I’m Stefanie. And if you were standing here, wanting to chat about adoption or homeschool or special needs or photography or Jesus or whatever is on your heart, I’d squeeze your neck and invite you in for a cup of coffee. (If you had a cupcake in your hand, I’d squeeze you even harder.) But since you’re not standing here, and I can’t reach your neck, or that cupcake, I’ll just have to share a bit about me.
I am the wife of an ex-military pilot who now works on behalf of orphans worldwide. Mom to 13 kiddos. Passionate adoption advocate. Part-time homeschooler. Enthusiastic t-shirt maker. Grateful Christ-follower.
And here is the crew with our littlest, Magnolia Jane, who joined our family in May 2016.
I began blogging in 2006 when my husband deployed, at the encouragement of my then-16-year-old daughter. You know, because 16-year-olds are so smart and all. She sold it to me as a way to keep him updated on all the goings-on at home.
Eventually my husband came home. But I continued to blog as a way to preserve many of our family memories here on the blog – something I couldn’t lose or inadvertently ruin with coffee stains. And, over the years, blogging became a way to not only chronicle our story but to share that story with others.
So, just what is our story?
In 2004, shortly after we decided to stop growing our family the biological way (Lord, our hands are full with 4 kids. Really.) He opened our eyes to the orphan. 11 months later we were standing in the Nanjing Civil Affairs office, adopting an 11 month old girl with a half-dollar sized hole in her heart.
Okay, Lord. Now we’re done growing our family, right?
Not quite. Eight children later, we are still on a journey to follow after Him with all we’ve got. Along the way, He’s sanded our rough spots and plowed up our hard hearts. He’s pushed us and pulled us and laid us bare. And, slowly, slowly, He’s actually (amazingly!) making us to look more like His Son.
So grateful to be following His plans for me instead of my own. My plans were so, well… little. I lean toward laziness and eat too many things covered in frosting, but God is the perfect Father and He’s showing me how much He loves me, despite me. And that His plans for me are so much bigger and so much better than mine.
If you’re the curious sort (like me), you can read about our adoption journeys here:
You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
~ Matthew 5:14-16