And today we led a parade



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

11 thoughts on “And today we led a parade

  1. What a great day! Prayers for safe travel! Can’t wait to meet your daughter! Maybe at the Nelson on the 25th?

  2. UNBELIEVABLE! This journey just gets better and better! Please don’t stop blogging when you get home. I wish I could be at the airport waving American Flags and a Chinese Flag! So incredible! HIL

  3. I have so enjoyed following yor trip. I’m glad everything has gone so well. Praying for your safe trip home! I hope we get to meet your daughter sometime.

  4. What an amazing last two days!!! I would do anything to be with Hilary waving the flags at the airport 😉 travel safe! Much love and prayers for you all!

  5. I love that Aurora was thoughtful and kind enough to engage Yiyi in the way she could best experience their interaction. And your girl’s face is priceless in those pics. And now I’m crying again. 🙂

  6. Wow, what a wonderful surprise to run into Daddy Brian and Grandpa D at Minsky’s just after touch-down in KC! I could clearly see that Brian was still on Could 9!

    Okay, Nikki, this is just unbelievable the experience you all got at Disney. This is not the norm! Your friend definitely pulled some strings. They don’t call it the happiest place on Earth for nothing. I interned there and have been many times as a non-parent and had my eyes well up with tears seeing the pure magic and joy in childrens’ eyes — and seen an adult cry when meeting Mickey! It is just more icing on this blog-cake to read about yet another magical day for your family. So incredibly happy for you all.

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