Lydia Day!!!


What a DAY! We started up at the crack of 3:30AM this morning – we think it was something to do with Lydia Day!

After packing and a quick breakfast, we checked out of our hotel at 7:20 and met Zhou and our driver for the 90 minute drive to New Day, which is on the outskirts of Beijing.

We ended up in the middle of no where and turned into a walled village of single and 2-story brick buildings. We drove through some alleys, and things opened up into a mini-courtyard and we saw Americans roaming around and knew that this was it! Zhou hopped out and confirmed we were in the right place, and we immediately found ourselves being introduced to New Day Director Karen Brennamen and her assistant, Grace. God was smiling on our meeting, but He had greater things in store.

We walked to the building and the door opened to a nanny holding our Lydia! She looked exactly like we’d imagined, but she seemed very anxious. Lydia’s caretakers had been telling her about her new family, but it finally hit her, and boy, did it hit us! We followed Karen and Lydia into a playroom that was FULL of kiddos who immediately swarmed us. Tami followed Lydia and Andy was tackled by a crew of little boys wanting their hands on his videocamera.

Lydia had a little spat with another child and that set her off – big-time tears, and she wanted NOTHING to do with either of us. We couldn’t get her quieted down, so Karen suggested we all go up to her office with Lydia and see if some privacy would help. Karen and Grace both handed us a bag full of Lydia’s things…a disk full of photos that had been taken of her since she arrived from Luoyang, a CD full of her favorite children’s songs, artwork that Lydia had made over the past 6 months, a calendar, medical reports and Lydia’s daily schedule. In addition to all of these things from New Day, the items that we sent Lydia in her care package were also there, as well as the disposable camera that we sent, full of pictures that we can’t wait to develop.

While Karen was explaining some of Lydia’s history with us, Lydia settled down and Karen handed her over to me. She was content sitting on my lap and the tears stopped. It only took a little coaxing from Andy (he gave her his cell phone) and Lydia was all grins, and headed over to sit on his lap. That was the end of tears until about 4:30 that afternoon. That’s right folks…not another tear was shed when we left, on our drive to and from the airport, or on the plane. God is good!

After we met in Karen’s office, we got to tour the facilities. We had a chance to interact with several of the other children, and were even able to get some pictures of Chloe, a little girl who is being adopted to a new on-line friend of ours. We hope the Payne’s enjoy the pictures of Chloe that we sent them. We also were on a quest to take pictures of another little girl, Kimberly, but were told that she was in foster care. So sorry Linda, that we couldn’t come through for you!!

What a blessing New Day is to Chna’s special needs children. This facility full of Christian workers went above and beyond every expectation we could have imagined. We were overwhelmed with emotion through our entire visit and just can’t say enough about the people who run this place. Lydia’s nanny’s were sad to see her leave, but are so happy that she is starting a new life in America where she will grow up in a Christian home.

We said our good-bye’s to our friends at New day and can’t say enough. They are run entirely by sponsorship, and I encourage anyone who is touched by this outreach to go to their website and make a donation. Thanks to our friends who have already done just that! The next part of our day was heading to the airport back in Beijing – another hour and a half drive back to the city. Lydia fell asleep for about 20 minutes or so, and woke up when we arrived. We went through security with no problems and headed to our gait. Lydia did great on the plane and stayed awake through the entire flight. She loved her doll from Aimee…we saved that till we got on the plane – thanks Aimee!! She has been toting around her baby all day!

Once we got to Zhengzhou, we had another hour ride to our hotel…did I mentioned that it has been a REALLY LONG DAY???? Lydia got a burst of energy in the cab and opened the door when we were driving!! I guess they don’t have child-proof locks in China!! Thank goodness I had quick reflexes! We also experienced our first BM of the day….what an experience that was changing her on the busy China roads in a taxi cab….you can only imagine!!!

We checked in to our hotel and then were off to get our official adoption paperwork arranged. We had to walk about 20 minutes (carrying Lydia – no stroller yet…) to get there, sign lots of forms, get pictures taken, and get Lydia’s passport. We will return tomorrow morning at 10:00 to complete the adoption after our mandatory “bonding period” is over. We ate dinner in the hotel restaurant (it was awesome authentic Chinese food), and Lydia piled it in…she fits right into our family already! She will be able to keep up with the rest of us for sure. She had chicken, shrimp, rice, beans and watermelon. As you can imagine, we are paying from all of the over-eating. Our room doesn’t smell like a rose garden now!!

After a bath we brushed her teeth and read a book, and now Lydia is sleeping. God willing, she will sleep through the night and we will all finally get some much needed rest. It has been a day that words cannot express, one that we will always remember. We are so blessed to have Lydia join our family. We are looking forward to experiencing a little more of her heritage when we get to Luoyang tomorrow.

Thanks again for everyones prayers. They have certainly worked, as our first day together has been just wonderful. We miss Abby and Alexa and can’t wait for them to meet their little sister.

Goodnight friends and family!

With love from China,
Tami, Andy and Lydia


4 Responses to “Lydia Day!!!”

  1. 1 Michele S.

    What a beautiful day and such a wonderful start to your journey together. Enjoy your time in China.
    hugs from The Schaffers!

  2. 2 Colleen

    Oh my goodness is she adorable! Those eyes! We are so happy for you and for the wonderful addition to our family! We can’t wait to meet Lydia and hear all about the trip! Maeve is especially excited to have a new friend!

  3. 3 Krista Warnick

    God Bless you all and your new addition to your beautiful family. Lydia is so lovely. I hope your travels were fun. Take care and Happy Holidays. Krista

  4. Congrats to all of you!

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