the last day

Today was our last day in China.

*insert big sigh*

I can’t wait to get home. It has been a great trip in many ways, though. I just really, really miss my kiddos. And my husband. And my big, soft bed. And my fast, bookmarked Mac. And lots of other things I don’t really think about until I’m without them.

And I can’t wait to see Miss Vivi added to the mix at our house. This girl is a crack up. I don’t think she’s even going to flinch at the size of our crew.

Okay, back to today. Our last day in China.

We took group pictures on the red couch. And we had a neat group of kiddos. One family adopted a little guy with TGA (Transposition of the Great Arteries), who is cute as a bug. Feisty too, even with an unrepaired heart. He’s going to be a wildcat once his open heart surgery is completed!

The other family adopted two 12 year old boys, no SN, just older. It came as such a big surprise to me, how incredible these boys were. Not that 12 year old boys can’t be incredible, but I was just surprised how sweet-natured, funny, and easy-going two 12 year old boys could be in the midst of being adopted, going to America and leaving everything familiar to them.

Vivi loves both of them, and I think secretly wants them both to be her big brothers. Asher, too. And I can’t blame them. They are darling. But for now, Vivi’s got enough big brothers. And I think the Woods family is pretty excited to have Liam and Levi join their crew.

After a most sweaty picture taking session (preceeded by a full out, ugly run from the Victory to the White Swan because someone completely lost track of time overindulging at the breakfast buffet), Asher and I met with another family in the White Swan playroom for some downtime. Kristen and her mom are here to bring home the cutest little three year old, Zoe, whose SN is clubfoot. She and I met through Diana (who just got her TA for Sienna Grace, YAY!!) and had a great time swapping military and mommy stories as our girls played. And my pits aired out.

Then I drug myself away, knowing I had much packing still left undone. We grabbed some noodles for Vivi’s lunch and came back to the room for an afternoon of organizational h-e-double hockey sticks…. packing to leave China is even harder than packing to come to China. Thankfully, this time I hadn’t added an arsenal of chops, Chinese clothes and tea sets. Just lots and lots of snacks and dirty clothes. But it still has to fit in the suitcase, and weigh less than 44 pounds. Or else.

The reward for an afternoon of hard work was dinner at La Dolce Vida with my pal Chris and her daughters Faith and Avery. Avery is 3 and she and Vivi swapped stories and snacks over the table as we noshed on some yummy brushetta and pizza. It was delicious, and lots of fun. In fact, so delicious it eclipsed the Cow and Bridge as Asher’s favorite food here in China.

Tomorrow is an early wake up call, so it’s off to bed for our crew. If you think of it, please lift our family up in prayer as we head out for a very long travel day. Some blessed news is that a mom in our group had some extra doses of her Rx for motion sickness and offered to share with Asher… so hopefully no ‘clean bags’ will be in our immediate future!

Next post… Vivi working the red couch. Or, more aptly, Stefanie and Asher making idiots out of themselves trying to get a smile out of Vivi on the red couch.

Or something like that.



  1. Love the pictures!!! I must admit that the red couch pictures are always my fav's!!!!
    I was laughing so hard last night reading the part about her pretending to smoke a cig….that is hilarious!!!!!

  2. Stephanie says:

    I love this comment from you.."But for now, Vivi's got enough big brothers" BUT FOR NOW….lol…the common adoption phrase…similar to "we're done for now…" etc…

  3. Loved the story about the Woods boys and the photos are all great! Vivi's Chinese silks are some of the prettiest I've seen. LOVE the color and her matching flower headband…did you purchase the whole set there…hair accessory and all? SO cute!

    Praying you have safe travels and that Asher's tummy stays settled so that no barf bags are necessary. Poor guy. I would venture to say he is probably a little nervous about that now, himself. SO excited that you are on your way HOME though…and can't WAIT to see those reunion photos!!!

    Blessings & Hugs,
    ~ Tanya

  4. Anonymous says:

    Have a safe trip home!
    I have loved following you to China yet again, Stefanie!
    Loved seeing the picture of you on Chris' blog! It's amazing to me to see two people I know meet up half way around the world!

    I hope Asher has an 'uneventful' trip home. And Vivi too! :)

  5. LOVE this SO much!!! Liam and Levi are friends of our daughter Ellie (Xiao Dan) who came home in July, I can't wait to show her these pics! Those boys are great! All those older kids from the WACAP group are great!
    Have a great trip home, its been fun following your journey!

  6. GREAT PICS!!! Macy just loved seeing her sweet friends on the red couch!

  7. adoptionroad says:

    I must admit that those two boys caught my attention because of their awesome smiles! They look as nice as you describe them. The pictures look great. Makes me want to revisit that red couch even more. šŸ˜‰

  8. Love the pics, crazy busy here so I haven't commented before now. Tell Carey hello from me!! Isn't Jiake so handsome. Rachel is waiting i=from his SWI for us…Have a safe trip home!!

  9. The Stiffs says:

    Congratulations on your new addition and safe travels. I emailed you a long time ago. I had to let you know Kristen is a dear friend of mine. Such a small world. I'm jealous that you met Zoe before I did. Well wishes for tomorrow.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Great pics! I recognize the lady on the far rt. with the blue and white striped shirt. She helped us while we adopted our then 7 yr old son, Tim, and he really liked her. What a surprise to see her in your pics! Yes, older Chinese boys rock.I have a 9 yr old Chinese boy that is a sweetheart.

  11. Sophie Neri says:

    Great pictures, love the one of Vivi and her big brother so precious!! Have a safe trip home and can't wait to see miss Vivi with all her brother's and sister's

  12. Nicole A. says:

    Great pictures! We will be praying for safe travels and uneventful flights!

    All the best,
    Nicole A. in OH

  13. Have a safe trip, Stef! Did that family share dramamine? Don't forget to give it to him 30 minutes BEFORE you take off! :) If it's the full strength stuff, he'll be dozing the entire flight home. :) Love to you all!

  14. I have loved every post! Thank you for sharing your journey!

    What wonderful families you met and spent time with in China! Love the older boys!! FYI- I'm thinking blue… next!(and I am bad with secrets!)

    Beautiful photos!

    God's blessings on your trip home!

    Can't wait to see Vivi with the crew!

  15. Katherine says:

    I'm praying for you guys as you travel back–and I'm bummed that once again it didn't work out for us to meet up this side of the sea. One of these days! :)

  16. Janet and Kevin says:

    Praying for a safe trip home! So happy for you all.

    Hugs from Indiana and another family soon to be in China –
    Janet, Kevin, Ted, Philip, and oh so soon to be home Eli

  17. Patricia/NYC says:

    Ahhhh…such a bittersweet time for you all as you leave China…

    Praying for a quick, safe & uneventful trip home…sans bags! šŸ˜‰

    See you on the flipside! šŸ˜‰

  18. Seriously, it is your last day already!!! Listen to me.. That's like your non-pregnant friend saying, wow your pregnancy went fast!!! I am so happy that you have had a wonderful trip, and now you are off to be reunited with your precious crew!!! I can't wait to see Vivi mixing it up with the bunch!! The perfect child to add to your amazing family!!! Thank you for continuing to inspire me! I WILL be praying for your safe and un-eventful trip.. With hopefully a sleepy Vivi!! :)


  19. What a wonderful red-couch photo. Tears sprang to my eyes at the sight of those 12-year-old boys going home with a family. Your daughter is so precious. I don't know if I have commented here before but I read and I have loved following your trip. That little girl is easy to fall in love with even with just photos and video. I know she will be a treasure to your family.

  20. Wife of the Pres. says:

    How do you get such great photos??? You are a natural. Of course, you have such a beautiful subject!!! Or I should say subjects. :)

    Does the little boy's family have a blog? I would love to connect with them as S has TGA as well. I don't see many children referred with that need. I would also be honored to pray for them and their journey ahead.

    He is quite blue and his fingers clubbed ā€¦ :((( So thankful they are bringing him home now.

  21. Oh … ditto on everything already said! The red couch. The 12 year old boys. Vivi in her silks.
    Love & Blessings from Hong Kong,

  22. Have a safe and uneventful trip home !

  23. Tamara Jansen says:

    What a small world this blogland is! I just realized that we were staying at the White Swan hotel at the exact same time YOU were staying at the White Swan hotel in January! I had not yet found your blog or I would most DEFINITELY have looked you up at the breakfast buffet.

    My husband and I have watched all the families who are adopting these little miracles and commented on how much courage they have to step into the unknow and just do it!

    So you have 10 kids? I would so much have loved to sit and chat this January. Here is a link to the post I made when we got home (I cant access blogger while I'm there so I have to wait to get home to post).

    Now, how does one go about sending you an email regarding the Christmas Give away? I'm thinking about offering a POINSETTIA sent by FTD. Just for fun. Just because I think everyone should have a poinsettia in the house at Christmas. I may be a little biased about that, though, since we grow 150,000 of them in our greenhouse every year :) They are the reason we were in China in January. We were buying our containers that we decorate them with.

    Hope to hear from you


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