From China with love…
John Hicks FCT Staff Writer
Since August 24, Kevin Strickland of Russellville has been keeping a unique record of his international adoption trip to China on Blogger, an Internet service that allows users to create a personal diary or "blog" of daily events with words and photographs.
Strickland's blog entries document his arrival in China and the differences between Chinese and American culture.
"The vast majority of the people here are kind and helpful," Strickland wrote in one of his most recent posts. "They are very proud of their past and honest about their shortcomings."
Strickland's blog is titled "Addie's Adventures." "Addie" is Addison Xin Strickland, Kevin and LeAnn Strickland's newly adopted Chinese daughter.
In a post on Sept. 3, Strickland joyfully recounted the day he met his new daughter.
"I will just say it went great, way better than I ever hoped," he wrote. "She is beautiful."
Late last month, Strickland traveled to China to meet Addie. Using a laptop computer on loan from his friends Tom and Laura Morgan, Strickland has been posting updates and photographs about his journey, which will continue through next week.
The Morgans, who also reside in Russellville, went to China earlier this year to meet their first adopted child, Sarah Ann Guo Morgan. Both couples adopted through Lifeline Children's Services in Birmingham.
Lifeline Children's Services is a birthmother-centered agency placing children both domestically and internationally into Christian homes. The agency also ministers to expectant mothers in need.
Tom Morgan said he and his wife learned about Lifeline through members of their church.
"We were interested in adoption, and we heard about Lifeline from some friends at church," Morgan said. "The fact that Lifeline is located in Birmingham made it very convenient."
Lifeline's international adoption program focuses on China, Ukraine and Guatemala. Morgan said his trip to China was a life-changing experience.
"We had a great time," Morgan said. "But it really makes you appreciate how well off we are in America."
The Morgans also created a blog to keep family and friends informed about their trip.
There is a local organization, the Ladybug Society, for families in Northwest Alabama who've adopted Asian children.
"There are about 20 families involved in the group," Morgan said. "It meets a couple of times a year."
The Stricklands and the Morgans each have a birth daughter in addition to their adopted daughters.
To read more about Kevin Strickland's adoption odyssey, visit "Addie's Adventures" at http://addisonxin.blogspot.com.
To visit the Morgans' blog, log on to http://our3blessings.blogspot.com.
For more information about Lifeline Children's Services, visit www.lifelineadoption.org.