“possible travel dates”

That was the subject line of the email in my inbox this morning.

The rest of the day has been a blur.

Excitement? Absolutely.

Anxiety? Yes.

Complete confusion? Well… yes, that too.

You see, we’re still waiting on Dalton’s passport. I say still, but really it’s only been a bit over a week. And thankfully, after a few frantic phone calls that I don’t rightly recall, I’ve surmised that it should be in my hot little hands by the end of the week.


The other conundrum is which of us, Chris or I, will travel for Tallula. Initially it was going to be me, of course. I mean, I’m the mom, forgoodnessakes. I wanna be there. From the very, very beginning. I’ve never not traveled and honestly, I’m not sure how I’d be able to contain myself if Chris we’re there, with our new baby girl, half a world away.

But Chris really wants to go. And he hasn’t been to China since we brought Shepherd home. And, well, Chris is infinitely more travel-capable than I am. He’s big. He’s strong. He doesn’t need much sleep and he doesn’t care if there is a strange meat in the dinner. And, although he can’t match girls clothes as well as I, he can put up one mean ponytail.

Need I say more?

And Poppy, sweet Poppy, has been home just over 7 months. We have to consider what would be best for her… and the rest of our kiddos.

So, we’re just not sure yet. Not sure if Chris even can go. Not sure if he should go. And not being sure right now makes my tummy do flip-flops.

Hopefully we’ll know something soon. Very soon.

Our agency is working on travel dates that would have us leaving for China in just over 2 weeks.

Will keep y’all posted… prayers most appreciated.



  1. oh, i totally know how you feel about wanting to be the one who is there from the beginning…but, if not possible, what an amazing trip that would be for Chris and Dalton.

  2. Such big decisions for your entire family! I remember reading the blog of a Dad that went with his teen daughter to pick up their DD and it was wonderful! He also met up with another Dad in China that was on the same journey and they rocked!

    That being said, I can hear your heart and I cannot imagine for onesinglesecond how hard it would be for you to stay here while your hubby travels to China.

    Praying for wisdom and clarity for both of you as you make this decision. So thankful that Dalton’s passport should arrive soon!!

  3. Oh man, that would be a tough, tough decision! From my standpoint, here’s the big question: how are your husband’s photography and blogging skills? Because I want to be in on the action from day one too!!

    Either way, how very exciting that Tallula day is coming so quickly!

  4. Praying for you as you prepare and make decisions for travel!

  5. Wohoo! Here comes Tallula!

  6. What exciting news!! Somehow, it will all come together… it always does!!

  7. Wow, that is so exciting! I think I started following your blog when you traveled to get Poppy! I remember how stunningly beautiful she was in those first pictures you posted in China. Your family is gorgeous and the stories about each child are precious. The Lord has truly blessed you all with love abounding!

    I’m so interested to read how the travel thing works. We aren’t even matched yet but feel anxious to travel to get our new child!! We want to take our 3 kids (under 8 yrs) which seems ludicrous, but we still want to be together for the gotcha day! Curious to see how other families deal with the whole travel part.

    Congratulations on being so close to baby Talulla! She is absolutely beautiful!

  8. Being a Daddy’s girl myself, I think getting some doting attention from the guys would be pretty darn special for her. And my dad never mastered ponytails, so Chris pretty much rocks! :-)

    But oh, how can a Momma’s heart stay at home? Can’t imagine at all not being with her just as soon as possible. I’d never get any sleep at all waiting for them to come home!

    Here’s the thing though. God will work out the details. He knows the plan. And that precious gal will know she is loved no matter who gets on that plane!

  9. Take Poppy and go with Chris. Done.

    • Wow….I’m thrilled she is coming home so quickly! I’m sure you will figure out the right logistics in terms of who is going to travel; in the end, she’ll be in your arms so very soon whatever you decide! Woo hooo. Tallulah is in for some really wonderful surprises.

  10. Yahoo!!! Doing the happy dance for you all!! Can’t wait to see the perfect plan unfold for you all….and this sweet litle girl home!

  11. YAAAAAAAAAAYYY!!! Such an exciting day for you Stef!!! My stomach would be doing flip flops for sure!
    I am sure you will figure out what is the best travel situation for everyone!! Keep us posted……. so happy for y’all!



  12. Campbell says:

    praying for peace and clarity for y’all. As another person said, God will work out the details. My grandma’s favorite verse was “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid..” I know y’all aren’t afraid. I know you are beyond excited and I know y’all trust Jesus and His will. Sometimes it’s just nice remember that He has our back from start to finish!!

    So thrilled that Tallula is SO very close!!

    God Bless and so much love!!!

  13. Another joyous journey so close now!
    Yes, who travels, who stays home is a tough one. Prayers!

  14. Angie D. says:

    Wow! So excited that Talulla will be coming home soon! and I can imagine the angst you must be feeling. Is any part of the adoption journey without some sort of angst/anxiety?! We just want the kids home already! Enough with the decisions!! ‘Praying for discernment, peace and happy and safe travels!!

  15. Very big things to pray for… and very exciting too!
    God has it all worked out. And it leads to your baby girl!
    We leave on the 23rd too!

  16. Praying for the decisions that need to be made.
    But no matter who ends up traveling, Tallula will be home soon with her family! :-)
    That is something to be excited about!!!

  17. Hello Steph,It was terribly hard for me but my husband and my oldest son traveled to China last year to pickup Noah! They had a wonderful trip!Was great for the father son relationship. They done a great job!Of course I stayed up all night to call every available time they were in the room and talked to my little man on the phone everyday! I stayed home with our girls because I figured they would have a really hard time without me. It was really really hard but the guy’s done a great job and we were so totally happy when those two weeks were up that seem to be two months!Blessings!!! I’m so excited for your family!!!

  18. Kathleen says:

    Great news for your family, so exciting for those of us who journey along from cyberland too! Have you considered half and half travel, one of you goes for part of the time and the other returns during the Guangzhou part of the adoption? I seen that work for others and we considered it for our 2nd adoption. My husband did travel with his aunt (age 77) and truly it was difficult for me but with a cellphone hanging around for the big and small moments, skype and other modern equipment, I survived. My kids at home needed me there. Our daughter, Kristin, knows I stayed with her big sister (3.5) at home and her great aunt and Daddy went to China to get her. Kristin and Auntie Pat have a very special bond and photos to reinforce the gift of having someone special in your life forever in addition to your Mom, Dad,and sibilings. A recent visit from Auntie Pat who lives in Seattle and us over here in Europe, Kristin made a typical “I love you” picture that lots of other 7 year olds make, and gave it to her Aunt. This never married, childless, woman melted into tears and was so deeply moved by this little girls love and bond with her. It is priceless! Just saying it will all work out b/c Tallula will be surrounded by the unconditional love of her family from that moment on. Priceless!

  19. Congrats! And best of luck with all of the decisions. It has been tough for us to make those decisions too. I am traveling with my best friend and Daddy and the kiddos are staying home. Never easy, but always worth the sacrifices. I hope she is home in your arms soon and it all works out smoothly and happily.
    Good luck!

  20. Marla Sgarbossa says:


    Congratulations …. you are almost there. I remember having those same mixed feelings about the travel. Do we take the kids, leave the kids, one parent go, which parent, etc. Travel is so stressful. I’m going to say what you already know….it ALWAYS works out. Whoever goes needs to post pictures! I am thrilled for you and your family that you are bringing home another precious blessing. You continue to inspire me and I’m sure a lot of other people too. Thank you for sharing your story – it is amazing!

    God bless,


  21. Bless you sweet friend! I will pray for discernment and clarity! So excited for all of you!

  22. Congratulations!!! I am very excited for you!!!
    My vote is Chris!
    Because poor little Poppy needs her Mama.

  23. If it were up to me, I would say, Stefanie travels for the girls and Chris travels for the boys. But it will all work out God’s way cuz that’s how you guys roll. :)

  24. Wow! 2 weeks! Prayers going up! :)

  25. Sending up prayers now for peace as God unfolds His perfect plans! Love & Blessings, Kim

  26. Have you thought of taking Poppy along to China with you and Dalton?
    Sometimes having another little mei mei along , helps with the transition
    of the new child. Dalton has good big brother skills and can help with
    Poppy when you need to carry Talula. Looking forward to following
    along. mm, vancouver, wa.

  27. Question 1 – does Poppy have a passport? Question 2 – is she small enough to qualify for a ‘lap ticket’? If no to question 2, Question 2a – can you afford a 3rd seat? You can see where this is going – you, Poppy, and the Dman!

    But if I were Chris – I’d fight you for the trip!! 😉

    The decision will come – and what ever it turns out to be it’ll be the right one – of that I’m confident!

    And dude – I’ve been a dad for 27 or so years, and still can’t do a pony tail….

    So looking forward to following your journey!

    hugs – and prayers offered – aus and co.

    • NiHaoYall says:

      No, no passport for Poppy yet. And no, we simply cannot afford to take her along.
      Thanks for your words of wisdom, Aus. You are right, God’s plan is the perfect plan… and we can’t wait until He reveals just what that plan is :)

  28. We will miss you by a couple weeks. We are leaving on the 15th and coming home the 28th. We are sooooo excited to get to meet our precious Mia. Praying for safe travels for you and God to reveal what you are suppossed to do.

  29. Please keep us posted. Regardless of what happens I’m sure you’ll make the right decision.

  30. Annerieke says:

    Is Tallula also a special need child? Just curious :-)

    Adoptive mom of four.
    The Netherlands

  31. I think I know what your Momma heart already knows….let the boys go and stay home with sweet Poppy. I would hate to think of Ms Poppy missing her Momma and just not understanding that you are coming back.
    Ms. T will have those 2 fellas wrapped around her little fingers in a split second. It stinks you can’t take your whole crew, but these 2 weeks are nothing compared to the lifetime you are gonna be her Momma. If your hubby really wants to go, he probably knows too, that “fighting” you for it makes it easier in some ways for you to stay home.

    But…to echo all the ladies and fellas above….SOMEBODY better be good at taking pictures and blogging, cause we won’t forgive them if they don’t. Praying for your decision, peace about your decision and the journey (whoever “takes” it) to your sweet T!

  32. Wow! That’s so crazy! Will keep y’all all In our thoughts and prayers. You’ll make the right decision, HE will guide you! Can’t wait to follow along!

  33. Tough decisions! But how wonderful it is to have a husband/daddy who is wanting to make the trip to get his baby girl. Men like this are true blessings.

    My dh and I split the trip for our two new kiddos last summer. I went with the girls to get their sister, and my dh took the boys to get our new son.

    We met up in GZ for the last part of the trip. It was really hard to not be there on gotcha day for Hudson. But thankfully he is a mama’s boy and the quick time apart was worth it.

    Congrats on your newest addition! She is beautiful!

    Claire T.

  34. Truly Blessed says:


    Congratulations on the TA! I’m wondering if you could share your stats with the rest of us. Is it just me or did this adoption paperchase/wait happen in RECORD time? Like 2 months, start to finish? Wow, I’d love to see your dates!

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