able to say THIS IS OUR LAST JOURNAL ENTRY FROM CHINA!!!
Today we went to the American Consulate for a 20 second
ceremony in which we swore everything we put in our adoption papers
is true. This was our last step—when we land in Chicago, Lydia
is an American citizen!
the occasion, Lydia wore her new “I love America” dress,
and Jonathan and I wore red, white and blue. As we were unable to
take any pictures at the Consulate, here are a few we took before
Later in the
afternoon we took group pictures at the hotel. Our picture is of
all the families who went to Chongqing (minus one—missing
in action!) Then, we took pictures of just the babies. Well. . .
we tried to. As you can see, Lydia is already a “take charge” kind
of person, making sure her friends, Molly on her right, and Kayley
on her left, are paying attention!
The last pictures are of Lydia with our guides, Amy and Linekar.
Thank you all
so much for your prayers and support during our journey. Please
be praying for us tomorrow, as from the moment we leave the
hotel in Guangzhou to the moment we get to Kansas City, will be over
25 hours of traveling—and then still on home!
We are planning
to keep this website to chronicle the adventures of Lydia and our
family so feel free to check in now and then. Thanks
again and may God’s blessings be with you all!
We got up at
4:30am China time to prepare for our bus ride to the airport at
6:00am. We were all thrilled to have to get up so early—yeah,
right! We made it to the Guangzhou airport a little after 6:30am,
but by the time we checked in our luggage and did all of the “customs” stuff,
we barely made our plane at 8:30. Whew!
We flew from
Guangzhou to Hong Kong—a 30 minute flight. Hong
Kong is absolutely beautiful (what we could see from the air anyway!)
When we got to the Hong Kong airport we got in line for at the United
counter where ONE agent was helping all of us. Needless to say, Jonathan
stood in line for 2 hours, waiting to get boarding passes for our
next flight. During the long wait we found that our flight was actually
delayed—we were supposed to be leaving at 12:45, but would
not be leaving until 2:30. This was discouraging news as it meant
that we would certainly miss our connecting flight in Chicago. Nonetheless,
we finally boarded our plane at 2:00—and sat there for 2 ½ HOURS
waiting on another plane to get in so those passengers could board
our plane too. We were not happy. It was a long flight made much
I want to go
back for a second as one fun thing happened during our wait in
the Hong Kong airport. We got online and discovered that
Caiti had become an aunt again! Our good friends Mark (Caiti’s
brother) and Jana (See “Joining Us In China”) became
the proud parents of Hope Nyssa on July 28th, 10:02 pm, weighing
in at 7lbs, 8oz.! Welcome Hope! We love you!
Okay, back to flying! The Hong Kong flight took 14 hours, but we
finally made it to Chicago. Thank you all for praying—Lydia
did a great job on the plane—no problems other than not understanding
why she couldn’t crawl around. The baby in front of us screamed
most of the way—I kept thanking God that she wasn’t
We breezed through
customs and immigration and Lydia became a US citizen! YEA!!! We
waited forever for our luggage, but all of it
arrived and we finally made it—once again—to the United
counter. This time, they were waiting for us with news of our new
connecting flight. We raced to the gate and made it! Our final flight
We arrived in
KC at 9:30 pm—about 3 hours later than planned.
We were met by Carrie (our niece—Lacey’s sister), Charles
and Beverly (Caiti’s parents), and our “driver” Luke.
We were surprised to see our friends Kael, Jodi, Tom, Kelley, Mike,
Kim, Hannah, Leah, Caleb, Rachel, Abby and Justus. So wonderful to
see familiar faces! We were also surprised to NOT see our luggage.
We took 8 different flights on this trip and the one time we lose
our luggage is from Chicago to KC. Hilarious. But I am so thankful
if it had to happen that it didn’t happen in China! (Side note—all
our bags were found and delivered to us the next day!)
We finally made
it to home about midnight and to bed around 2:30am after 34 hours
of being awake—30 of which were actual travel
hours. This is NOT something I ever want to do again! Especially
NOT in July! HA!
But—was it worth it? Look back at some of the pictures in
our other journal entries (July 24th is a favorite of mine) and you’ll
have the only answer we can give—without a doubt—YES!
for joining our journey—for your thoughts and
prayers. Feel free to check back on the site periodically—I
imagine we’ll have “Home from China” stories to
tell in a week or so. May God’s blessings be abundantly yours—To
God be the glory!!!