Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Day Four: Gotcha Day!!

Sorry it has taken so long to write this, but blogger has been down here for two days, every time I have a minute to try to get on here!  So here's the story...

We started off our morning with breakfast at the hotel.  We actually laughed that we felt like the weird ones because we weren't breakfasting with a Chinese child.  LOL!  We grabbed some starbucks, prepared the gift bags, made sure the room was set up well and before we knew it, it was 2:00 and time to go get Chengbin!

We walked into the civil affairs office and some of our friends had already received their children.  I LOVED seeing Isaac sitting there with his family surrounding him.  I took the pics I could as Matt got out the documents our guide needed so we could get OUR son. :)

Real quickly our guide took our video camera and Chengbin came out with two men from his orphanage.  He was confident and acting a little silly, but his guide gave him the photo album and reminded him what was going on, then pointed him to Baba and Mama.  He came over and showed us his album, then we got out toys to play with from his bag.  He really liked the motorcycle his daddy brought out.  Katelynn was feeling rejected as he focused on Baba, so I grabbed the bubbles.  We were good to go.  BIG smiles from Ben AND Katie as they blew bubbles to each other.  We took a family picture and then headed to the hotel.


This little guy is so sweet and so smart and so little!  He's about the size of a 3 year old.  He has a pretty good attention span too.  He spent his first day playing in the hotel room and doing a little swimming.  He just giggled and smiled and had so much fun in the pool.  Unfortunately he has no sense of danger and a strong independence, so swimming was a challenge.  In the kiddie pool there are gradual steps that he just throws himself around on, nearly missing his head many times.  In the regular pool he wants to swim by himself, even though he can't and tries to push me away.  We have some work to do there!

Before bed Daddy gave him little Chinese cookies and taught him to say please for him to get one.  It was so cute as he'd look up at him and say "Pulease?"

Then he chose to sleep with Baba!!  So he wiggle wormed all over, slapping baba many times and turning sideways on the bed.  Luckily, he didn't wet the bed.  Baba decided he would not be sleeping with his little sidekick again.

So that wraps up the first day.  MUCH more to go while in China!!

Thanks for stopping by,
Fannie, Matt, Katie, & "Bing Bing"

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Day Two: Hong Kong Disneyland

Well, our day began at 2:30 in the morning when Kate woke up and decided there was no way she could sleep anymore.  I told her to be quiet and find her DS to play because Daddy and I were going to keep sleeping.  Approximately 12 interruptions to my sleep later, I gave up and got up at around 4:45.  So we decided to order room service breakfast and head over to HK Disneyland at opening time.  In all of our time at Disney parks we have NEVER been there at opening time! LOL

We took a taxi from our hotel near the airport over to Disney.  Both are on Lantau Island, so it was a gorgeous 20 minute ride.  This island is very lush and tropical.  It isn't as developed as I thought it would be either.  It is beautiful!  Disneyland was very nice!  We liked it much better than Disneyland Paris.  It was just beautiful and well kept.  We found out very quickly that even in Hong Kong, our little blond haired, blue eyed daughter is quite the novelty!  She, of course, didn't mind the attention at all.  She happily smiled for pictures and allowed people to pose with her.  It was very funny!!

The second we stepped into the shops on Main St we knew Kate was gonna have a great day!  She found that the Asian people share in her love of Stitch, Angel, & Scrump!  We grabbed a water bottle, knowing she would need it to combat the stifling humidity and head out into the park. 

The rides were all a little different!  Space Mountain was my favorite!  Matt's favorite was Mystic Manor.  Kate's favorite was Grizzly Gulch. :)
The standout moment of the day was courtesy of this hilarious English speaking tour guide on the Jungle Cruise!  She was hilarious without trying to be.  She was speaking into the microphone way too loud so that everything was distorted and difficult to understand until she said the name of the animal. It would be mumble, mumble, something else indistinct CROCODILE!!! mumble, mumble, something else indistinct ELEPHANTS!!!  So funny!  Pretty sure we were the only ones on the boat that actually did speak English as she asked if we had a good time and we were yelling YEAH while everyone else turned to look at why these crazy Americans were yellling!  Such a great jungle cruise! :)
We ended our day at the park with the VERY fun water parade.  Disney should do this one in Florida, every character came through trying to soak us as much as possible.  In this heat & humidity it was welcomed.  Everyone had umbrellas out for it, so almost every shot has a bit of umbrella, but you get the basic idea!

After we did our final shopping, we headed to the Disneyland Hotel for dinner.  I was sad that they did not have character styled dim sum, but it was still delicious and the view was outstanding.  It sits right on the banks of the China Sea with views of Hong Kong.  Absolutely beautiful!  Kate's 2:30 am wakeup finally caught up with her and she was a total brat during dinner.  She broke into tears 3 times as we kept scolding her for having terrible manners!  NOT FUN!!  Hopefully as her little sleep cycle gets better we won't have another meal like that one.  It was truly embarrassing.  After dinner we went for a quick walk through the maze and along the waterfront before heading back to the hotel for an 8:30 bedtime.

How I wish I had brought my zoom lens to get a better shot of Hong Kong in the distance!!!
Well, we had a great day!  We were sad that Ben missed out on this experience, and thought about him all day.  Can't wait to make him a part of our family so that he never misses out on another day of family fun again!!
Next stop: Guangzhou China!!
Thanks for stopping by,
Fannie, Matt, & Katie 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Day One: Our flights to the other side of the world :)

Well, we got up super early with only 2 hours sleep and headed to the Oklahoma City airport. Man, I do love how open the highways are and how slow the airport is that early in the morning! I was worried we'd be late but we made it.

We checked in our supersize bags that were way overweight (thanks United for waving bag fees & overweight penalties for active military members!) and we were off to our gate!

We boarded our little puddle jumper for the flight to San Francisco and Kate pulled the cuddle-up-it over her head and slept the whole way!

We arrived at SFO, had some breakfast, and wandered around for the rest of our 6 hour layover. Then they finally started boarding our flight to Hong Kong! Wahoo!!! We boarded and began our VERY long flight to go get our Ben!!! :)

Kate decided to start her own little journal about the trip, and I hope she keeps it up. She had 4 'chapters' before we made it to Hong Kong. Cute to see the trip through her eyes, I'll see if she'll let me post a few
of her 'chapters' later!

It feels real and it doesn't all at the same time! I know there's this little boy that we can't wait to get into our arms in just a couple more days but it kinda just feels like another Wilks family vacation adventure!

We are all finished with this end of flights, checked into the hotel in HK, and ready to do an early bedtime here so we'll be all rested up & on China time. So far my sweet girl has been an absolute trooper! Hope she keeps it up since tomorrow we will be checking out Disneyland Hong Kong.

We plan to do some sightseeing Sunday morning before taking the mid-afternoon train to Guangzhou. Then on Monday afternoon it will be the day we've been waiting for!! Gotcha Day!!!!

Please pray for our sweet boy. While we have been anxiously awaiting going to get him, singing night night songs where we blow him kisses, and totally loving this little boy on the other side of the world... He has most certainly not been anxiously waiting for us. This precious boy has lost his whole world once and it's about to happen to him again. While we are better than his orphanage, he does not know that. We are strangers who look different, talk different, & smell different than anything he's ever experienced. Please pray for his heart and for him to find a way to trust us. Please pray for his health, since we do not know when he was last transfused. I know that these first few weeks may be very rough on all of us. I pray for God's strength, perspective, and peace as we walk through these two weeks in China.

Thanks for stopping by!
Fannie, Matt, & Katie

Not super awake at 5am, but who could blame her??

Sleeping on the plane!

Getting on the plane for Hong Kong! Wahoo!!

Starting things off right, with a Chinese beer! :)

My little journaling girl!  She was tired, I love that her face looks the same as the cuddle-up-it somehow!

Hong Kong baby!!!

Okay, so the touring may have to wait til tomorrow...

Friday, July 19, 2013

China Timeline

Well, the airline and hotel reservations are made!  Waiting for a few details from our agency, but here's our timeline as it stands right now

Thurs July 25th- Fly OKC to SFO to Hong Kong
Fri July 26th- Arrive in HK in evening & rest
Sat July 27th- Disneyland Hong Kong
Sun July 28th- Train to Guangzhou
Mon July 29th- Gotcha Day
Tues July 30th- Adoption Day
Wed July 31st- Matt's Birthday!!  (and apply for Ben's passport)
Thur Aug 1st- Medical exam & TB test
Fri Aug 2nd- Orphanage Visit
Sat Aug 3rd- TB test read & free day
Sun Aug 4th- Touring Day
Mon Aug 5th- Consulate Appt
Tues Aug 6th- Pick up visa & train to HK
Wed Aug 7th- Kate's 36 hr Birthday!!  (thanks to 11am trip back to US)  Ben becomes a US Citizen!!

I have a "to do" list a mile long to get ready!!  Oh baby boy, we are coming!!!!!!  Wahoo!!!

We have a NINE HOUR LAYOVER in San Francisco on Kate's birthday!!!  I am working on special plans for that!! :)

Thanks for stopping by!
Fannie, Matt, & Katie

Favorite Photo Friday: Oooooooooklahoma!

I found myself singing this song as we made our way from NYC to Oklahoma City last weekend!  We arrived on Monday and its been a kind of crazy week trying to get ready for China and spend time with our family here!  We haven't been "home" in two years, so we're just trying to get some family time in before we head to China next Thursday!  Here's some snapshots from the last week..

 Goodbye Brooklyn- Hello Roadtrip to Oklahoma!!!

 The beautiful Oklahoma sky decided to show off as we drove through our home state!

 After 2 1/2 days in the car- this kiddo was psyched to finally do some swimming!!!

My nephew came over to visit and got in on the swimming action!!  SO excited that once we get Ben and move to our new house, we will be 11 hours from family!!

And of course- my favorite photo of the week!!
His little expression looks just like "The People's Champ"!!!  I love his Rock face!!

I am SO amazingly behind on Lisa's photography class, so I'll be working hard to catch up this week.  The biggest news is China!!  Oh I can't wait for my sweet Chengbin to become a part of our family!  I'll post our timeline soon!! :)

Thanks for stopping by,
Fannie, Matt, & Katie

Friday, July 12, 2013

We're going to China!!!

Thank you God for hearing our prayers!!!

Our agency is amazing!  Let me start with that!!  They worked overnight on the final day in China to get our TA emailed to them AND secured a consulate appointment for Ben before the consulate closed for the move.  We are officially approved to make our plans for China!

On July 29th, our boy will leave his orphanage to become a treasured member of our family.  Yep, that's right!  July 29th is Gotcha Day!!! :)

I'll post our timeline once we have it!  Oh, we are SOOOO ready to go get our boy!!!

More details soon!!

Thanks for stopping by,
Fannie, Matt, & Jie Jie

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Day 15 & Busy, busy week!!

So today is day 15 of our TA wait!  I REALLY didn't expect this one... I thought we'd have it before the end of the first week.  It's a medical expedite and my agency has been having pretty good luck on the China end!

The bigger issue that come Day 16 of the wait,  I can get TA and it does me no good until the 24th when the US Consulate reopens from their move to a new building.

For those new to adoption, here's how it goes.  You get travel approval from China and then you schedule a Consulate Appointment where your child will get all their visa stuff done in China so they can enter the US and become a citizen.  You schedule everything else in China based on the consulate apt, because without it, a child can't come to the US yet. 

Once we have our CA, we can know when Gotcha Day will be and book our flights and hotels.

Oh how I pray that when my agency opens in a couple more hours there will be good news!  I trust in God's timing though.  It is always better than mine.  So, if we have to wait, we will wait and get an extra 2 weeks of prayers in.

Wo ai ni Chengbin!!!

In other news, we are amazingly busy right now.  We spent a week down in Alabama & Florida and we will head out on Friday for a few weeks back home in Oklahoma with the family.  I can't wait to get caught up on my photography class, eat snocones with the kids, & visit all our family while we wait for our turn to go to China. :)

Thanks for stopping by!
Fannie, Matt, & Jie Jie