Sunday, July 5, 2015

Celebrating America's Birthday

Happy 4th of July!!!

We are so unbelievably lucky to live in this country and to have the freedoms we have.  I spent so much of today filled with gratitude to God for allowing me to be born in the USA.  We pray that we take full advantage of all the opportunities he has given our family as Americans to make an impact on our country and the world.  We pray that God continues to lead our family to use our talents & our many blessings to bless others.


These kids had a blast!!!


It was his second 4th of July as an American & the first one where he could really understand why we were celebrating America's Birthday!  He was so proud to be able to recite the pledge of allegiance and that he could talk about George Washington with me! So cute talking to this boy about how our country is so different from others and explaining how important the freedoms we have are.


And this little cutie had no idea what Independence Day is, but she was more than happy to get in on the birthday party festivities for America! (You know- whoever that is! ;)  I still can't get over the difference in less than a year!!  She has grown SO much!!! She loved picking out her outfit and listening to her sissy explain what would happen once it was dark on this awesome day!


And THIS is how we celebrated!!! We bought a ton of fireworks and had so much fun just setting them off with the kids.  We still have snakes, ground flowers, smoke balls, & sparklers left over for another day!! :) 

Our 4th of July was awesome! We miss being back home with our family, but we definitely made the best of it!!

Happy Independence Day America!!


Thanks for stopping by!
The Wilks Family 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Our New Addition

We have a new adoptee in the Wilks house! 

Meet our latest animal rescue...

Taylor the Turtle

She (he??) will be staying with us for a while!!  Kate found her trapped in some netting in our pond and we don't think she would've last much longer if Kate & Dad hadn't come to her aid!


And did I mention we just added a hamster last week?


Meet Janie- Chengbin's hamster! 
(Cause one hamster wasn't enough in this house ;)

Yep, we've got a full pet managerie going on over here!! 

And we've also got some really happy kids that love our in house zoo! ��

Thanks for stopping by!
Fannie, Matt, & the kids

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Catchin' Some Fish

So today I spent the morning sick on the couch with Laila, but the older kids found some fun awaiting them at the pond that's right in our yard! 

Kate came into the house screaming.  I thought someone was hurt the way she was yelling! But she was actually super excited to report that after nearly two years of trying she had finally caught a fish!! So I forced myself to get off the couch and go see what she caught.



She caught her first perch!!! It was so awesome to see her excitement!!

 Within a few minutes they were back to show me Chengbin's catch.


then another for Katelynn.  At this point they were getting a little too comfortable holding the fish, so I warned them not to carry them around the yard.  I explained it was important to get them into the water fast.

So Kate came running back in a few mins later to tell me shed caught a huge fish and I had to see!  I was unprepared for what I saw...

 
Yep- that's right! She took the perch she caught and filled out critter keeper with water from the faucet! Lol!! I then explained the diff in water in the pond to water from the faucet, explained that we couldn't keep the fish in an aquarium, & set it free!! 

 
(Go fishy go!!! Sorry about the shock my daughter just put you in...)

Then Kate had her big catch of the day- she caught the biggest one yet!!


 
She was crazy excited that it was so heavy it was bending her fishing pole!!! 

By this point Mama was getting really sick again and said they had to call it a day!  Man did they have a great afternoon fishing though!

It's such a blessing to be able to live here in this awesome place where our kids can just spend a summer day playing in the backyard & fishing in the pond.

Something tells me these kids are just getting started on their summer fishing!! :)

Sunday, June 21, 2015

This is what redemption looks like.

A few months ago we hit a local beach for a quick photoshoot for my photography class.

 
 

What I didn't really think about til we got there is that it was Laila's first trip to a beach.





.

Her first time to feel the sand between her toes.



And at first, she wasn't too sure that she liked it.

 
But all of the sudden, she changed her mind.  Holding Daddy's hand made her feel safer... and she started noticing the sand... the waves...
 




And just like that...

 

We had another beach girl on our hands. :)

She left the beach completely soaked in a brand new dress.  And boy was she dirty!!

 



People sometimes stop and tell us how lucky she is to have us.  They comment about how baby girls are just given up in China & she's so lucky we went to get her.  (For the record- this is largely untrue now and there are much more complicated reasons for abandonment.)
 
Well, WE are the lucky ones.  We get to give a father to the fatherless.  We get to live out God's love and story of redemption every day.  We get to see the world the way he sees it- through the eyes of a loving father.  A father who delights in his children.  Who wants to see them happy and growing and being all that he has called them to be.  He called us to be a family to this sweet, beautiful little girl and her equally adorable and silly big brother. 
 
Our children's lives have been filled with loss.  But this is redemption.  Redemption that their heavenly father has orchestrated for them.  It is amazing to see the world through the eyes of these precious children and watch as God uses us to restore them.  As he helps us heal their hearts.  As we see a new joy sparkle in their eyes...
 

If you have ever said "I'd like to adopt one day" or considered becoming a foster parent, I urge you on Father's Day to take that step forward.  Become a foster parent or adoptive parent to the fatherless.  They need you to say "yes".  God needs you to help him to restore his children.  It is hard work.  It is amazing work.  And you will never regret it.

When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?" "Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my lambs."
Again Jesus said, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Take care of my sheep."  The third time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, "Do you love me?" He said, "Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my sheep."

John 21:15-17