Oh what a wonderful year it has been!

A couple of weeks ago marked one year since Stella stepped foot on U.S. soil, making her a U.S. citizen. Some times it feels like just yesterday that she was sitting on the luggage and being pushed toward a group of unfamiliar faces to her, yet faces her parents love so much. Now, those faces mean something special to her too.


When we started this journey, we really didn’t know what to expect. I guess that’s the case in any parenting journey, and we have learned to embrace it. Even though we have loved Stella since we saw her file and her pictures, we have grown to love her more and more as every day passes.



Brown Family 3-Guilin


Brown Family 2-Guilin

Brown Family 1-Guilin

If you’ve been following along here, you’ve seen the progress we’ve made in a year. She has changed SO much, as you can see from the progression of pictures. But she has also developed as our daughter, as we have developed as parents. We’ve taken a ton of photos, made lots of memories, and have thoroughly enjoyed becoming Stella’s family. She is an amazing little girl that has come so far in one year.

A few funny Stella stories to leave you with…

She had learned her colors and had them down, until we started talking about her name–Stella Brown. For several months she denied her name was Stella Brown and preferred to call herself Stella Purple instead. Hey–if our last name had to be a color, it might as well be one she liked! Haha!!

After having conversations about Stella being born in China, when she first verbalized it herself, she would say….”Mama, I’m China!”

Since day one she has been able to pinch & zoom on our devices. As she watched Paul putting an app on the iPad we let her use, she asked, “Baba, are you loading it down?”

A little numbers humor! While in the car with Paul, he tells Stella, “Look! That house is for sale.” Stella replies, “Not five sale… Not one sale… Four sale!”

We’ve recently been practicing basic information like our phone number, address and her full name. She’s getting them stuck a little more each day.

At the breakfast table the other morning Paul asked her what her full name was. She laughed and asked him, “How about my empty name?”



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