While you were sleeping, we were leading a parade at DisneyLand. Perhaps you may be unclear as to how parades work, so let me share it with you. Without a Grand Marshall, there can be no parade. DisneyLand is no exception. And today, Brian, Nikki, and Yiyi, assembled separately from Kansas, Missouri, and Guizhou, China led the parade as the Pauls family at Hong Kong Disney.
Some of you may recall my professional first blog article when I referenced prioritizing funds for adoption, over, let’s say, a trip to Disney. It seemed a little surreal as I was walking my newly adopted child into Hong Kong Disney, just days after getting her. Brian reminded me too, so it was hard to forget. But there were many magical experiences today that really led me to be able to understand why and how people are enchanted by this amazing place. In addition to being the Grand Marshalls, we were also given special treatment at the shows by getting to sit in the front row and often were engaged with by cast members through High 5’s and Happy New Year greetings. Additionally, all the princesses knew Yiyi’s name and greeted her by name as she walked up. During the parade, Tinkerbell came up to us and said “I love you Yiyi.” Mickey and Minnie let her hug them as much as she wanted to. Seriously, way to go Disney!
This day would not have been possible if not for the incredible gifts from our new friend, Kristy. Kristy is a friend of a friend, who generously donated three tickets to get us in. Kristy was the one who helped us request the front row seats and I’m certain helped pull us some major strings with the Grand Marshall thing. And I’m 100% sure that Kristy told all her princess friends about Yiyi and ensured they knew her name and special need. We thought it was pretty amazing when Aurora greeted her by name, but even more incredible when she took Yiyi’s hand to feel her princess hat with one hand, and took Yiyi’s other hand to feel her own and said “Yiyi, we’re both princesses. They’re the same!” Kristy, I wish we could adequately thank you for your generosity of the tickets, preparation, and kindness you bestowed upon us. I only wish you could have seen Yiyi’s face today, about a 100 times. Perhaps some of these photos will convey to you how incredible Yiyi’s day was. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you a million times over.
And then we had a lovely dinner tonight with a sweet friend, Mayu, who gave Yiyi a Barbie doll and the cutest shirts. Yiyi is now officially in love with Mayu and is disappointed that she lives here. I could see a future of Barbie playing with those two! Thank you Mayu! It was so good to see you!!!
And now we must say goodbye to China for good. We’re off early in the morning tomorrow, on a long journey home. I need to get our bags packed and somehow get this child on a shuttle at 5:40 a.m. Prayers for safe travels and on time flights are welcome. If all goes well, we should be landing in Kansas City right around 4:30 tomorrow afternoon.
Thank you to all the sweet blog followers who have joined us in this journey. We have loved your messages and well wishes. We truly couldn’t have done it without you all. We’re very blessed! And we’re looking forward to Yiyi meeting each and every one of you as she begins her new life in the USA. Thank you!!!
Brian, Nikki, and Yiyi