January 2, 2011

one year with my sweet Vivi Kate

Vivienne officially joined our family on January 11, 2010.

That was a glorious day for our family: we were gaining a precious daughter.

It was a tragic day for her: she lost everything she knew.

A month later, I shared more about the reality of that day.

By early spring we were both emerging from the fog that is China. That is adoption. That is adding to your family by one, overnight.

And it was good. At least I was feeling good. Falling more madly in love with Vivienne by the day.

But she took a bit longer to feel the same.

We co-slept. We danced around the kitchen. We layed on the couch together with Chris in the evenings.

We worked on just being together. And allowed God time to begin to heal those wounds, and slowly build a foundation of trust. And love.

And by summer? It showed.

This picture was taken at the hospital on the day we confirmed that Vivienne has dwarfism.

And thus began an overwhelmingly sad season... for me.

But again, God was so merciful. And He revealed to me that His creation, Vivienne, was no accident. He made her just as she is.

And now? Oh my. We are now at a place of blessed joy. And peace. And connectedness. Vivienne has blessed our family beyond belief. And while I can't speak for Vivienne, I think these pictures reveal just how far she has come.

In looking back on these pictures, that depict our first year together, I can't help but cry.

They represent such a journey.

Of my heart.

Of Vivienne's heart.

And all the tears shed? All the hardships faced?

Absolutely, positively worth it.


  1. You've done it again Stefanie. I am off to get some kleenex!
    But first, let me say thank you for sharing it all ... the rain and the sunshine!
    So we don't miss the beauty of the rainbow!
    Oh how you two SHINE!
    Love & Blessings from Hong Kong,

  2. I love your stories and the way you tell them. Makes me smile every time (even if it's thru tears sometimes!).

    Happy (almost) family day. :)

  3. What a privilege it has been to peek in on that first year together - to read your stories and hear your heart through them all. Her beautiful smile and sparkling eyes tell the story as well as your words do. God has been there in the midst of you - it's obvious.

    So glad that this site (and your personal one) exists - the support and knowledge and insight I've gained these last couple years have been invaluable. Thanks for all you do to create such an amazing resource, with your team.

    Happy New Year!!!!!

  4. Such a beautiful post! She is so precious and I always love seeing the sparkle of mischief in her eyes. Hmmm... a little bit like her Mama. :)

  5. So perfectly written...I could feel my own emotions as I read your words as I was there when we learned Matthew was deaf, but I wouldn't change a thing! Your Vivi is just perfect and she looks so happy with her Mama :)

  6. perfect..just perfect.


  7. This is my favorite post! Oh the beauty from ashes...the miraculous transformation from first meeting to months of love...
    you are amazing GOD!
    The pictures just tell the story so well...

  8. Sometimes it takes months; sometimes it takes years - but always, always, it is beautiful.

  9. I've read this post about eight times now. Teared up every time.
    Beautiful transformation.
    You two were made for being mother/daughter, it just took God (and time) to seal the deal.