Saturday, March 4, 2017

Day Two- Shanghai Stadium & YuYuan Garden

Our second day in China started with a subway trip over to Shanghai Stadium.  I'd stayed in this area during my trip in April, so I knew it had a grocery store to pick up snacks and treats for the kiddos before grabbing lunch.  It was only two subway stops away from our hotel so it made it an easy place to get to.


Chengbin was incredibly excited for this gigantic bowl of noodle goodness that was bigger than him!!


Everything we ordered was outstanding, a reward for our willingness to walk in to a restaurant and point to things on a menu completely in Chinese! ;)





I'm shocked to say that even Katelynn decided to be adventurous during this trip to China!  She tried absolutely everything we ordered and kept commenting how good it all was!! If you know how picky Katelynn is, you know what a big deal this was for us!

Honestly, we had walked around debating for a while on where to eat and decided to give this place a try!  It's more intimidating to walk into a restaurant in China where you have a language barrier and need to order than it is in European countries.  We had decided ahead of time that we were going to be as adventurous as possible this trip and not let fear of the unknown or language barriers hold us back.  Boy we were glad we did because this meal was soooooo good.  Looking back, we all agree it's the best meal we had in China!

After lunch we decided to go do a little shopping and exploring of Yu Yuan Garden.  The kids had a small list of China shopping must haves & we knew this was the place to go!




It was also so nice to have my good friend Michelle with us for our grand Chinese adventure.  She is an adoptee herself, and has been such a source of support for our family.  She has met up with us a few times down at Disney to vacation with us, so it only seemed natural for her to go with us to China to pick up the new additions to the Wilks Fam!

This random Japanese store made all the kids and Matt the big kid SUPER excited!!! Our family plays Pokémon Go as a hobby and this had legit Pokémon stuff the kids loved!  Plus it had an entire wall of vending machines!  The kids (& Dad of course) picked out little Pokémon & Gundam toys.  Plus each kiddo picked out a sweet, huggable little pokie buddy. :)


By the time we'd spent a few hours over there we were exhausted as jet lag once again began to set in.  We headed back over to the hotel, and at Michelle's urging, Matt and I went out for a little Shanghai date night dinner- just the two of us.


Back we went to the noodle house across the street from our hotel that we'd gone to the night before.  Only this time, we weren't about to fall asleep.  We sat there, drank our endless tea refills, ate some delicious food and reflected how long it might be before we had a nice quiet dinner to ourselves again. Haha!!

And thus, the end of Day Two in Shanghai.  We had one more day to explore the city before things changed forever.  One more day until Lily Day!  Going to bed that night we were torn between resting the whole next day or going out.  Ultimately we decided to sleep in, hang out around the room a good amount of the day and make one good journey out to do some sightseeing.  We were looking forward to it.



Saturday, December 10, 2016

Shanghai Day One: A Little Surprise

Friday morning our kiddos woke up early and we decided to pull out the credit card for a little surprise visit to Shanghai Disneyland.  It is so much cheaper here and we knew how much they were wanting to go!!!  We didn't tell them where we were going and even as they posed with the character pictures on the Disney-themed subway car they still didn't figure it out. ;)


We arrived right around opening time and headed in to spend a fun day and one of our last days as a family of five. :)  They were crazy excited that we were taking them to it.  Kate kept telling me, "But Mom, you said we couldn't go there."  So sweet!!


They loved finding Uncle Scrooge's vault!! 


And the castle is AMAZING!!  Our family is a Disney family.  In fact, this was the last park I needed to visit to have been to them all... Usually Disneyland parks have a small castle.  This one is huge and gorgeous.  Probably bigger than the one at Magic Kingdom.


And that was just the beginning of the differences...


Oh.my.goodness!!!  Pirates of the Carribean blew us away!!! It was AMAZING.  THE BEST RIDE WE'VE EVER GONE ON.  It really set the bar very high for rides.  So many cool things that were unexpected and amazing.  It was Disney Magic.



Every Pirate Princess needs to have an "I mean business" face, right?


This boy... we were honestly both excited and terrified at the thought of taking him back to China.  He has a lot of hurts.  A lot of emotional baggage.  We kept questioning.. Is it the right time?  Will he be able to handle it?  He did great this first day.  We don't know if it is because Disney is familiar to him or because he's going to do well here, but we'll take it either way!!!





They have this cool "iron man experience" where you can fight there in position as Iron Man.  He was all about it!!!


Laila couldn't ride most of what was there other than Fantasyland, which was a madhouse, but she still had fun!!!  Ticket prices go by height, so it was free for her to get in to Disney anyway.  Wish they'd use that system in the US for tickets!!!


We only got to do a fraction of all they have at Shanghai Disneyland.  It's much larger than Hong Kong Disneyland was.  We all left hoping that one day we can bring the whole, complete family of seven back to China to do this park together.

But as Laila said, starting around 6pm... we were tired and got out of there before closing time.


We tried out a noodle restaurant in the mall across the street from our hotel.  The food was great but everyone was SO TIRED>  Jet lag is a beast!!


Chengbin fell asleep right there in that position at least 3 times while waiting on the food to arrive.


And when it was time to go Laila begged to be carried and put to bed.  She was a trooper all day so we just went with it. :)

What a great day!!  We are so amazed how well the kids are doing!! And only a few days to go until Lily Day!!  I can't wait to see her again!!!

To China for our babies!!


Tuesday evening we loaded up the car and headed to New Orleans to stay in a hotel for our early flight.  Trying to take everyone with us for this big life change meant looking at hubs and airports outside of our local area to find the cheapest possible flights.  We were very fortunate to get a great fare on out of New Orleans that was less for ALL of us then we'd previously flown with far less people the other two adoption trips to China. 


All the kids willingly hopped out of bed after only 3 hours of sleep.  They were ready to go!!



She was super excited for her very first flight that she remembers!! She only made it up into the sky before that 3 hour sleep got the best of her and she was out for the count! :)


We met up with our friend Michelle at the Dallas area and after a short layover we boarded our plane for Shanghai!





We thought it was cool that we passed over my hometown of Woodward!!

The kids were AMAZING on the flight!  Even Laila, who usually spends a long road trip whining and complaining that "this is taking so long" decided to be awesome.  15 hours in the air and around 2 hours on the tarmac in the airports and we finally made it to China.  After some craziness, we took a van and headed to our hotel. 


At this point it was around 9pm and we were jetlagged, starving, and sooooo ready to be done.  So this happened...


Yep!  Our first meal in China was an American fast food joint that we don't even eat in America!!

And then... BED!!!  Travel day over & time for some China exploration before we get our babies. :)


Friday, December 2, 2016

Adoption Update & Our Final Fundraising Friday!


Thank you all for your donations to help us get to China and get our kiddos!!  We are truly, beyond grateful for every single donation you guys have given to bring Noah and Lily home from China. 
We booked our flights and we leave on Wednesday morning, 12/7!!! 
We will go to Shanghai first to get Lily and then fly to Guangzhou to get Noah and complete the processing of their visas at the US Consulate.  We will fly back to the states on Christmas Eve and if flights go according to schedule all give of our kiddos will be tucked into their beds waiting for Santa to come!!

If you'd still like to make a donation:

Fast & Easy Way- Paypal.me/wilksadoption

Tax deductible way available until Sunday-







We've received an additional $1,280 in donations to "Tag their Bag" via paypal and our Lifesong account.  THANK YOU ALL!!  Every donation makes a difference!  All those $5, $10, & $20 donations add up when repeated over and over again by so many people!!
 You guys rock and we are grateful for every donation.

We received some difficult news that a donor would not be able to complete a large donation we were expecting.  While this was a surprise to us and to that donor, but we know it is NOT a surprise to God.  I know that he has a plan to get these babies home, even if we can't see it yet.  Are we worried? Yes, of course.  Stressed? Yes, absolutely!!  But when those feelings come, we choose to remember God's promises.  It's an exercise repeated over and over again.  We know we've done all we can and that he has promised he will never leave us, nor forsake us. 
We are trusting that "the one who calls you is faithful and he will do it". 1 Thess 5:24


Please keep our family in your prayers as we prepare to travel and our kiddos prepare to meet their forever family.  If you haven't donated and would like to, we'll gratefully tag their bag with your name and pray a blessing for you!! 

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matt 25:40

Thank you guys for everything!! For good thoughts and prayers and hugs and support!! We're almost there!!! We leave in 4 days and we know that God has a plan!!

Love,
Fannie & Matt