Sunday Snapshot: {Sunday on Shamian Island}

It was a good day.

After spending the majority of two days in the hotel room, we decided to spend the day out.

On Shamian Island.

We went to church.

We strolled.

We shopped.

We Starbucked.

Which probably isn’t a word, but it should be.

The heat was unbelievable.

And the porch at the Starbucks was a most welcomed relief.

As was the Java-Chip Frappuccino we split.

We hauled ourselves up, after a while, and shopped some more.

And then headed to the Cow and Bridge for dinner.

It was good.

Oh, and did I mention?

She smiled, y’all.

Randomly (at a shopkeeper playing hide-and-seek with her) and surprisingly.

But she smiled.

Like I said…

it was a good day.

A very, very good day.


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Happy Sunday, y’all.



  1. Jennifer says:

    Hooray!!!!! I am crying, now that I just read this!!! I can just tell how much your spirits have been lifted after the other day of not feeling so hot. Praise God! Love the pics from the island….LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the pic of her little grin! And seeing her in her own little So Loved tee…..priceless.

  2. Yeah for that beautiful smile! She’s gonna be just fine…all in her sweet time. Oh, how I miss China and Shamian Island…

  3. Wow…no words…so happy that she is feeling more comfortable..

  4. Oh, What a good day!! I’m so happy for you all! How wonderful that you were able to capture Poppy’s smile on film :) I’m praying that tomorrow brings you more baby steps in the right direction!

  5. Okay,,,I’m tearing up! That was the sweetest little smile, so happy!

  6. You’ve had me crying TWICE this morning and it isn’t even 8:00AM!!! I’ve been thinking about your sweet Poppy and when I hear the song Blessings by Laura Story I can’t help but think of Poppy even more! I have faith that God will heal her heart in His time! So glad that he sent you a little smile from your sweet girl to let you know He’s working and that He hears your heart as well! So thrilled it was captured in a photograph!!! Praying for you all!

  7. God love that sweet baby girl! There she is! I knew she would come around. Baby steps. I know your mama heart feels so good! Hooray!!!!

  8. So glad to see that precious smile!

  9. What a beautiful smile!

  10. Ahhhhhhhh, I knew Poppy had smiles down in there somewhere! How precious and beautiful! Hang in there, sweet friend! If Miss Poppy is anything like my Kinley Grace, after days and days of stoic demeanor, she is now full of expression and playfulness! You’re an amazing mama!

    The end.
    And, love you.

  12. Our God is GOOO! I was praying (along with many others:)) that Poppy would give that beautiful smile!! Praising God today for His marvelous works!

  13. Oh, that lifted our hearts here for you all there! :)

    janet and gang

  14. What a precious gift! And seeing Poppy in her So Loved is just….right. Praising God!

  15. She Smiled! YAY! I am crying as I type this… hooray for ya’ll!

    What a great day!

    God is SO Good!

  16. Gee whiz…that got me all blubbery to see that sweet little smile. :o)

  17. Maureen says:

    Yippee! Baby steps are huge sometimes! :)

  18. Such a beautiful smile! Happy to hear things are progressing! Enjoy your time on Shamian Island:)

  19. ohhhh it looks hot!!! Glad y’all had a better day. What a sweet little smile she has! Can’t believe Zach got a picture of her smile! I’m never that “on”! Praying every day she shows you a bit more and settles a bit more.

  20. Kathleen says:

    So glad Poppy is warming up!!! Oh my what glorious relief and a sweet, sweet smile that lights up the world!!! Still praying and thinking of you, Poppy, and Zach and praying for many more sweet, sweet smiles to come. BTW, Zach has a sweet smile too!!

  21. Julie Anne says:

    So happy to see the little smile.

  22. HIP HIP HOORAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and it is a most beautiful smile!

  23. Corndog says:


  24. awesome pics in this post, by the way.

  25. HOORAH – what more need be said anyway? Great joy for you here in Cincy!

    hugs – aus and co.

  26. Yay poppy!!! I’m waiting to travel in september, waiting on our article 5. I’ve been following your journey, as I am starting to get apprehensive for travel and what to expect. I now have tears of joy falling, aim so happy for poppy and for you!!!


  27. Wow….beautiful…and powerful…she’s finding the light. So happy for you all!!!

  28. Woo-hoo!!! I’m not sure I’ve ever been as excited to see a little girl smile!!! So thrilled. Praying for some more good days ahead!!

  29. Oh my!! How those beautiful eyes light up with that smile!!! Sweet, sweet! And I love seeing my Katie’s “beau” on her! Continuing to pray for your Poppy girl!!



  31. Happy tears! Look at the light and the peace in that little angels eyes!!! Rejoicing, praising, and always praying.

  32. I’m glad it was a good day for ya’ll. I love seeing the pictures of her…a little more comfortable each day.

  33. ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! :)

  34. Shannon says:

    She is absolutely breathtaking. My husband is wondering why I am crying. I told him because I just saw a glimpse of heaven :)

  35. Did Zach get that smile?? He is good!!!!!!!!!!! I specifically prayed that God would speak directly to Poppys heart. I prayed that he use his words that Poppy would understand that she is safe and loved. I will continue to pray that prayer until you come home!!!!!!! BTW she really does have a great grin

  36. I mean did he take the picture?

  37. Way to go random shopkeeper! Way to go Zach for getting the picture! And BIG way to go Poppy!!!

  38. Simply breathtaking…and tear bringing. Praises to Him!

  39. thank you for the update and beautiful photos.
    i can picture it all so well.
    there used to be a Haagen Daaz icecream near the Garden Hotel,
    It was a great treat for us, and a pretty pleasant walk
    praying and praying around the clock.

  40. Hooray!!! What wonderful, happy news!!! And what a gorgeous smile – breathtaking!
    Your photos are so beautiful too. How I miss being there….
    Thank you so much for sharing!
    Sara :)

  41. No words, just happy tears for all of you!!! She is BEAUTIFUL!!! Oh that smile & that dimple!! :)

    I could FEEL the heat on that $tarbucks porch!

  42. ugh…I meant to say…the “makings of a dimple”!!! (too early for me here! lol)

  43. PTL for little smiles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  44. So happy you go to see her smile! It is beautiful and only the first of many!

  45. PTL!!!! Baby steps, right?? :) I’m so happy for you.

  46. Yea! Praise God!

  47. Yay! The first of many smiles!

  48. Oh my goodness…she is smiling! How wonderful, she’s so precious! I’m so glad she has such an understanding momma :0)

  49. She can smile at random shopkeeper because she’s safe in her Mama’s (NOT a bystander’s 😉 ) arms!
    That’s the perfect little teasing taste of her smile, I can’t wait to see her break out the REAL deal.

  50. Whoa! A good day indeed! I love the 2nd shot of the fountain.

  51. Praise the Lord for Poppy’s sweet smile. If it warms all of our hearts, I can only imagine what it does to yours.

  52. Praise Him! Love the “So Loved” tees, sporting on Esther’s birthday! Her first smile! In Him we wait…His timing is perfect!

  53. I am soooo happy to read this post and see Poppy’s beautiful smile! What a blessing! I am looking forward to seeing many more beautiful smiles from her. Be encouraged!

    Thanks so much for hosting Sunday Snapshot. I’ve linked up a photo today.


  54. Campbell says:

    SHE SMILED!!!!!!!! Oh my goodness…I’m just sitting here WEEPING with joy for you! For her!! I’m so thrilled to see her really leaning into her mama as well! She’s such a beauty…like her mama that girl! In reading your blog and seeing this sweet child unfold, my own heart is opening. I’ve been wanting to adopt for a very long time, but there has always been some hesitation…fear of the unknown, of the mountain that is Chinese adoption, but this journey has been incredible to witness and I believe that the Jesus is working through you and your family in so many ways. God Bless you!

  55. Those are some awesome pictures! Makes me want to go visit that place so bad. My favorite. the one with the statues. SO CUTE!

  56. So happy to see the smile! The pics are great! Brings back great memories
    of our time on the island. Cow & Bridge….love the food!!

  57. That’s so awesome!!!! A smile!!! What a huge step in that little expression!

  58. Lee Ann says:

    God is so good! I saw your link on a friend’s page. We brought our little empress home last spring. What a priceless gem Poppy is! :0)

  59. Wonderful to see the Gradual transformation.! Love that little smile!

  60. You keep making me cry. That sweet little smile is priceless.

  61. What a glorious smile that girl has! Absolutely beautiful! You two look adorable in your So Loved shirts!! :)

  62. She’s looking relaxed and comfortable…hallelujah

  63. Cow and Bridge was our fave. Nothing like a good ole seafood rice dish eaten out of a pineapple. Wish I could have one of those tonight in fact. :) Maybe head on over to the White Swan deli and eat a piece of Chocolate Mango cake for me. Oh man, I had too many of those. I think I had the philosophy that calories in China didn’t count. :)

    The pictures are amazing!

  64. Oh my! She is just absolute sunshine.

  65. Crying happy tears for that beautiful smile, Stefanie…

  66. She is so beautiful! Love that little smile.

  67. beautiful smile!!!!!!!! love it!

  68. Ohhhhh!! Look at that precious little smile! So great to see her appearing a little more at ease each day, but this was a BIG step, yay Poppy!. And those eyes of

  69. That smile is so gorgeous and sweet! A beautiful thing to see!

  70. What an amazing smile!! Be prepared to see it alot more! That made my heart smile today!

  71. Poppy’s smile is so sweet! Praying that her heart continues to mend.

  72. Yay! What a sweet little smile!! (and serious kudos for capturing it!!!) Praying for many, many more to come!!

  73. Oh how wonderful! What a sweet blessing it is to see that smile. I will pray that her trust continues to steadily unfold during these precious days in China. God is good, all the time, He is good.

  74. Oh, Stefanie…..

    SOOOO happy!!!

    Seriously, tears of joy…….

    YAY POPPY!!!! We love you so much!

    So beautiful.

    God is so faithful.

  75. Oh! Not just the smile, but the eyes and the arch of her sweet little eyebrows! Be still my heart! Hoping you see more of those moments in the days to come!

  76. Priceless!!!

  77. Oh my goodness! I can’t believe you’re in China!! I’ve been away from blogging for a while and the last I remember is you picking a name for her! Our documents are being authenticated…can’t wait until we are there! She is absolutely beautiful!! Can’t wait to look back on your page and catch up some! Will be praying for you and your family for a safe trip, health and quick bonding!!

  78. Poppy is gorgeous! Praying for attachment, transitioning, healing.. Thank you for sharing your journey with us <3

  79. Precious!

  80. Oh, what a perfect gift. NOT that she’s required to give me a gift. But to open this post and see that sweet little teeny smile peeking out. A perfect little birthday gift for the end of my birthday day. :) So happy for you all!

    Still praying for good healthy grieving and attaching! Love to watch God work :)

  81. What a precious smile

  82. Oh Praise God!!!! I knew she would finally start coming out of that shell and you were so right!! That beautiful smile was definitely worth waiting for!!!!! YAY!!!!

  83. She is soooo beautiful. Those eyes…beautiful… especially with that sweet little smile. I love her! :)

    Love your pictures. Very artistic. :)

  84. How great is our God? He can use us all. Even a nameless shopkeeper.
    That smile made my day! And of course she was in her SO LOVED tshirt!
    Continuing to pray!
    Love & Blessings,

  85. Nicole A. says:

    Oh my word, how beautiful! The smile, the smile! So happy for you ~ and you even got it on camera (way to go, Zach)! Was it the shirt she was wearing? :-) Clearly she is feeling safe enough in her momma’s arms to begin to open up a little. Yay! Hoping that each day brings more joy.

    All the best,
    Nicole A., now in LA

  86. Love the smile. Priceless!

  87. AWESOME!!!

  88. Beautiful!!

  89. Crying happy little tears for her smile. Praying she feels safer and safer to open up every day:)

  90. I love that the first ‘smile’ pic was one of you holding her wearing your “So Loved’ shirt. :) She is so beautiful and I’m sure she will continue to blossom. Love seeing all the pics–it brings back sweet memories of Shamian Island. We were there in August on year–so I know the oppressive heat you are experiencing. ugh. It’s still better than snow in my opinion. :)

  91. A wee little smile! yeah! She *will* come around… it is just going to take some time, another transition is coming but in a few months you are going to see little glimpses come out. Poppy’s eyes are amazing…. wow.
    You are almost home and I know you will be happy to be there!
    In Him~

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