Poppy and the red couch

Sweet Poppy.

She just sat, like a little doll, on the red couch.

So incredibly beautiful.

But still, so very much hidden beneath the surface.

Honestly, I’m incredibly proud of her.

And how far she’s come in less than two weeks.

So grateful that we have a lifetime together ahead of us.

She’s got a lot of smiling to do.



  1. Stefanie, your words are oh so fitting! Again a HUGE step that she is sitting on her own….
    She is a true beauty just like her sisters and her momma!
    Can’t wait to see you with all your kiddos…. in a matter…of days…..I bet you and Zack know how many hours…!
    The red couch photos are such a neat step in the process. I think they signal the end of this part of your journey and the start of the next…..
    Blessings and have a safe trip home! Many more prayers coming your way!

  2. Beautiful baby. The Lord has great plans for her!

  3. Poor baby looks so TERRIFIED! Does she have a snuggly to hold when you are not cuddling? I would be more than happy to make her a soft cuddly if you want to send me an email. Just let me know.

    TexasBlueEyes @ The Kersten Kolache Project

  4. What a brave little girl. I am so looking forward to the pictures in the weeks/months/years to come of little miss poppy playing and laughing with her siblings. No doubt she has a smile that will light up the room. God is going to use her in big ways!

  5. Beautiful! She will be so grateful for your words and photos when she is a little older and can look back. Praying for not only a safe trip, but also a “non-scary” trip for Poppy.

  6. I cannot get over how beautiful she is… Simply breath-taking! And I loved everything you wrote in this post, Stef… like Brenda said ~ “very fitting and a neat step in the process.” I especially that last line you concluded with: “So grateful that we have a lifetime together ahead of us. She’s got a lot of smiling to do.” Oh YES SHE DOES!! And she is just so blessed to have such an amazingly loving and understanding mama as yourself. She is going to know LOVE like her tender heart has never seen before. Precious baby girl. Keeping you close in thought and prayer as you prepare for your transition back home. God bless! <

    Love and Hugs,
    ~ Tanya

  7. She is amazing!!!

  8. She is such a beauty…safe travels!

  9. Breathtaking! Many prayers over the next few days for your travel. I’m sure little miss will be wonderful! :)

  10. she is absolutely breathtaking!! So thankful she is doing better!

  11. You know what’s fun? To look at Poppy’s pictures, that serious face… and at the very same time, see all the smiling kiddos on the sidebar that are going to ROCK this little girl’s world in the best way imaginable!! I’m guessing within a few days of being home, she won’t be able to stop smiling! :) Safe travels home!

  12. Thank you SO much for documenting the trip and all the photos of darling little Poppy. She is heartbreakingly gorgeous and I can’t wait to see how she fits into your amazing “little” family. God bless you :)

  13. awww, precious peanut! cannot wait for you guys to GET HOME!!!! safe travels!

  14. It just warms my heart so much to look at pictures of her. And I really think that’s a glimmer of a smile in the first photo. Safe travels!!

  15. She truly is relaxing day by day, you actually see it in her precious little body language. We are all so proud of your amazing daughter Stephanie, so proud.

  16. She is so gorgeous…and you are right…so many smiles ahead….:)

  17. oh precious baby…she is so beautiful.

  18. She’s simply stunning!

  19. She is so beautiful! I can’t help but wonder what stories hide behind those pensive eyes!

  20. As you know, she is truly such a beautiful little girl; her little face is like a porcelain doll!! I am so happy that she has flashed a couple of sweet smiles your way and I just know that many more are on the near horizon. She’s a very thoughtful girl, don’t you think?? I am guessing that she will be delighted (albeit shy at the onset) to meet and get to know her brothers and sisters and Daddy.

    Safe travels and looking forward to your “reentry post” 😉 Lovely outfit for her red couch picks.

  21. Poppy is breathtakingly beautiful!! And I am sure once she gets home & experiences the fun & love filled life in store for her it will be hard to remember when she didn’t smile! :)

    You are all in my prayers for safe travel home!
    Looking forward to seeing your NEW family photo!!

    Love ya!

  22. Oh Stefanie! She is just beautiful!

    I am so proud of you.

  23. Quit making me cry! Just kidding, I love it :) I’m so happy for Miss Poppy, you, and your family!

  24. What a beautiful baby girl she is. I know in the next few weeks and months that sad pretty little face will turn into a happy face.


  25. That first picture doesn’t even look like the same little one in her first pictures. There is such courage in her eyes! It has been amazing to watch her grow, and I know this is just the beginning. Thank you so much for sharing this journey.

  26. Sweet Poppy…..she has come a long way in such a short time.

    She is stunning!

  27. Sue Mom of Two says:

    As everyone before me has said, Poppy is absolutely the most beautiful little girl. And, she is obviously beginning to trust her Mama, you can see it in her face. If Mama says to sit on the red couch, ok…..let’s do it. I can’t WAIT to see the pics of you reunited with your whole crew.

  28. I hope you don’t mind I’ve been following your blog and have taken a big interest in your journey. I think it amazing and you sound like such an amazing person and Mother. Poppy is absolutely stunning and I can’t wait to read more about her and the rest of your family.

    God Bless.

  29. Truly Blessed says:

    Like her floral namesake, she was a tightly closed bud who is slowly opening in the warmth and care of your love. It won’t be long before she is fully blooming, and won’t that be something to see!

    God’s blessings on you and your kids as you travel home!

  30. i have loved watching your journey in China. it is making me long for my girl so much more. our loa cannot get here quick enough!

  31. Je suis tombée sur votre blog par hasard! Félicitations pour votre enfant, elle est vraiment très très belle. Son regard est intense et la joie entrera dans ses yeux au fil des jours.

    Je reviens de CHINE moi aussi (avril 2011), du Guangdong avec ma petite fille du même âge que la votre, avec la même malformation que la votre. Vous serez émerveillée, cette enfant vous épatera!

    Bonne continuité!


  32. She looks amazing and now I’m interested to know about ‘the red couch’

  33. Okay……

    WHY do I get all teary eyed every.single.time I look at her???? Is it because:

    She is so beautiful?

    She is so incredible brave? ( Imagine being in her shoes).

    Her eyes?

    We know the home she is about to enter?

    With all those loving siblings ….. And parents?

    The happiness that lies ahead?

    She will learn of God’s love?

    I am mush.

    How can you love a child you have never even met?

    Read about Poppy!!!!

  34. She is gorgeous! That looks like progress!!! She’s not on your hip and she looks a little more trusting and comfortable then before. Prayers!

  35. She is such a beautiful little girl and has so much depth in her eyes… Praying for a safe journey home!

  36. Soo sweet! She is beautiful and I’m sure you’ll bring out some great smiles! Hugs & Prayers!

  37. Beautiful poppy, she certainly has a lot of smiling to do, but she will find it hard to not smile once she is home. Blessed journey.

  38. stacey milchman says:

    Beautiful, brave girl. Safe travels home.
    I am sure you are anxious to see your other children
    and introduce Poppy to your wonderful family.
    Best wishes.

  39. As you well know, it’s just going to keep getting better! I am so amazed by her bravery…you can see it on that gorgeous face of hers!

  40. Breathtakingly Beautiful……..and I’m so excited to watch the Lifetime of Smiles in store…….just glorious!
    Safe travels, my friend.

  41. Nicole A. says:

    Those are such great pictures. There may not be a smile, but there are also no tears. She does not even look frightened, just a little unsure. She has come a long way already, and the best is yet to come, of course! Have a very safe trip home!

    All the best,
    Nicole A., now in LA

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