Friday, March 28, 2014

Happy Birthday Baby Girl!!!

Today is a special day, one that has significance even though we aren't with her to celebrate it....

Today, our baby girl in China turns three years old!!! We got Preapproval in time to send her a cake & care package for her birthday, just like we did last year with Chengbin on his 5th birthday. :)

So without further delay, allow us to introduce our daughter Laila Jean Wilks!!

This special little one captured this mama's heart right away.  I first saw her face back in November and read her file. It's a long story that I will tell you all about soon. :) 

In the meantime we are celebrating our daughter and her birthday and are grateful this is the last birthday she will have without her forever family.

Thanks for stopping by & celebrating with us!
Fannie, Matt, Kate, & Chengbin

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A Little More Info About Our Fundraising (& a hint)

We have four fundraisers planned to raise money for the adoption- particularly the orphanage donation.  The orphanage donation is $5900 at present time, but varies based on the exchange rate. 

We have prayed about fundraising.  Whether we should do it... How we would do it... We were hesitant to do this, but to be blunt, bringing home this little one needs to happen fast.  And after bringing home Chengbin, our savings is tapped out.  We didn't expect to do this so quickly, and we definitely did not expect to be bringing home a child who is so sick that she needs to come home ASAP or bad things will happen.  So here's what we decided to do...

Raise money now and pay it forward later.

What does that mean?  It means that every penny we raise toward the adoption will be taken out of our adoption tax credit next year and be placed into a "pay it forward" account.  As God leads us, we will find other families who are faithfully answering God's call, hopefully 5-6 families in all, & donate $1000 toward their adoption.

So when you agree to help us bring home an orphan, you are in fact helping bring home 6-7 orphans!! :)

Now for the fundraisers...

As you know, we have a t-shirt fundraiser going on.  It is $20 for shirts & $30 for sweatshirts.  All sizes are available down to 12 mos.  You can mail us a check or pay via paypal for the shirts.  We will keep track of what we raise and let you all know how you are helping our sweetie.

(The bottom of our design will have China rather than Africa)
NOTE: We have another shirt design coming soon... It will read "My shirt helped an orphan.  What did your shirt do?"

We are also using my love of photography to help bring home our girl!  I am planning photo shoots for Oklahoma City, Alabama, Atlanta, & Florida for my friends/family who'd like to participate.  I will NOT be giving you a photo session fee.  I simply want you to ask God what he would have you give and that you give what he says.  The photos will be ordered from a professional printer and you will be responsible for the cost of the photos you'd like to order. :)  I have provided a quick snapshot of my work below.. :)



My friend Katie Hurst, has generously offered to host an Osborne Book Event where she will give our family 100% of her profits!

And lastly, we'd like to do a raffle for some great items!  These raffle items will begin once we have approval from an adoption grant organization for a matching grant.  This will also allow these donations to be tax deductible!! ;)  Also, if you have anything you'd like to donate for our raffle we will gratefully accept it!!

So that's the plan right now.  FOUR fundraisers and an amazing opportunity for us to pay it forward for more families!!

Thanks for stopping by!
Fannie, Matt, Katie, Chengbin, & "the new kid"

Monday, March 10, 2014

Time to add another Wilks!!!

We are officially bringing home another Wilks!  We have completed our homestudy and we are submitting our letter of intent to adopt a very special little one in China!  We can't wait to show everyone our little sweetie, but we are waiting until we get the official approval.

We can't wait to tell all of you the story of our sweet little one.  It is truly a God orchestrated story and we have seen his hand in this time and time again.  Our little one is a miracle!  A walking, talking miracle!! So the message on our fundraising shirts is perfect..

God does have more in store for this sweet one than all we could ask or imagine!!!  We are so blessed to be a part of the story God is writing!!!

So, YES, we are selling shirts to raise money for the orphanage donation.  Our little one lives in a VERY poor province in Southern China and we know that this money is desperately needed to provide the care and assistance these sweet children need as they wait for their forever families.

This is our shirt design, except that it has China on the bottom instead of Africa.  We plan to have a more "man friendly" shirt soon for anyone interested in that! ;)

Shirts are $20, Sweatshirt hoodies are $30.  We will have kid & toddler sizes as well.  At this time we plan to have ash grey (far left) and white.  I'm working on finding a great V-neck ladies shirt like the one in the middle.

If you'd like to order one or two or ten, you can email me at

We have already had an AMAZING outpouring of support from friends in the adoption community and this is a chance for our awesome friends and family to get in on the fun!!

Well, we will have a picture of our little cutie patootie soon!!! :)

Thanks for stopping by!!
Fannie, Matt, Kate, Chengbin, & "the new kid"

Monday, March 3, 2014

You gotta "Shake"

Here's the honest truth, adoption is an amazing blessing.  For us and for Chengbin.  It's also a long process of adjustment.  For us and Chengbin.

In the first few weeks and months we saw many orphanage behaviors and coping mechanisms.  Each one was heartbreaking, but thankfully, passed quickly as we taught him new ways to control his emotions.  Aside from his issue with crying rather than asking for help, we don't see many of them anymore....

So on Sunday as we were getting ready for church, he told me he couldn't find his tie.  I told him that I would help him look for it after I got ready, but of course, he was already a teary eyed mess as he gave me his little shrug that means "Why aren't you helping me now?".  I reassured him that I would help him as soon as I was ready for church and that he was welcome to go look for it some more while I got ready.  (You see, we are trying really hard to help him learn to work out minor issues on his own rather than feeding into the drama and tears.)

Well, I got done, opened the door to my bathroom and there he was... Still standing there waiting for me, tears in his eyes.  I got down on his level and once again went through the list of things to cry about and determined that not finding a tie isn't really on the list... I told him I was ready to help find it now that I was ready for church  and then we went to his room.  I pulled up a stool and began to search the top of his closet, figuring I had thrown it up there at some point when I found it on the floor in the living room or bathroom or who-knows-where. 

Then I heard "Ouch! Ouch!"

I looked down to find him performing another one of his orphanage behaviors.  Hurting himself.  He was twisting his pinky as far around as he could with the other hand, seriously trying to hurt himself. 

Of course, I stopped what I was doing, got down on his level and told him to stop hurting himself.  And then, he took it to the next level.

He threw himself back onto the floor, eyes backward, like he was going to pass out.

So what's a mom to do?  What would you do?  I chose to NOT feed into his drama.  I sat him in time out chair to calm down.  It took him a while, but once he was calm we had a conversation that went like this...

Me:  Chengbin, you don't have to hurt yourself anymore or throw yourself onto the floor to get someone's attention.  We love you.  Mommy loves you.  Daddy loves you.  Sissy loves you.  You have a family now.  So you can stop doing the things you did in the orphanage.  You don't need those anymore.  Don't hurt yourself.  Mommy and Daddy and Sissy will always be there for you and we will help you.  Sometimes you have to wait a few minutes, but we WILL ALWAYS help you.  Do you understand?

CB: nods his head

Me: You have a new life with us.  We all love you.  It's time to stop doing the things you did in Longgang to survive and act the way Jesus wants you to act.  Jesus doesn't want you to hurt yourself or to throw yourself on the ground to get attention. 

CB: ok

Me:  We love you buddy.  Please stop doing things like that.  Why don't we smile and go "shake"???

CB: Okay!!!

And then Mercy Me's song came on (his favorite song), but suddenly it had all new meaning!!

I just can't believe
where my life was at
all that I know is my heart was broke
and I don't ever wanna go back

Ain't no explanation
How I saw the light
He found me and set me free
And it brought me back to life

Blame it on the transformation
Changed down to the core
His love is real
And I can't sit still
Cuz my name's not shamed no more

Great God Almighty, gonna change this
Great God Almighty, He gonna change me

You gotta shake, shake, shake
Like you're changed, changed, changed
Brand new looks so good on you
So shake like you've been changed

Thank God for the blessing of Chengbin and the blessing Chengbin received of a family!!

Adoption is truly redemption.

Thanks for stopping by,