one year with Tallula

A year.

A whole, entire year.

I looked back and reread few of my favorite posts from our China trip, because it’s honestly hard for me to believe it’s been that long since…

Tallula day and Tallula day video.

Getting to know a bit about Tallula.

Taking pictures of Tallula in her Chinese silks on Shamian Island.

And finally, on April 19th, arriving home with Tallula.

I reread all I wrote describing her personality, likes and dislikes, and my general impressions about our newest little blessing.

Turns out, I was right on. One thing about Tallula – she’s completely transparent.

She is also one of the happiest little peanuts I’ve ever met.

And certainly the most smiley in this household – which is really wonderful, especially first thing in the morning.

She is forgiving… so amazingly forgiving. She might be upset with you for a moment, but by the time you’ve turned around she’s hugging your leg.

I’ve got some things to learn from this girl.

She is smart. She loves to sing songs (note: still singing Frosty the snowman when it’s 84 degrees out is not so much fun), loves to ‘read’ books, and loves to get up into everyone’s business.

And loves to tattle on her big sisters. Which might or might not be so smart.

She is loud. True, Tallula is incredibly happy-go-lucky. But when she’s not, everyone knows about it. Everyone within a few block’s radius.

This is when I am especially grateful for her forgiving spirit. Her outbursts never last long.

She is naughty. The above mentioned *loud* quality surfaces mostly when being told no to something. She is especially fond of putting things – any thing – in her mouth. Crayons, ear buds, nerf darts, bouncy balls, small rocks. You would not believe.

And even when she knows she is not allowed to do something, she does it anyway. Oh girl.

She is perfectly made for us. This I didn’t know in China.

But I know it now.

Thank you, Lord, for bringing this little caboose into our family. We didn’t know it at the time, but we needed her as much as she needed us.



  1. You just described my Phebe to a T. :)
    She is just beautiful and her happiness shines through in every picture you post of her. ♥


  2. Happy one year Tallula!

  3. Happy one year. I always love the defiant ones just a wee bit more. such personality, and your photos are so lovely with the soft light streaming in.

  4. Love that! Our Lukai was like that, is like that, and you are so right, I wouldn’t have known in China, but our family so needed him just as much as he needed us.

    * we’ve invested in room silencing headphones for the family members ~ like ‘BEATS’ since bringing him home….heehee

  5. One year! Wow! I remember following your journey. Hard to believe it’s already been a year. Even in pictures it’s obvious that she is full of spunk!

  6. I can’t believe it has been one whole year. She shines. What a beautiful baby girl. I am so thankful God picked her for your family.

  7. paige holmes selby says:

    stephanie- my how she has grown! it is not something we mommas like to see (especially when referring to our “lasts”) but that 4th picture… radiant! you can certainly see the “big girl” breaking through in that one, glimpses of the transition from cute baby to pretty girl. I also recall a year ago, early in 2012, when you shared so much about your latest addition. we were on the same path, a few steps behind, on the journey to our own juan. didn’t know what her name meant until i read your post. i, of course, was pronouncing it as the spanish speaking world does here in socal. so many people asked me if our girl was a boy when i proudly shared her referral picture (shaved head, boy’s name and all). it was during those first months when we sent care packages with no reply & asked for medical updates with no reply that i was at my weakest in the journey. i always applauded those who “knew” that a child was the one for them from the moment they laid eyes on them. i was not one of them. i often asked God for signs that juan was to be our daughter. your posting introducing your own juan was the answer to that prayer, the bolstering that i needed, to continue the wait and give me strength that we were on the right path. thank you. and happy one year anniversary with sweet tallula… she appears to be every bit as smart & sassy as you thought her new name would exude!

  8. and beautiful :) she is beautiful – and a sounds like a perfect caboose.

    congrats on an entire year with your sweet Tallulah!

    xo ellie

  9. Happy one year! It has been so fun to follow yet another Ni Hao journey. She is a doll. Our girls share the 19th as homecoming dates, one year apart. A good day indeed!

  10. LOVE everything about this post!!!

  11. What a beautiful post! Tallulah is gorgeous – inside and out. I can tell from the pics, and the words you have written. Can’t wait to continue to follow your blog and see all God has in store for her!

  12. She is an amazing little girl and so gorgeous! Happy One Year with your forever family Tallula!

  13. Lovely post!!!

    Are your kids still speaking Chinese too? Or have they forgot it?

  14. Wow! It’s already been a year? Time sure does fly. She’s so precious.

  15. Can’t believe it has been a year! Congratulations! She is so dang cute!

  16. Happy one year Tallula – and to a perfect fit!

  17. I just looked back at your first Tallula posts. What a sweet girl.

  18. Any more talk of ladybugs????? Just askin’…

    She’s a delightful addition to your family – Ms Personality Plus and cute to boot :)

  19. Oh my goodness oh my goodness oh my goodness. Praise God for her. One day, I hope for my hubby and I to adopt a little one from China, specially and especially because my parents are leaving this July to be missionaries there. I love this. She is an angel. xoxo

  20. I love her dress!

  21. Hillary Glauser-Patton says:

    Oh, love it! Happy one year home Lula!

  22. She is a doll baby. She is just precious, and beautiful.

  23. Wow – a year – happy day!! Absolutely love this little one!

    hugs – aus and co.

  24. I have read this post 5 times, just love her spirit and those adorable cheeks!

  25. I can’t believe it’s been a year already! Beautiful post and beautiful pictures. She is such a blessing. So happy for y’all!

  26. Awwwww! Is it OK that I’m so jealous (OK envious–that sounds better!) of your photography skillz! Now granted, Tallula makes it easy from her descriptive personality, but seriously, I think what I appreciate most is that your photos capture TRUE moments in time. They don’t look scripted or stages. Congrats on ONE YEAR home with your Tallula! She has GROWN so much!

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