First Day of Forever

Here in Wisconsin, I had this amazing idea to start full-time school this morning to wisely use our time the next two weeks before the guys got home!

I did not factor in that the incredible excitement about Tate would occupy ALL of our brain space!!

But we have had a good day!

Tate had a GREAT first day.


They spent the afternoon and evening in their room.

Even the paperwork, finalization photo of Blake and Tate, and Tate’s passport photo were taken in the room.

When the guide asked Tate to sit for his passport photo, he told her that “this is boring!”

Tate’s personality is ADORABLE!!

The guide told Tate many things before she left them. Blake told her what to say to him. It REALLY helped with their lack of ability to communicate.

I was able to be back on Skype by 6 a.m. this morning! With a strong cup of coffee at my side!!

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As Addie, Chad, and Lane woke up, they would each join me at the computer.

(Eliza slept too late to meet Tate this morning!)

Each time Tate would see a new face on the screen, he would stop, put up his hand and count on his fingers!!! SO funny!!!

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Tate started to look and act sleepy. Blake asked Tate if he was tired by folding his hands and laying his head on them. Tate shook his head “yes!” When Blake showed Tate his pjs, he shook his head “yes” again. Sweet boy, you are SO precious!!

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Waving to his Mama!!! (that’s ME!!)

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We were told by the guide that Tate drank warm milk before bed. We are pretty sure it was in a bottle, and I am so sad I did not send one.

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Can you say personality??!! Grant held up his hands in a karate move, and this is what he got back!!

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Tate’s 24 month size pjs fit him perfectly!

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The window ledge is floor level! Tate likes to stand on it. See that colorful book on the right? That is the photo album we sent to Tate last October! It looks well used. What a blessing!

Tate did get a little sad at bedtime, but allowed Blake to comfort him and he fell right to sleep and slept all night long.

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I have looked at these photos thousands of times!

The girls took the kids in the pool this afternoon to allow me to rest, and I was just so overwhelmed with emotion that the sobs finally came.

You all, I wish you could feel what this is like……every single heart ache, every single joy, every single victory, every single tear that has fallen…..

This is front row seats to God’s miracles. And I cannot believe He chose us to sit here!

The support that is POURING in today is jaw dropping. Texts, e-mails, friends hoping to visit while the guys are gone, comments – sweet comments of support from gals I have never met! THANK YOU. You all, thank you. Thank you for supporting our family.

Thank you for loving Tate enough to pray for him.

Thank you for allowing me to pour my heart out through this keyboard and for reading it.

Please keep praying with us!! We have a long road ahead!!

And I can’t wait to travel it.


  1. Aunt Tracy says:

    We are so excited for you! I can’t believe Tate already knew who you all were. And that karate move was epic! Wish we could see Grant doing it, too! (I realize someone has to work the camera, though.)

    Tate looks so good! Such a little guy, but with such intelligence in his face. He understands this–you can just see it. Amazing. I’ll be interested to know if Eliza remembers any Chinese when he gets there or if their dialects were too different. Sure would be neat if they could be bi-lingual and have a buddy to talk to!

    Thanks for keeping us up-to-date–everytime someone checks the computer and there’s a new post, the announcement is made, “Aunt Steph posted again!” 🙂 Everyone has to come see!

    Love to all!

    • Steph says:

      The karate photo is one of my favorite ones so far!! Crack me up!!!! Unfortunately, Tate and Eliza did not speak the same dialect. The guide in Guangzhou probably won’t even be able to speak to Tate, which will make things hard. Tate does look good, and yes he is tiny. He will have some catch up growing like Eliza did once they are home! Thanks for your prayers, Trace!! Love you!!!

  2. Lisa Ritter says:

    He is going to be fun! What a joy to see how well he is settling in with the guys! Love to you all. Blake – the happiness on your face speaks volumes!

  3. Connie says:

    Such a beautiful little boy! So much joy showing on Blake’s face. Can’t help but think that some of those tears you shed today were tears of relief, knowing Tate is in Blake’s arms. Grant must be seeing the joy that you felt when you got him. That must be an amazing feeling for him, too. So thrilled for you. Continuing to pray. Love you all!

    • Steph says:

      Connie, Yes, those tears were a wave of relief, mixed with some exhaustion, a desire to be with the guys, missing them, and some more relief! Tate reminds us SO much of Grant at that age!!! Grant even had a good laugh about the similarities!! This is an amazing trip for Grant – and he expresses it to me each time we talk. What a blessing! Thanks so much for your prayers. I can feel the peace they afford!!

  4. Christy says:

    Tate is so adorable. He looks like a little charmer! I am amazed at how happy and relaxed he looks for the first day. Goodness…it makes me want to head back to China again (but I will just be content watching online). Thank you for sharing your story. It is heartwarming to watch.

    • Steph says:

      Christy, Thank you for your comments!! Tate IS a charmer! He is doing SO well. He trusts his Baba 100% already, and it does my heart good to sit on Skype and see that bonding going on. ;0) It is encouraging to me to read your comments knowing you have “been there, done that!” Blessings to you!!

  5. Heather says:

    Oh, Stephanie!!! These last few posts are just amazing. God is so faithful and has heard all the prayers we’ve been sending up….just look at Him pouring out the blessings!!! Thank you for sharing your life with us and letting us be a part of the Lord’s work. I bet your arms are just aching to hug that little cutie ❤️ Love you guys!

    • Steph says:

      My arms are aching and aching!! When Tate sits in front of me on that computer screen, is blowing me kisses, waving and calling me Mama I just want to jump through this computer! Thank you for your prayers! They are SO important!!! Love you guys too!

  6. Kristen says:

    What a beautiful and marvelous boy God has given you! Stephanie, I thank God for your family. I’m so glad we know you. I can’t wait to meet Tate too! Love and prayers from the Landsgaards. God strengthen their hands and their hearts!

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