December 24, 2006

We're finally home!

This is Sydney coming through the front door for the first time!! I don't think she knows what a big step this is, and how far we have had to come over the past several months. We are so happy to have her home. She is a joy. She has some issues with going to sleep at night, but considering that we just took her from everything she ever knew, I think she is doing great. Everyday she learns more words. She knows all of her brothers and sister's names, and she understands more than she can actually say. Here is a picture of her eating Brooklyn Pizza(yes we had to have it as soon as we got home).

She wants to do everything that her big sister Haley does.

Granny and Granddad brought some presents while we were gone, so everybody is happy.

Now we're just getting ready for bed and waiting for Santa....

December 21, 2006

Ready for Home!

We're getting packed to come home! We are so excited to go back to the states. China was nice, but we really need to come home. We have enjoyed our stay, and have learned so much about the Chinese culture (sometimes too much). This knowledge will be useful later in Syndey's life when she asks questions about her homeland. Overall the Chinese people have been very accepting of us, and we appreciate their kindness and generosity. As we part ways, I can't help but reminisce....

December 19, 2006

A few pics from Guangzhou

McDonald's in Guangzhou, Big Mac Baby!

Waterfall and Christmas tree in the lobby of the White Swan

Can you believe people protest Christmas trees in the U.S. and they are everywhere in's almost laughable to think that people don't want Christmas decorations in the States.

Sydney's first medical exam...she is not happy.

Sydney asleep in the crib...we weren't even going to put her in there for a while, but she wanted to sleep in it...very nice!

December 18, 2006

White Swan!! Yes!

We finally made it! We are in Guangzhou, which is where we will do our final paperwork and get Sydney's visa to come home. We are very happy to have a change of scenary. Guiyang was nice, but Guangzhou has like fifty McDonalds. Plus the White Swan is by far, the nicest hotel I've ever stayed in before. Gold plated faucets, designer shops, mini bar in the room, internet that works (even if it is $40 extra), and the list goes on... We felt very connected to Guiyang, because that is where Sydney spent her first 3 yrs., but we were ready to move on. One step closer to getting back home.

Anyway, just wanted to let everyone know we made it...we have a early morning planned so see ya later.

One final pic to make you laugh, from the elevator in the restaurant in Guiyang...

December 16, 2006

Still in Guiyang

On the 15th we visited the Huangguoshu Waterfall. It is the largest waterfall in China. It was a two hour drive from Guiyang through rural farm country. We saw a lot of poor farmers working in their fields with nothing but a hoe and a bull to pull the plow. They work a huge amount of land with hardly any technology. It's like going back to the 1800's. These people work very hard from daylight to dark for basically no reward. They barely have enough to feed their families. It really makes you think....we have everything that we could ever want, and we're still not satisfied. If everything doesn't go our way, or if the food in the hotel is the same everyday we get upset. God has blessed us with everything and we have no appreciation for it. Driving through those rural villages really opened my eyes to my own selfishness...I hope I can be a better person because of it.

On the 16th we went to a local amusement park in Guiyang. It was a little different than the ones we're used to in the U.S. The merry-go-round went about 50 mph. The adults had to hold the children, and lean in. What a ride! Neil climbed a blow-up rock wall, and we rode in bumper cars. It was fun to get out and do something different. Yes, that is the same sweatshirt I've had on for a full week...oh, well.

Sydney is doing very good. She still misses here foster mom sometimes. You can just see it in her eyes, but she is calling me Ba Ba and Sandy Ma Ma, which is a big step. Her foster mom did a great job with her. She feeds herself, wipes her mouth, drinks from a cup, goes to the bathroom and even washes her hands. She is a joy! Thank you God.

December 14, 2006

Getting to Know China

We are getting to know China in many different ways. I mean that is why we are here right? So that we can tell Sydney about her homeland if she ever wants to know about it. Today we went to a Buddhist Temple in Sydney's province. It was interesting, but the most interesting thing was the monkeys...they were everywhere! Climbing on top of people (not us thank goodness), but everyone was feeding them and they were wild.

We stopped at a local Calligrapher's, and had a wall hanging made with Sydney's Chinese name and a small poem written in Chinese. Our guide translated it for us, and it will be something that Sydney can keep forever.

After we left there we stopped at Pizza Hut in Guiyang and got four 12inch pizzas. Our guide looked at us funny, because he couldn't believe we ordered that much food. 12inch is a large for them, but we explained 16 to 18inch is large for us. American food...well kinda. The pepperoni tasted a little fishy, but who cares it's still pizza. The Lindon family is very passionate about pizza, in fact we eat it almost everyday at home. Sydney loves it, so that's a big relief. Speaking of food, we are starting to get tired of the hotel food we eat two times a day, but we have too much to be thankful for to be worried about that.

Anyway, the internet is very bad in our hotel, so we haven't been able to keep in touch the way we would like. We are doing the best we can.

See you guys later!!

December 12, 2006

We got Sydney!!!

We got her!!!! She is everything that we imagined and more. She is beautiful. She was very hesitant at first, because she loves her foster mom sooo much (pictured on left). She didn't want anything to do with us, but we took a trip to Walmart here in Guiyang and she pretty much opened up to us. (of course we did let her pick out anything that she wanted)
We are in the room now, just chillin out. Here is a picture of her finishing off some good old KFC. Walmart and KFC in one day. She is almost an American already!!

Here she is with her new big sister!! The kids have been so good with her so far. At Walmart Sydney was telling all of the Chinese people that they were her big brothers and sister in Chinese. God has certainly blessed us.

December 10, 2006

The Great Wall

We had a great day today sightseeing in Beijing. Here is a picture of our group from our adoption agency (AHH) on the Great Wall. It is hard to believe that we were able to not only see, but climb one of the wonders of the world. It was definitely a steep climb. Willie, Neil, Cole and I went up to the first guard station and it was a challenge.

These pictures don't even capture how steep these steps actually are. I was very proud of Cole and Neil for climbing as high as we did.

Earlier in the day we went to a jade factory and learned how to choose the different grades of jade. There was some beautiful pieces in the shop, but most were out of our price range, plus we didn't want to lug around a bunch of heavy jade for the next two weeks.

After we left the jade factory we went to eat at an authentic Chinese restaurant. The food was very good. As you can see from the picture, it was served family style, which is fine, but they gave us plates the size of small saucers. So I had about 20 servings.

Fish heads anyone??

We had some interesting bus trips through the City. You would not believe the way traffic is here in Beijing. Cars, bikes, pedestrians, mopeds, scooters, buses, trucks--all serving in and out of traffic at their will. Suprisingly not too much road rage, just a few horn honks here and there. There were several times when I saw two cars side by side in the same lane!!

Beijing is a bustling and growing city. There is construction everywhere, especially with the Olympics coming in 2008. That should be very interesting. The people of China are very hospitable to foreigners . They are very fascinated by the kids, because they look so different than the children here.

December 9, 2006


We arrived safely in Beijing this evening at 6pm! The flight was uneventful and our kids were GREAT!!!!!!! Our hotel is very nice! We go to church tomorrow, then to a Jade place, and then to The Great Wall! I hope everyone is doing well, we are fine and looking forward to all of the great tours tomorrow! We will try to post everyday as time allows. Keep those prayers coming.

December 3, 2006

Getting ready!

Sydney and Haley's new room! I can't wait to see my sweet girls in here! We've had a busy day packing! We leave Friday the 8th and arrive in Beijing the 9th! We will get Sydney the 12th!!!!! Thank you God!