Sunday, November 23, 2014

2 Months With Laila

Two full months.
62 days this little girl has been with her forever family.

And what an amazing two months it has been!!

From frightened, grieving baby to happy, joyful little firecracker with one heck of a stubborn streak!

She is just such a little firecracker!! We are still figuring her out a little bit more day by day...


Her smile is BIG!! It can just light up a room!! :)
She gives hugs & kisses to everyone in the family.
Knows the first two lines of our 'night night' song.
Loves to take a bath.
Loves to have Mommy fix her hair, but prefers Daddy for getting dressed, putting pajamas on, and for 'eeeee' (brushing her teeth).
Has a preferred person to put her shoes on (still calling them "zee hihi"), but will really allow anyone to do it so that she doesn't have to.
Follows Mommy around at the busiest moments insisting she needs picked up.
Enjoys playing with both Katie & Chengbin.
Chooses someone who should help her eat at each meal because seriously, it is too much work to feed herself ALL of it... lol
Does NOT want to take naps (but still needs to).

And if any of these things she enjoys aren't handled to her exact princess specifications she WILL let you know about it.  And if you try to make her take a nap the same... Cue the scream then tantrum. ;)


Daycare is finally starting to get better after three weeks.  She's become more secure that Mommy will come back.  She also got a new teacher that she really likes this week so I think that is helping.

Thalassemia treatment is going well.  She has received three transfusions since coming home and her body is starting to settle into them so that she can soon go to a 3 week transfusion schedule.  We've also seen the pediatrician to get our oh, so many referrals and had an echo & EKG for her heart.  So far, we know that this little one is teeny, tiny and delayed yet is also smart and capable.  Most of her delays are due to the extreme exhaustion that comes with non-transfused thalassemia major.  When every breath is a struggle, things like walking & talking become far less important.  Her Nanny clearly loved her and carried her around, knowing that she was just too tired to do much else.  We are SO grateful she's home!! 

We still have eyes, ears, endocrine, physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, & a trip to Atlanta's blood disorders clinic to go... (Sigh). We just want to make sure we are covering all our bases to ensure she is tracked and intervention can be made, if necessary, to help her reach her full potential.  In the meantime we are enjoying family time, keeping life small, and enjoying getting to know this sweet little girl.


And language, I know many people have asked us if she talks and what she can say...
Well- she can repeat almost anything word for word, but so far speech has come slowly.  She knows most of what we say, but only expresses a few words on her own...
Her favorite is 'no' (of course), but she also says bath, shoes, hot, kitty, hi, up please,  bye bye, & see you soon.  She is starting to say more words just over the last few days.

We are blessed!!!  Amazingly blessed!!!  And wondering what God is up to with this little one.  What plans does he have for her?  I have no doubt they are going to be great!!

Happy two months of forever baby girl!!  Your forever family loves you SOOO much!!

Thanks for stopping by,
Fannie, Matt, & the Wilks Kiddos

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

2... 3... 4... How much longer??

I'd like to share a story about a little boy.  A boy who was "almost" my son.  A boy who has been waiting for over 2 years for a family to choose him.  To be his forever.

You see, when he was 2 his paperwork was filed.  And we read his file and saw his sweet face.
And as we looked at this sweet boy, so young and adorable, we thought FOR SURE he would find his family.  And our Chengbin was already turning 5 years old and might not.  So we prayed and felt confident that we should submit LOI (letter of intent to adopt) for Chengbin.
A few months later, a fellow thal mama visited his orphanage and took this heart-wrenching photo of him.  He was nearing 3 years old.  And still waiting...
My heart shattered.  This sweet boy.  This beautiful boy.  Those eyes.  The sadness.  It overwhelmed me and I promised myself I wouldn't forget him and would do all I could to find his family.
And then his file disappeared.  My agency no longer had it.  He wasn't on the shared list of waiting children either.  No other US agencies had his file.  It was gone...
And I prayed it was because a family somewhere in the world had chosen him.
I prayed that he was about to become someone's son.
And I continued to wonder what happened.  I thought about him and prayed for him for 1 1/2 years.
Then, a couple weeks ago, one of the caseworkers at our first adoption agency sent me the file of a little boy new to the agency's list.  She was hoping I'd help advocate for him since he had thalassemia.  So I scrolled down and read the name on the file...
It couldn't be!  I recognized that name.  I opened the picture and there he was again.  The sweet little boy who I thought was SURE to find a family.  The one who had disappeared from the list.  The little guy I have been praying for for a year and a half.
And now he's 4 years old.

And still waiting for his family to come...

2 years old, 3 years old, and now 4 years old and still waiting for his family to come.  How much longer will he wait?
I am continually praying for this boy.  Many times each day.  His picture is on the lock screen of my cell phone, so many times a day I see his face and say a prayer.  A prayer that this time he won't be lost.  A prayer that this time his family will say 'yes' and run to him.

Are you his family?
There is a $4,000 grant toward his adoption.  I'm happy to talk to you about beta thalassemia major and life with a thal major child.  Please ask me about him at or contact Lindsey with WACAP at



Friday, October 31, 2014

5 Weeks With Laila

Hard to believe, but it's been over 5 weeks since sweet little Yuewan (pronounced you-a wan?)  was grabbed up by this mama.  She was a teary eyed, scared and traumatized baby girl.

With each week she has gotten a little more comfortable & attached.

First to Daddy. Then to Mommy too. Then to big sissy.  And then also to Chengbin.

In fact, we've decided that Katie might be a baby whisperer.  Laila can be in a screaming bloody tantrum and Kate can put her hands on the side of her face and she calms & quietens instantly. Perhaps Kate's dream of having a daycare like Miss Crystal will become a reality one day. ;)

So I thought I'd take a few minutes to tell ya a little bit about this kiddo...

She has changed A LOT from the personality the orphanage director described...

The director said that she would always over eat and get a stomachache. Not now!  This girl is quick to tell us 'no, no, no' when she is finished and gives us her little shaking hand gesture too! :)  While she was still receiving many bottles of formula a day in the orphanage and a bowl of congee- this little one will eat almost any solid food that is placed in front of her!!  Though she's not a fan of anything with tomato.  She'll eat her weight in watermelon though!!

The director also told us that she wasn't very happy and was usually quiet.  She said all the Nannies joked that the only way to get Yuewan to come to them was to bribe her with candy.  (I admit, we did witness that in a video from the orphanage!)  Aside from during her grieving process, we have found her personality to be VERY different than described!  This girl is an adorable little crazy kid! She smiles & laughs all the time.  Even at our church she is finding her place and running all around, chasing her brother & sister through the crowd of people! She is only quiet in front of strangers for about 5 minutes before her goofy personality begins to shine through!!

We've learned a lot about this kiddo in the first 5 weeks.
And she has been learning just as much about us, her forever family.

We are so unbelievably blessed to have her!!

Oh, and did I mention that she is sleeping in her OWN bed?? 
Yeah, after four days home, she started clearing toys off of it to sleep in her room with big sissy and she hasn't looked back!  I think she loves feeling like she's a big girl too!

There's gotta be hard times going on right now too, right?? Well, yeah, you would expect there to be!  But so far, there really isn't.  China was hard.  Being at home?? Well, I don't know if we just feel experienced and roll with the tantrums and such, but it doesn't feel that hard right now.  Really, the hardest part is just juggling three kids and it really begins next week when we both return to work.  We'll see how we feel come next Friday!! ;)

Thanks for stopping by!
Fannie, Matt, Katie, Chengbin, & Laila

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Boys- Who will go for the boys??

Lately I've been thinking a lot about boys...

Specifically the ones who are still waiting in orphanages around the world for a family to pick them.

Maybe it's because I missed Chengbin so much while we were in China.
Maybe it's because I know SO MANY families bringing home girls, but only a fraction in comparison bringing home boys.
Or maybe it's because there are two boys with thalassemia who have been on China's waiting child list for years, virtually forgotten, even by us thal mamas who say we are advocating for all thal kids.

But boys are AWESOME.

SERIOUSLY- If you don't think a boy can rock your world and change it forever, you should meet Chengbin.

He is funny and silly and crazy and rambunctious.
He can often be found light saber battling & force pushing anyone that is silly enough to indulge him in an imaginary match up!
Yes- even at church, I often find him right in the middle of a great Jedi battle of good & evil! ;)

Everyone who meets this kiddo adores him!  He's just AWESOME!!  And he gives incredible bear hugs!!! Hehe!!

I mean, come on, what girl is going to choose their own pose like this?
What may truly shock those who know him is that Chengbin, just like so many boys in China waited. 
His adoption paperwork was prepared when he was 3 years old. 
And for over TWO YEARS he waited in an orphanage every day for a family to choose him. 
He waited for someone to look beyond his age, his medical condition, and the fact that he was a boy and choose him. 
What would have happened to him if we hadn't have said 'yes'??  How much longer would he have waited?  I actually shudder to think that he might still be waiting...
After all, the statistics don't lie.  On China's Waiting Child List nearly 75% of the children who wait are boys.  Of all the thalassemia children on the waiting child list, only boys remain.  These boys...
"Oscar" is from the same orphanage as Chengbin.  He's been waiting for over FOUR YEARS for someone to pick him.  To love him.  To bring him home to be their son.

"Everett" has been waiting 2 years too.  He's beautiful and would be a delight for any family.  But he also continues to wait.

And sweet little "Judah".  Only 3 years old, given a $4,000 grant by WACAP toward his adoption.  But after a couple months, he too is still waiting.

And how I can't get "Jonah" out of my head or heart either, another sweetie with basically no medical needs that is from Chengbin's orphanage too.  Wanna guess how long he's been waiting for a family?  4 LONG YEARS.  This summer he even got the opportunity to come to America to spend time with a family, in hopes that as people got to know him, they would decide to give him a forever family.  And still he waits...
So the question my heart is crying out...
Who will go for the boys?  Don't they matter too??  Aren't they equally deserving of a family to call their own forever?  So many of them wait.  More and more everyday actually.

This little Master Builder, Jedi Extraordinaire has been the most unexpected blessing of my life!!!!  You see, our first adoption, I thought like many others, that we would be adopting a girl.  A sister for Katelynn.  God, however, had other plans and made it very clear to me that one of the little boys who were waiting were to be ours.  I thank God every day that he knew what a blessing Chengbin would be to us!!

Yes, I know that the girls need homes too...
and Yes, I too, just brought home a sick little girl who needed a family.
So if you are in process for a girl, please don't consider this a judgment.  It isn't.

But the boys are on my heart.  The boys are waiting!! LOTS of them!! 

"And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me." Matthew 18:5

CHINA BOYS ROCK!!! And so do Vietnamese boys and Korean boys and Indian boys and Ugandan boys and American boys and all the orphan boys around the world!! :)  Pray for one.  Foster One.  Sponsor One.  Adopt One.  You will never regret it!!!

Fannie Wilks