Sunday Snapshot: {just as she is}

Things are better.

Much, much better.

I mean, how can they not be… when she’s around?

Just look at her.

Falling in love with this child has been the easiest thing I’ve ever done.

And it’s because I do love her so, that I think her ‘diagnosis’ has been so difficult for me to bear.

I found myself feeling fiercely protective of her. And grieving for all I feared she might endure.

And a million other emotions that made me just want to alternately cry… and squeeze the dickens out of her.

God is revealing to me some sweet truths about His plans for Vivienne.

Vivienne is how He created her to be.

Because the truth is, there is no Vivienne without dwarfism.

It is as much a part of her as her almond shaped eyes.

Her adorable chipmunk teeth.

Her incessantly easy-going demeanor.

Her delicate hands.

Her outrageously capable spirit.

And wrestling with the fact that she is indeed a dwarf has led me again and again to this simple fact…

I love her.

Just as she is.

And I wouldn’t want her any other way.

Because any other way wouldn’t be my Vivienne.

Thanking Him from the bottom of my heart for this child.

Just as she is.


If you’d like to play along this week, link up when you’re ready…. the inlinkz will be open through Monday night. Hope y’all are having a most blessed weekend.

Ni Hao Y'all

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  1. Sharon Ankerich says:

    Just as she is… that's exactly how God loves you and why He chose you to love this precious baby!!! God chose so well and I am praying for both of you.

  2. So very beautifully said, as always. It's a match made in heaven!

  3. Acceptance with Joy says:

    She's beautiful! Love your pictures… especially of her looking down off the chair. TOO SWEET.

  4. Football and Fried Rice says:

    I am so thankful that God loves Vivi enough to not leave her WHERE she was, the WAY she was – if that makes sense. He loved her enough – He loved YOU enough – to bring you two together – so you could bring HIM glory!! I just think it's amazing.

    Not to mention – Vivi Kate IS ridiculously adorable.

    Just the way she is.

  5. Beautiful Stefanie! My heart hurts for Lizzie sometimes and what she will eventually have to face as she and her contemporaries becomes more aware of her hands and feet. However, I am SO proud of her and her accomplishments and SO proud to me her mommie! I know you feel the same way about sweet Vivi. It shows in every single post about her! As you so wonderfully said, Vivi is just as God made her and wouldn't be Vivi otherwise and you LOVE her! That is the most important thing!!

  6. chinamom says:

    Can you find out if Cooper's orphanage has his paperwork done so that he is available for adoption?

  7. The Gang's Momma! says:

    Amazing. Such a beautiful post. Such beautiful pictures. And God is so good – He KNEW that you would be there with her for this journey. He KNEW you could handle it. That you would wrestle with it but then leave it at it's most basic element. You love her. You receive the gift that she is. As she is. And that is exactly what she needs from her Mommy. He KNEW. Hugs to you. I'm so inspired by this post.

    And the photography? OY – girl you are a genius. The gorgeous subject in the rockin' outfit helps, but really. Just some amazing work here.

  8. Patricia/NYC says:

    Eloquent post, beautiful girl!

  9. Just keep posting pictures of that smile! Just a photo of her brightens my day and infects me with joy. How do you get anything done with that cutie by your side? šŸ˜‰

  10. Katherine says:

    gorgeous pictures of vivi!!! praising the peace giver with you! :)

  11. mom2three says:

    She's beautiful, precious, and wonderfully made. So happy you have been washed with the peace of our Father.

  12. Martha B. says:

    She is beautiful. Great photos that capture her personality.

  13. Yes, just as she is! Beautiful post! When our daughter, Megan, was born with Down Syndrome, it was hard. Hard to let go of dreams and wondering what life would be like for this little baby. Wanting to protect her. One of the things that I had to realize was that this was part of her, this was part of what "made her her". She is a wonderful young lady now and some might see her limitations, but I see her heart for God and all that she can do. I love to hear her sing, slightly off-key, praises to her Heavenly Father. She really gets the concept of worship! In fact she gets a lot of concepts that many people don't get! I am so thankful that God allowed us to be her parents! We have been so blessed!

  14. Beautiful post! She was meant to be with you and you with her!

  15. She is so beautiful! I can't get over the cuteness of her sweet face! Also…the outfit is stinkin' adorable too…love it! Sweet post, made my heart smile.

  16. Beyond precious!

  17. Sister Kim says:

    Hi, I am still reading your blog and enjoying witnessing your love as a family, I just haven't commented for awhile…But this post struck a chord with me and compels me to write and share a story…when i was working in childcare there was a case with a mother who had custody of her 2 boys ages 4 and 2, and their father came for a visit and was granted a 3 week visit to take them to his home in NY…he did but then he got false passports and took the boys to his birthplace costa rica…the mother went with a detective team and literally stole them back, but it took 18 months…and when she was back here in the states…she let them be…i would have placed them in a bubble and not let them out of my sight…but she said the most humbling statement in my questioning of how she could let them wander a little away from her like to look at toys in the stores…and she said, "if i dont let them live and be little boys, then i might as well have left them in costa rica." You are so right to say you need to let vivi be who God made her to be…Remember if God brings us somewhere, He will give us the grace to get us through. He will give you and Chris that grace and He will give vivi that grace too..S. Kim

  18. Good morning Stef – wonderful weekend full of updates by you – ya'll just keep on taking pictures – they are worth a lifetime of memories!

    As always – your Sunday snapshot was spectacular as well – and your comment about why you feel like you do about Vivi's dx….I'm moved to say – 'Do ya think?'!!

    Oh – and one other casual observation….look who's thought processes seem to have 'turned the corner'? Just in case you haven't noticed! (And we understand completely – how could you not love this child!)

    hugs – thanks for sharing your heart and kids!

    aus and co.

  19. Love this post!! Every time you write about Vivi I can't help but remember your very sobering post way back when you were making the decision to go forward to adopt her. The uncertainties gripped your heart but God faithfully led you as you trusted Him. He totally knows how to richly bless us when we obey, doesn't He?! Love that!

    The pictures are simply amazing and it's quite clear that that girly is pure joy.

  20. Wonderful, loving, heartfelt post. Love you and love viv. (P.S. where'd ya get the cool dress?)

    Wendy in OH

  21. This is such a beautiful post…about you & Vivi. It's amazing how God continues working in our hearts through the gifts of our children. Thanks for sharing.

  22. Tara Anderson says:

    Amen! What a beautiful post…and a beautiful girl! I personally think that God did an INCREDIBLE job when He was making her! :)

  23. a Tonggu Momma says:

    Words and labels don't change who she is… or who you are. Both of you are as God made you. And it is good.

  24. Carey and Norman says:

    Glad you are feeling better. Vivienne is precious and I agree that God has big plans for her just as he does your other children. It is hard as parents as we want them to be perfect in our eyes and what our society considers perfection. However, Vivienne is perfect in God's eyes and he will use her diagnosis to reach out to others in ways we could never imagine. I cannot wait to see what God has planned as I know it will be amazing!

    Thinking of you!!

  25. Rita and John says:

    Vivienne couldn't be any more beautiful! What a gift!

  26. 3 Peanuts says:

    Oh Stef…God is smiling down BIG on you today. Yes, Vivienne is exactly how God wanted her to be and for you to embrace that so quickly after learning how her life might be different is testament to your beautiful faith.

    Thank you for being such a good role model of a Christian wife and mother. I mention you in my post today in fact.

  27. Lovely photos – Vivi is stunning – so beautiful! Thanks for being so honest and open with your blog, Wendy

  28. Vivi is just darling! A beautiful little girl, not a diagnosis. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us!

  29. Vivi is the most gorgeous package of Joy I have seen!! Thank you for sharing the beauty of her life and yours with us.

  30. Jennifer and Greg says:

    I knew this post was coming. It was only a matter of time. And you are so so right. Everything you said could have been spoken by the Creator Himself.

    You are so so right!

    Perfect she is! Just perfect!


  31. My heart feels for you as you come to terms with what you had hoped for in yours.

    I believe it is your incredible love for this very special child that has made her diagnosis so hard to wrap your head around. I believe that she will do great things…small in stature but bigger than life in the lives she touches and the one she will lead
    She's doing that already.

    You will have your understanding the diagnosis days, the coming to terms days and the I'm so angry days…but every day you will know that He has made that precious child in His image and granted every moment to be spent with you…showing you love and allowing you to love in return, in ways you never even imagined.

    It is an absolute joy for me to come here and watch Vivi (and every single one of your amazing kids) grow before my eyes.

    Thank you for sharing your lives with us the way you do!

    With much admiration and a great big hug..

    I linked…hope I did it right and I don't get booted…it all seemed so COMPLICATED after a long day at work! Yikes!

  32. Jenny Shapiro says:

    Remarkable! It is people like you that are tangible proof of how beautiful God is. Thank you for sharing your story.

  33. I am so happy for Vivienne. So happy that God called her parents to come to China. So happy that she is lavishly loved. So happy that she has a "momma bear" who is going to walk this road of life with her. She's a lucky girl!

  34. "Falling in love with this child has been the easiest thing I've ever done."

    Your photos so perfectly illustrate how easily Viv has fallen in love with YOU!

    Our Blog: Double Happiness!


  1. […] I did a little photo shoot with Vivienne in August. […]

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