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


Reflections at 9 Months of Forever

Lately I've been noticing something peculiar... It seems like we have actually begun to transition into a new kind of normal.

All of us have really.  Laila, in particular, seems to be really finding her groove.  She's feeling more and more secure in her life here with her new family.  Today marks 9 months of forever and there is just something different lately.  

 
She just seems to have more joy.


The days of multiple tantrums have slowed to a tantrum each day and then every couple days until they have slowly but surely gone away almost altogether.


I don't even know when it stopped.  Just realized recently, as I reflected on life and where each of my kiddos is at in their journey that we seem to be without the once daily fits.

Look, I'm not saying that she never throws fits now.  She does- but they aren't the same.  They aren't based in fear and need for security and control.  They are normal ones.  Toddler like.  And that's a great kind of normal.



We transitioned the kids into new bedroom set ups.

 
We've celebrated straight a's.


Celebrated the end of school with a road trip and trip to Disney.











Embraced the summer- complete w trips to the sprayer park and swim lessons.


And welcomed my sister and nephew to the house for the summer as she spends time w the kiddos!


And somewhere in the middle of all this things just started feeling 'normal'!!

 
Yep, our new normal has arrived at 9 months home.
 
And we are blessed to be there!!