oh my goodness. life is wonderful. we flew down to the southern part of china late last night (thus no blog post). this is where we will stay until we leave. and it is where we stayed for the whole two weeks on our last trip. so it's like coming home! (well, not quite, but closer...)
the weather is amazing. high 60's and sunny. we are soaking it up! our guide's name is david - he was our guide last time and we have kept in touch over the last two years. so when we saw him at the airport it was like seeing an old friend. not only is he an amazing guide but he is a gentleman, great with kids, and super fun to be around. so we are enjoying being with him again. he has gotten married and had a little boy since we were here last - we are hoping to be able to take him and his family out to dinner. we also brought a special gift for his baby (well, that's what we are telling him but it is really for all of them). we are giving him the 'jesus storybook bible' and accompanying cd's that read the storybook (in english). under the guise of gifts and continuing his english (which he is amazing at) we are hoping that the Lord will use it to bring david and his family to himself. the book is a children's bible storybook with beautiful pictures but it specifically points out the story of jesus throughout the entire bible. if you have little kids, it is a great resource for them. but anyway, we are having a great time with david, continuing our friendship and hoping to have some influence for the Lord.
as for that cute little girl of ours, she is a dream. we are having so much fun with her. she is absolutely the most perfect fit for our family - how God does that i don't know but he does. i look around at the multitude of adoptive families that are here (every american family has to come through this city on their way home) and there is no other child that i look at and think, 'gosh, she could be mine' in fact, we were at the 'doctor' today (i use that term VERY lightly) for the required medical check before leaving the country. there were so many adoptive kids there; almost all of them special needs kids. and i just had to stop for a minute and thank God for his amazing blessings to our family. almost every other child there, with the exception of maybe one or two, had pretty severe special needs - unrepaired cleft lips and palates, albinism with blindness, cerebal palsy, and lots of kids who just sort of looked like they probably had some mental disabilities. i know that some of those needs are truly a special calling on families; but i also know that we could have been given two little girls who needed much more medical attention. i truly believe God looked at our family, knew what we could handle, and gave us the perfect little girls to fit right in. i am so, so thankful.
sarahjoy LOVES her daddy. she completely freaks out if he is more than a few feet away from us. she is almost always happy for me to carry her (or 'sack' her as we say since we put her in this little sack thing) but then she will decide that she wants daddy and it is crying, crying until he holds her. it is pretty sweet to see. she certainly is attaching to both of us, but she seems to have a special affinity for her baba (chinese for daddy). and she is EXTREMELY intense when she wants her baba, or when she wants anything for that matter. sort of like her daddy, who is just a bit on the intense side! we get asked all the time if she is a boy or a girl (even though she is dressed in pink) because of her haircut. she and josiah have the same cut; actually, i think josiah's might be longer. it's going to take some time to grow it out but we'll get there. maybe by christmas we'll have a nice little bob. : ) i'll just have to dress her really girlie (or maybe get her ears pierced, heath!)
tonight we met up with two of our friends who actually live in china. they took a train overnight to come to guangzhou. austin was in our youth group back in kentucky and he and his wife bethany are teaching english here. it was so fun to see them. we hung out in the room a bit and then took the subway to go get some pizza from a little place they knew of. well, turns out we couldn't actually find the little restaurant but we did enjoy an amazing time walking around the downtown district. it was the first time i had truly been in a super modern part of china. i mean super modern - high fashion, upscale stores and malls, could have been straight out of new york city. it was beautiful - clean, gorgeous buildings and landscaping, lots of very western looking chinese people and things. a totally new experience. i guess we have experienced a lot of the lower and middle class but tonight was the high class china -the part that could rival any big city in america. it was super fun. i could have done without the body to body subway rides that almost put me over the edge (and did put sj over the edge) but other than that, what a fun night with friends. in the middle of china! (and we eventually landed at papa johns, and while waiting for a seat snuck a diet coke WITH ice from mcdonalds, which sj thoroughly enjoyed!)
the next few days are pretty quiet. we have a couple of business things to do to wrap up the adoption but mostly we get to hang out with austin and bethany, do some shopping, spend some great time with just our little babe, and enjoy gorgeous weather! and then come home to an incredible 5 star marriott hotel that is more beautiful than any place i'll ever stay again! what more could a girl ask for? well, i could ask for free wireless in our room. oh wait, we got that too thanks to the 'executive lounge' being directly above us! so we're able to get their signal. so hey, we are happy campers.
enjoy the pics! i have to say, our little girl is not the most photogenic. but i guarantee she is super cute!!!!!
dear sweet one, we are coming. God is calling us to you, and we are coming. you will be ours, and we will be yours. you will have a mommy and a daddy, and four crazy brothers and sisters. you will know love. you will know laughter. you will know happiness. and someday, you will know of God's faithfulness. because He will prove Himself faithful when we hold you for that very first time. we will look to the heavens and shout His name. we are coming. until we see you, grow strong.
i love you. already. mommy
to my precious lydia
dearest lydia, this is from my heart to yours. you are out there somewhere and when we find you, i want you to know how much you were loved, how much you were prayed for, and how much we desperately wished to meet you. you will be our daughter, but until then, let me not forget the thoughts and emotions that came with the waiting. and may you always know how we loved you, even before we could see your sweet face.