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


Monday, October 27, 2014

Our first family outing as FIVE!!

Okay, I know I've sucked at blogging lately...

I plan to do better and back up and tell the rest of our china stories, but reality is that life continues to move forward and we went on our first family outing as a family of five and I'm excited to share the pics and let you all see the cuteness!!

We decided to enjoy some time at a local pumpkin patch.  We were not sure what all would be there, so Chengbin was very excited to find this...

A real, coal-fired train took us out to the Pumpkin Patch!!

Each of the kiddos picked out their pumpkin...

Posed in their crazy way for Mama...

One with a little help from Daddy...

We decorated them, jumped in a bounce house, & headed home for Friday Halloween movie night!

LOVE spending time w our new family of five!!! :)

Thanks for stopping by,
Fannie, Matt, & the THREE Wilks kiddos

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Day Five: A trip to Beihai

Wednesday in Nanning was our opportunity to visit Laila's orphanage and the place she was placed by her Mama to be found.

We took the speed train to her town, a beach town in Guangxi province known as Beihai.

We took a trip to Walmart to buy supplies for the orphanage.  We were also very happy to give them all the supplies you guys sent! The asst director said the kids LOVE the gummy vitamins. :)

We weren't allowed to go into the orphanage but the asst director walked us around the grounds and we were able to talk about how our girl was in the orphanage vs what she had been like since we got her. It was very insightful
And we were glad we had the opportunity to visit.

We also got a chance to say goodbye to one of her nannies. She was very nervous and unsure but posed for a picture.

Next we went to see where she was left to be found.  It was a beautiful place & we are so glad we have that history for her one day when she's older.

It was a long & tiring day!  We are so blessed to have this little one with us!! We were told she was the only child with thal in her orphanage so we were very glad God put me in just the right place to bring her home as our daughter where she will get all the medical care she needs.

Night night from Guangxi!!
Fannie, Matt, & Laila

Day four: Adoption day!!

Well Tuesday we were told to be ready at 9:30 to go finalize Laila's adoption.

After a night with very little sleep for Mommy due to a little one who wanted to be rocked every time she woke up and then took up my half of the full size bed leaving me with approx 6 inches to sleep on... Well let's just say mama didn't sleep much & was wishing adoption proceedings were later that day! Haha!!

We headed down to breakfast and our girl continued to show her appetite.  Eggs, watermelon, cantaloupe, cake, rice, noodles, you-name-it, she liked it all!!  She became so happy she was once again dancing around in her seat!

We finalized her adoption, promising to never abuse or abandon her.  Then ran to Chinese Walmart for some supplies.  Yes, it is real Walmart company, but the store was a bit different. ;)

Once we arrived back we decided to take another trip to Cozy Coffee, and determined that she was pretty easy to handle so far! She tried her first chicken Nuggets which were very reminiscent of McDonalds. 

Before we knew it, our day was over and it was time to put our girl in a bath & ready for bed.  The stacking cups were such a hit that she was happy to sit in the bath if it meant she could play with them.

First bubble bath down & time for bed for Laila Jean Yuewan Wilks!!
:) thanks for stopping by!
Fannie, Matt, & Laila


Found a way on to blogger! Many updates coming soon. :)