The Zoo and My Heart

Our day in Madison was long and full!

We started out with lunch at Chipotle – the kids favorite gluten-free place to eat!

This is where we met up with Morgan, who is staying with us for a couple of days!

We realized this was Eliza’s first time to eat out at a restaurant besides at the tables at the Co-op.

She is such a good eater, and loves Mexican and spicy food, so this was a perfect lunch for her.


Kayla dropped Eliza and I off at UW Hospital for our appointment.

All is well and our next appointments will be in December!

Even though Eliza was having a complete full-blown melt down when we were done there, we still headed to the zoo.

When we arrived at the zoo, we questioned our sanity with this decision, but just a few minutes later we were really glad we made the effort!

The kids loved walking around the zoo! It was a beautiful day too!












My monkeys! (That is a sucker in Eliza’s mouth!)





After the zoo, we headed to Whole Foods to have a popsicle!

Then it was time for the long drive home. It took Eliza about two seconds to fall sound asleep.


Of course there were snacks on the way home too! Eliza was giving me the stink eye, and then giggling and giggling, while eating her “O’s”.

Cutie pie!


We arrived home to a huge pile of shower deliveries! So excited about all the blessings that we will be able to deliver to the Samuels in China!!

You can still participate if you like!!!


As I put Eliza to bed last night, we laid face to face and talked about the day. We did talk about that meltdown, and I was SO thankful that I can reassure her, with words that she can understand, to try to convey security and safety to a situation where she felt so insecure and out of control.

Our sweet girl has come so far.

We couldn’t feel more blessed that God has allowed us to be a part of her journey!

As Eliza closed her eyes last night, she said “Mom, I love a zoo. Ziza love a zoo and a monkey. I love you.”

I love you too, sweet baby. More than you could imagine.

*There is this super fine line now that I am in this bloggy world about what to share and what not to share. I do struggle with this, and I know for a fact that other adoptive mamas do to. I think somewhere in my mind I think I am still writing my weekly e-mail update to my family and a few friends….when in truth, this is the world wide web.

Honestly, when adoptive families share the hard things, they are often misunderstood. I don’t want this to ever be the case, if I can help it. I pray over each post I write before I publish it, because I have always hoped this blog would be used for the Lord I love.

The miracles and joys of our journey with Eliza outweigh the hard times every. single. time. By 10,000 times. The hard times with Eliza are fewer and far between as each day goes by, and we feel extremely confident in her progress and unbelievable attachment to us. She is amazing! A truly unbelievable gift from God!!


  1. Courtney Rodewald says:

    I can see where your struggles with what to share would come in. I believe that sharing the difficult times could be very important especially if you are wanting your blog to center mostly around adoption. The truth is that it is not always sunshine and broken dandelions. It has been so amazing to watch Eliza progress and grow as a person as well as the whole family. People would be able to learn so much from you about adjusting to life once they are back home with their child. I also enjoy keeping up with the family. I love you all and cannot wait for your next trip to Illinois. Love, Courtney

    • Steph says:

      Courtney, Thank you for this comment! We do hope our blog would be an encouragement to others. We love you too, and look forward to seeing you next time we are in Illinois!

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