December 25, 2009


I will be leaving in 2 weeks to bring home our new daughter, Vivienne.

And I am scared.

She is 26 months old, 30 inches and 22 pounds. And she seriously scares me.

This will be our fifth adoption, so you might think I know enough about adoption not to be scared.

The truth is, I know enough to be scared. I know enough to be realistic. I know enough to be prepared.

Our second daughter, Sophie, was 27 months at adoption. And she was, and still is, one smart cookie. One very, very smart cookie. She might have just been a toddler, but she read me like a book from the word "go".

Our other adopted kiddos were younger and much more delayed than Sophie. Less aware. Less able to peer right into my soul. Less able to chew me up and spit me out like the shell of a sunflower seed.

And I have a sneaking suspicion that our Vivi is much like Sophie. She's been in a foster family. She's been loved, she's been attended to, she's been part of a family. And I don't think she's going to like me coming in and breaking all that up. No, not one little bit.

I don't think she's going to like me to help her, feed her, dress her, carry her. But I have every intention of insisting on these things, as I fully believe they are the basis for understanding the difference between care-er and care-ee.

I've got two weeks in China to focus completely and totally on her. Little Bitty Miss Thing. And I plan to use every moment of that time to get off on the best foot possible. Even if that means making her really, really mad.

In light of the fact that she is, well... two, is leaving everything she knows, and has most likely been properly spoiled to death by her foster family, you might have an inkling as to why I'm scared.

Why I might not be sleeping so well at night...
wondering how our first meeting will go.
wondering if she'll be able to see right through me.
wondering how long until she knows she's got my number.

And I can hardly wait.


  1. Love it Love it! I'm so anxious for you and so ready to hear every detail....I can't imagine how YOU must feel. Reading this makes me nervous and even more excited for the day we will be in your shoes.
    GOOD LUCK!!! You may need it with little miss smartie pants.;)

  2. ooh, I SO know how you feel. I remember that tummy turning feeling of fear too!! I love your discription of chewing the sunflower seed!
    Will pray pray pray that your trip goes well, you conquer the fear and that your little girl attaches well. Enjoy your two weeks, claim her and hold her and love her.
    Love Jules

  3. Oh Stef~ You can bet I will be following this trip of your's very closely, paying close attention to every detail, as our Khloe will be roughly the same age as your Vivi when we travel. Praying that the fear quickly subsides and that the bonding is off on a good foot before you return back home.

    Wow!! I can't believe that your travels are coming up so quickly... lucky you!! ;) Take care and KNOW that so many of us out here will be praying you through every step of the way!!

    Love and Hugs,
    ~ Tanya

  4. I know what you mean! My son was 2 1/2 when we got him this past March & he was very loved in his orphanage and with his foster family. He didn't want anything to do with us & then after awhile clung to ONLY my husband. After a few days I managed to get some mommy time, but it was the hardest thing I have ever had to go through emotionally. It was so worth it!!!

    Have an amazing trip & you are so blessed! She is a beautiful girl & in no time at all will see what an amazing mother she is being blessed with!

  5. Good luck on the addition of your Little Miss Thing. I know she will have your number right off the bat, but hopefully you'll quickly have hers too! God's blessings, Sarah :D

  6. I just love your honesty, Stefanie. Preparing for this is the best thing you can do. Of course, you know that, but I think it's great that you are sharing this with others. I am so happy your Vivi Day is almost here!!

  7. Beautiful honesty.
    Praying for your meeting and hoping your journey to Vivi brings you through Hong Kong. Please email and let me know your travel schedule. I cannot have you two so close and now lay eyes on both of you!
    Love & Blessings,

  8. As the mother of one VERY smart cookie, I can well understand your apprehension. So far, Q has not turned on me - well, not for more than ten seconds at a time, anyway. But I dread the day that she does - and I know it will happen at some point. I was 13 when I turned on my mother, and it was a vicious attack. I could not possibly have adored a mother more than I did up until that year ...which as I see it means none of us are safe ;) Fortunately, we survived the rough patch. No one said being a mommy was gonna be a piece of cake, right? But oh, the payoffs.

  9. she is so precious! you are smart to be prepared. two year olds are tough, (i'm sure especially right after adoption,) but you have experience & GOD'S GRACE on your side!

  10. right before we left, and i think you know my level of terror (fear is too wimpy a word- i was numb with terror)- someone said, "let her be your guide". and it made all the difference. i was able to let go of worrying how she responded, and just met every need. watching others be able to make her smile- that was okay. it was her way of telling us, 'i don't trust you yet but something tells me i'm stuck with you, but damn if i'm giving in to that'. i loved seeing her free will and spirit, even though she was incredibly quiet when she wasn't crying. such the observer! and like sophie, smart as hell.

    it was awful knowing we were her "kidnappers"- taking her from the home she loved, the nannies she still names and remembers with such fondness.

    but ultimately- look what we all gained. you know that already, the ultimate outcome. but i understand your fear. in my opinion, toddler adoption is by far the most difficult. smart enough to get it, too young to understand the confusing emotions and make sense of their world being turned upside down.

    you will be in my prayers :O)

  11. Evening Steph - looking forward to following you - and if we get our wish (and TA) we'll be leaving in 3 weeks or so - see you in GZ? Yeah - our third IA - and like you we're excited beyond belief .... and scared silly!

    hugs - aus and co.

  12. What a great post. I can't wait to follow your journey! We'll be leaving a couple weeks behind you to get our 2 year old! I'm scared to death!! Lead the way!

  13. Oh my, what a beautiful and wise post.

    Creating A Family