Poppy: day 8

I didn’t think it would come again so quickly.

In fact, I wondered if we might have to take her back to Shamian Island, to the same shopkeeper, to get another one out of Miss Poppy.

But I was wrong.

During our normal (normal for China, that is) morning routine – right in the middle of breakfast in fact – it happened again.

With a little under-the-arm motivation.

She tried to stop herself, but she couldn’t keep it in.

She smiled. BIG.

And the skies parted.

And the birds sang.

At least in this neck of the woods they did.

What an incredible blessing to watch Miss Poppy, bit by bit, begin to blossom.

We just got back from the Pearl River Cruise and I’m too pooped to upload the pictures from tonight. Those will have to wait.

Must. Sleep.

Evidently, getting up at 4:15 will do that to you.

But I just had to share these of her smiling with y’all before turning in. And now, my job is done.

Nighty night.



  1. What a great way to begin my Monday…seeing that beautiful, beautiful smile on that beautiful, beautiful face!
    Yay, God!

    Sleep well!

    Suzanne Rowe

  2. What a precious thing to wake up to this morning! I’m crying over this. Yay Poppy!

  3. Precious, precious, precious!!!! :)

  4. I am in tears just seeing that smile!!! true, real, heartfelt! Praise God, and I’m sure He rejoiced even more than her Mama!!!!!

  5. The best way to start my week! What a beautiful and heartfelt smile! Love it!

  6. Beautiful! So happy for you and sweet Poppy! Praise God!

  7. I am crying right here, right now, in the middle of my kitchen! This is just beautiful! God bless you all, and enjoy your day with your sweet little girl!

  8. Tears, tears, tears,,, of pure joy! Good things come to those who wait… May God continue to bless all of you.

    Surely an excellent way to begin any day. Kudos to you! What a cute, cute grin! She certainly knows how to brighten up a room, am I right?

    Enjoy the day and thanks for sharing!

  9. Made my Monday! My heart has been aching for yours as I watch you keep that beautiful smile hiding all your fears. Hoping and praying this is the turning point and she will open up even more to you and Zach. I know it has to be hard for him to see you struggle. LOVE that smile!

  10. Oh happy day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Poppy looks positively radiant in your arms!!!

  11. And your shirt says: “Beauty from ashes”. Perfect. xoxo

  12. Love it, she feels safe in her mommas arms…Poppy was beautiful not smiling and she is even more beautiful smiling! You are an amazing momma…you were patient and loving and knew in Gods timing Poppy would open up!

  13. So precious! And to see that smile next to the “Beauty from Ashes” quote on your shirt…amazing! God is good!

  14. She looks like a totally different little girl with a sparkle in her eye and a smile on her face. Her dark brown eyes are gorgeous and with that smile………

  15. Oh my gosh and what a fantastic smile it is :) Happy to see it Miss Poppy!

  16. There are tears falling on my breakfast plate right now. Very happy tears. :) Praising God and continuing to cover you guys with prayers!

  17. She is absolutely radiant when she smiles!!! Good therapy for a mama who has been waiting patiently to see her true sparkle shine through. And I’m sure it’s only the beginning!! Wait till she meets all those siblings at home!!

  18. Rejoicing with you. What a beautiful smile your baby girl has! I look forward to many more photos of her smiling!

  19. Oh, instant happy tears seeing that smile picture. So, so happy for y’all!

  20. Hallelujah! I can hear the birds singing from here! :)

  21. Emmy Fusilier says:

    Ahhh happy day!! And do I spy a dimple on that sweet little cheek?!?!

  22. Beauty from ashes, indeed!

  23. fantastic! praise God!

  24. Ohmuword! I love seeing her sweet, sweet smile. And this one is for YOU this time! Not the shopkeeper. Praising God for this little miracle!
    Love you!

  25. ….and what a beautiful smile it is! Miss Poppy seems to be succumbing to her wonderful mother!!!!

  26. Every time I see her smile I get goosebumps from head to toe! She’s a gift!! :)

  27. Kristiana says:

    It is beautiful to watch this little blossom unfold. God is good!

  28. What a beautiful smile she has!
    I can’t wait to see more smiling pics in the coming days.

  29. What a beauty! Gorgeous smile with adorable little teeth!!

  30. All I can say is…Praise you Jesus!!

  31. oohhh…beautiful girl!!!

  32. So. very. HAPPY for you both!!!! The sun is now shining and the forecast: Little Miss Poppy’s future is looking mighty darn bright!!!!! :-)

  33. YAY! the birds are singing here too!!!!!! How beautiful is she????

  34. Awww, YAY!!!! That is great!

    In our sea of love

  35. She was beautiful before – she’s a heart stopper now!!! HOORAH!

    Great joy for you here in Louisville (daughter’s wedding day!!) hugs – aus and co.

  36. She sure did try to hold that grin in!! So glad the Lord has that girl’s heart! And slowly, you are getting in! She is darling!

  37. Oh Stefanie~Her beautiful smile has made me cry! What a privilege God has given you to watch Miss Poppy as she learns to love and trust. Celebrating with you today!

  38. Kimberly E says:

    What a beautiful smile it is! I have to admit, it made me cry too :)

  39. So happy for you, so happy for poppy, so happy for your family. God bless surely~

  40. Leigh T. says:

    Love is opening up the little Poppy flower! :) Love seeing prayers answered!

  41. Angie D. says:

    Tearing up as I see Poppy’s precious smile! Oh, how we’ve all waited and prayed for that! Confident that many more will follow! Praise be to God!

  42. What a beautiful smile!!! So happy that the walls are slowly starting to come down.
    Keeping you all in my prayers!!

  43. Yeah! God is Good! made my day to see her smile!!!! praying for you in Athens, AL

  44. And what a beautiful, precious, adorable smile at that!!!!!

    Blessings! Ashley

  45. She’s just lit from within! What a gorgeous smile she has, I’m so glad she’s feeling comfortable enough to share it with you now. May peace and happiness reign over you three for the rest of your trip!

  46. Look at the grin on her face!!! It makes her look even more beautiful! And it just lights up her face! (:
    Seeing her smile like that totally just made my day! <3

  47. She is soooooooo ADORABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The best things truly are worth waiting for!!!


  48. And what a beautiful smile it is. I’m so happy she is beginning to open up a bit. What a beautiful girl.

  49. It was definitely worth the wait :)

  50. Nathalie says:

    This is a miracle of unconditional love. Yours and His. Poppy, your precious little flower, is blossoming and opening up as she feels the power of unconditional love. How wonderful! How beautiful!

  51. Look at her blossom! Yay!!!!!!!!

  52. Tears literally came to my eyes when I saw that smile! Definitely worth the wait. Poppy is just breathtakingly beautiful!

  53. Jennifer says:

    After looking at that last picture…..now I can’t stop smiling!!!!! Hooray!!!!! Thank you, God!!!!

  54. Ahh she is awesome!! Baby steps! :)

  55. stacey milchman says:

    Yippee! So happy to see things are coming along. She is truly precious. Keep going…

  56. April Z. says:

    I love the pictures of beautiful Poppy! That smile is perfect!!

  57. **Awesome** smile and you also have an awesome photographer/travel companion!!!

  58. Positively Beautiful! I know your heart is so full!

  59. She is gorgeous and that smile is amazing!

  60. love seeing those pearly whites!

  61. Brenda Perez says:

    That’s the most beautiful thing I’ve seen all day. Just perfect!

  62. Seeing her smile has me beaming from ear to ear!

  63. Yay, Poppy!!!! So happy for you and hope the rest of your trip is joyous!

  64. Totally worth the wait :) YEAH Poppy.

  65. Wow! That is an amazing, beautiful sight!!

  66. Seriously… just when I thought she couldn’t get ANY cuter!! What a lovely lovely sweet one you have. Her smile is such sunshine. SUCH a gift!

  67. way to go Miss Poppy!! I have been hoping for this moment…..but not as much as you I am sure!

  68. YEAY!!!! Wipes the tears away and smiles back at Poppy and to you and Zach!

  69. Amazing! If that doesn’t get you I don’t know what will!

  70. What a glorious sight to see your beautiful Poppy smiling! Just melted my heart. :). Love it!!!!!

  71. That is amazing!! I love that she finally smiled. It can only get better from here. Good luck! I pray every night for you and your family.

  72. I’m so thankful that God is opening up your sweet little Poppy flower and letting her blossom right in front of your eyes. I have a feeling once she starts, she won’t stop.

    So happy for you!


  73. Praising the Lord with you!!! What a beautiful smile. :-)

  74. Oh Stefanie, reading your post made my day!!!!You can see the joy in both of your sweet faces! Your a wonderful mom! Continued prayers that each day brings more joy and less grief! You must be on winding things down now…Can’t wait to hear your on your way home!

  75. What a beautiful site- like an unfolding of a flower!

    Thank you for sharing this with us!!

  76. Amen!

  77. Seeing her smile made my day!! I had to comeback to make sure I didn’t imagine it :)
    I am so glad she’s smiling!! It’s the most adorable thing I’ve seen!! I hope you get to hear her laugh or talk sometime soon! But for the meantime her smiling is a milestone alone :)
    ps. I want to join the So Loved group? How do I do that? Email me the info please. I am also adopted like poppy. And I’d love to support So Loved.

  78. Campbell says:

    I am positively covered in goosebumps from head to toe. Tingling with joy for that sweet blessed child! What a thrill. The joy is in there and it cannot be contained!! God Bless you!! (KUDOS to Zach for taking such fantastic shots!!)

  79. Jennifer says:

    Beautiful little girly girl. That smile was all the more worth it because of the wait!

  80. So anxiously waiting for a Poppy Day 9 update!!

  81. Oh man! That sweet smile she gave to the shopkeeper melted my heart in two!… but this one… this one she tried so hard to keep in, but just couldn’t hold it… this one she gave, and GAVE BIG to her MAMA… THIS ONE melted me to PIECES!! And in exchange for all that sweetness on my screen, tears are welling and fogging my ability to type any longer. She is precious, Stef! Absolutely, breath-takingly PRECIOUS! …and I am SO glad to see her in her mama’s arms of love, knowing very well that God Himself is holding both of you in His mighty arms of love! Oh how excited I am for the day when those giggles flow freely from that sweet, sweet face. SOON. He is working on her heart, and it will be so worth every painstaking moment of the wait.

    love and hugs,
    ~ Tanya

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