home with Tallula



We got in late last night after a 2 hour train ride, a 1 hour taxi ride, a night in Hong Kong, a 15 hour flight, a 2 hour flight and a 1 1/2 hour drive home.

And some layovers on the side.

We started out insanely early, but one can never be too early for a flight bound for home.

Dalton was still green and completely exhausted from his bout with food poisoning. But blessedly no longer involuntarily expelling every hour. And able to hold down sips of water.

Thank you, Lord, for prayer warriors, Zofran and friends on Facebook.

Tallula, as usual, was ready to go… if a bit tired. We all managed just a few hours of sleep the night before.

The flight from Hong Kong was looooong. With a few miserable hours in there where Tallula was tired. And cramped. And miserable. And she let every passenger on the plane know it.

I found myself fantasizing about Children’s Benadryl.

Dalton improved significantly during the flight. And having an empty seat next to him was most blessed opportunity for some additional snooze time for my sick boy.

Once we set foot in the US, and brushed our collective teeth, we all caught a second wind.

And then, at long last, we were home.

No place in this entire world I’d rather be.

P.S. Sorry we don’t have more “coming home” pictures. Dalton was manning the camera and his brothers and sisters managed to sneak up on us. And this is the picture he got. Then I was too distracted by loving on all my babies to remember to get a family photo.

Will have to work on that.

P.P.S. Sunday Snapshot winner will be announced tomorrow.



  1. Cynthia Farley says:

    Praising God that you guys are home safe and sound! So glad your little man is feeling better!

    He may have only gotten one photo….but man! What a great photo to get!!!

    Love you guys! So Happy Tallula is home!

  2. The last photo is such a great photo. Makes my heart warm.

  3. I LOVE your coming home picture that you do have! Tallula is so very sweet … so glad you finally have her to love and hold onto!! Hope you transition well into having one more running around. :)

  4. That last picture is beautiful. It gave me goosebumps. SO happy you guys are home safe! Welcome home Tallula!

  5. I’m speechless, except for this…….WELCOME HOME!

  6. Hooray for Home and answered prayers! Looking forward to updates but for now, rest, restore, and get some love from the your family. We will wait patiently for photos and whatever else a devoted mother of 12 can muster in the next few weeks!!

  7. I am so happy for you! Welcome back. I am crying!

  8. Yay! So happy to hear that you are home safe and sound! If you only are going to get one photo of the homecoming, that is a really great one! Enjoy the love and comfort of each other!!!

  9. Oh, that airport photo is priceless! I have lots of airport pictures, but one really special one is me hugging one of my boys.

  10. with a photo like that who needs any others?!! Welcome Home!

  11. Well, I think he probably got the PERFECT shot! Beautiful! Welcome home!!

  12. Welcome Home.

    That last picture is priceless…. the love and comfort of family is around you all in that one!

    God Bless

  13. Thanks for the cry, I LOVE the picture!!! Welcome home:)

  14. I too am crying!! That last shot is INCREDIBLE! The love is so very clear. Hope y’all settle in easily!!!

  15. So glad you all made it home. Was worried (as were so many) about how Dalton did on
    the flight. So not fun being sick on a very long flight.

    Enjoy this time together and we look forward to the first offical family photo. :-)

  16. Stefanie – that is THE BEST welcome picture ever! It brought just as many tears to my eyes as those with the whole family (although I can’t wait to see/hear how everyone is getting along…somehow I think many fingers will be wrapped around all your precious little ones!)

    Thank goodness you are home!!!

  17. AWESOME !!! CONGRATULATIONS !!! You go girl. I wish I could adopt more too. Fabulous. !!!
    Now, I’m missing the reports on Miss. Poppy, and very anxious to see how she reacts to her little sister. :)

  18. ElizabethH says:

    I *love* the photo that Dalton did get. so beautiful! so glad he was better by take off. you certainly had enough FBers praying for you! Can’t wait to hear all about T’s transition. :)

  19. Love, love, LOVE that last picture!!!!!! Sniffffff.
    So glad you’re home. So glad D-Bomb is feeling better. SO glad you’re back in my “relative” time zone. :)
    Love you!

  20. stefanie! i started crying when i saw that pic of you and chris! i was just thinking of how good it will feel for you to be in his arms after your long journey. what a magical shot captured by dalton!!! so glad you’re home!!!

  21. Love the welcome home shot that dalton got… That’s a Sunday snapshot winner!!

  22. Glad you all made it back in one piece!

    While it would have been lovely to see photos of the other kidlets, that one photo, wow! I think Dalton should consider photography as a career choice!

  23. Danyelle says:

    Glad you are home. That last pic is priceless! Dalton captured the emotion perfectly!

  24. SO glad you made it home!!!
    Can’t wait to read how Tallula is fitting in (taking charge) at home!
    And WOW!!! Lovin the steamy photo!!!
    I think it’s safe to say he MISSED you!!! :)

  25. Amazing! So glad you are home safe and sound and that Dalton is feeling better. Love the last photo. Congrats to all of you, and many blessings to you and your beautiful family!

  26. Angie D. says:

    So relieved to hear that you’re home safe and sound and that Dalton is feeling better! And I agree…that coming home picture is awesome!

  27. add me to the crying list! That last photo is so beautiful. You can feel the Love. Commitment.Trust. Relief. Happiness.
    So glad you are ALL HOME!

  28. Hello!!!!!! That is quite the “kiss” you arrived home to!! Haha!! What a happy happy journey to Tullula!!! She has a sweet sweet smile, one that reminds me so much of Shepherds smile…and I’m glad your Dalton boy is feeling so much better. Travelling and feeling/being sick is not a good combo.

    Welcome home!!

  29. Barbarann says:

    WOW–welcome home! LOVED following your trip!

  30. Yippee!! Home sweet home!!! So glad you all arrived safely and are gettin’ some much needed time together.

  31. Jill Shelton says:

    Welcome home! And like others said, perfect shot- we can feel the emotion. Love it!!!

  32. YAY!! Praise God you are ALL FINALLY TOGETHER! So BEAUTIFUL! So thankful that you ALL survived and can’t wait for pics and stories to come! Blessings!

  33. Welcome home!
    Get rest!
    Take care!
    Eat chocolate!


  34. that last pic is amazing! so happy for you!

  35. Woohoo, you’re HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ;D

    I ADORE the last pic, it’s so beautiful. ;_;

  36. Home sweet home, I’m so happy for your family and Tallula! <3

    PS- Your husband is very goodlooking! πŸ˜‰

  37. All teary over here! Very sweet moment he caught.
    Rest up! Congrats again.

  38. WOW- amazing how much better Dalton looked in the second picture! SO glad the trip home was (relatively) uneventful.

    That last picture- the BEST picture EVER. Who needs any others- that says it all! :)

    I’m pretty sure Zofran is manufactured in heaven. After my experience with it, I now call it the “Nectar of the gods”. It is some seriously AWESOME stuff! SO glad you had it on hand!

  39. Welcome home! I think the last picture is just perfect! Made me smile.

  40. What beautiful pictures! And boy did I laugh about the fantasizing about the Benedryl. Welcome home from one mom of many to another mom of many! Love you and love all you do!

  41. So glad to see you all back safe and sound!! And I agree…Dalton captured a great home coming photo, though I have to admit it makes me miss my hubby all the more. The last time I saw him was in Hong Kong just before boarding our flight home after adopting our little one in Dec. 2011. Two more months and hopefully this deployment will be behind us!


  42. Welcome home!!!!! That iast photo is the PERFECT picture!!!! Love it! I can’t wait to see photos of your happy girl fitting right in!!!

    Blessings and congratulations Chris & Stef!!


  43. Girl…he loves you so much it hurts, but I know you know that. Glad you’re home!

  44. Welcome home!!

  45. Wow! if anyone got a welcome home kiss like that every time they left, people would be leaving and coming back more often! πŸ˜‰ Welcome home! Can’t wait to hear how the family falls in love with Tallula’s adorable self! I am glad Dalton is feeling better!

  46. Hubba hubba! What a welcome home! (And SOOO glad you brushed your teeth before this!).

  47. Tracy Kalleske says:

    Pure Love…………..xxx

  48. Praise the Lord!!!!!!

  49. Welcome home!!! Home – what a wonderful word!!! We’ve been home 2 weeks and had a sick child in China too and I couldn’t get home soon enough!

    Glad you little guy is doing better! And congratulations on your sweet new blessing!

  50. There is NO other photo I would rather see~ that is a husband totally having his priorities straight on his amazing wife!!! That is pure love and that love is poured out on those babies surrounding you!!! Blessings sweet friend and thankful you ALL are safe and sound at home once again!!! Blessings and love!

  51. PS… I’m the crazy one you met at C4C retreat trying to decide about going again~ we sent our dossier to Lifeline so we are ON!!! Thank you for your words of encouragement!!! XO

  52. Annette Duty says:

    Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. She is adorable – my goodness, such rosy cheeks and so happy! Dalton – I am so very glad you are better – how awful to fly and feel so sick. The last photo is priceless, just priceless. Congratulations to all of you on your sweet family!!!

  53. Sweet kiss from hubby. :). Welcome home!

  54. Hey girl — Congratulations on your newest addition. I followed every second of your journey and loved it! Somehow, despite all the sickness and lack of sleep, you look completely beautiful in the airport pic! So happy for you!!

  55. I’m so glad you all made it home safe and sound, and that Dalton is feeling better. Also very glad I got to meet you. You are just as sweet and genuine in person as you are on the blog:)

  56. So happy that you are home safe and sound and that Dalton is on the mend! Get some rest! Thanks for taking the time to update all your cyber stalkers! LOVE to follow along as you grow your family with love! I really think Dalton captures the heart through the camera! Takes after his mama for sure. I hope China was all he thought it would be.

  57. That airport picture is one of the best I’ve ever seen!! I LOVE it!! Great job Dalton! He should get behind the camera more often. His pictures are wonderful.
    Welcome home.

  58. Last photo is the best – Home with all your kiddos and your hubby!!!

  59. And it was the perfect shot! Actually made me cry!!! Well Done Dalton! You are a legend!

  60. He got a great shot!

    Welcome home – what a wonderful journey – and now the adventure really begins!

    hugs – aus and co.

  61. Nicole A. says:

    Welcome home!! It’s great to know that you are all three back and safe and in the arms of your family! Have a wonderful time settling in with everyone. And the photo ~ awesome!

    All the best,
    Nicole A., now in LA

  62. Welcome home!! We were praying for you all (especially Dalton!!)

  63. So glad to see you guys are home safe and sound. AND that Dalton got to feeling a bit better before the big flight. What a blessing to have had an empty seat when he needed it. God just showers us with little blessings all the time…

    And that last photo? Wow.

    BEST. homecoming. photo.

  64. I just have to say you are an AMAZINGLY brave mother! I couldn’t believe it when I read poor Dalton had gotten sick right before your trip home. incredibly yuck! Starting out a horrendously long trip with sleep deprivation must have been awful. You all look wonderful despite the rough start! Now you are home at last. *sigh* It must be such a relief!

    You have such a sweet beautiful family!

  65. Yowza! Now that’s the best coming home picture yet! And I’ve. Den following your bLO almost 6 years! Good job Dalton

  66. You seriously have the most beautiful family Your new little one just melts me from the inside out. So sorry your son wasn’t feeling well. It’s so hard to travel when feeling that way. Stefanie- that last shot is probably one of the most beautiful visions I have seen. That love & happiness is captured so perfectly. It just spills out of my screen & makes me just love your family even more!

  67. Glad y’all made it it home alright. That last picture is picture perfect!

  68. Welcome home!!!! Glad to see you guys made it home and are safe and sound. I love all the pictures but the one of your husband kissing you is just too much! I LOVE IT!!! I can tell he sure does love you and missed you!!! ery lucky lady!!

  69. Welcome home!!!! Glad to see you guys made it home and are safe and sound. I love all the pictures but the one of your husband kissing you is just too much! I LOVE IT!!! I can tell he sure does love you and missed you!!! Very lucky lady!!

  70. Very lucky lady. I put ery…oops!

  71. It was the best picture he could have snappep!!! Love watching your journey – just wish I would have said hello in the hallway of the Victory :)

  72. Dalton definitely wins SUNDAY SNAPSHOT for the year with that last photo! WOWZA! And I am struck in the photo above of your little D-Man how much he looks like his Daddy!

    You are HOME….I am so happy for all of you…especially your newest baby girl…wait until it sinks in just how amazing her new family (with Mama at the helm) truly is!



  73. Christine Klemstine says:

    Have been following your journal and absoutely loving your photos and sweet Talulla and Dalton, and that last snapshot brought me to tears. Beautiful. Love.

  74. Met you at the Victory. Glad to see you made it home, so did we! Tallula looks like she is doing awesome!

  75. Love the last picture of you and the hubster. So sweet, so passionate!

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