It’s final! It’s really final. Esther’s adoption process from start to ending was around two and a half years and is officially final today! I know that today you could really care less about words. It’s time to meet the girl that has been hiding behind the camera for the past six months.
Meet Esther…. one of the U.S.’s newest citizens and the newest official member of our family!
Isn’t she just beautiful? We think so and I can’t help but tell her everyday. In the picture above I think she has the beauty of a model. This is absolutely one of my most favorite pictures of her. Pictures. Oh, yeah. You are probably here to see lots of them… so here goes. Six months of Esther in one post.
But first let’s back up to the beginning of July 2013. That’s when we received the picture below along with a few more precious photos and information about our daughter. This picture remained the screensaver on my phone until we went to Hong Kong. Looking back now it is easy to see how much she has grown in a year’s time… even in six month’s time.
To keep it simple all pictures are in chronological order.
This is one of our first pictures as a family of four in Hong Kong. It was gotcha-day night. I know this because I remember we went and bought her a pair of pink Stride-Rite shoes that day. Esther wasn’t exactly in love with us yet but thankfully we won her over in time.
This was one of our first nights home and the girls were goofing off in bed with their new matching panda pajamas. We were probably still pretty jet lagged at this point so this picture could have easily been taken close to midnight.
Esther immediately fell in love with her pink princess bicycle that I brought her home one day. I can’t say she felt the same about learning to ride her bike but now that she has it down she really enjoys it.
She was so excited about her bicycle helmet that she wore it on to the playground. This is one of the beautiful dresses that was given to her by one of her caregivers that I mentioned in her earlier posts. I’m amazed at the detail on it but most of all I love the smile on her face in this picture.
Apparently someone in Hong Kong taught her how to make her “angry face” which she felt was appropriate for lots of pictures in the beginning. We still get that face from time to time.
This pretty much sums up how Esther felt about her kitchen and turning three.
And what princess doesn’t wear a crown on her head for her birthday.
Before having two girls I thought I wouldn’t enjoy dressing them just alike but it really doesn’t matter what I like because these two girls love dressing the same.
This was only a few weeks after coming home and Esther was already beginning to make friends. Outside of Noah, June is her best friend.
I have this picture hanging up in our den. I absolutely love it. Another dress-alike day and Esther’s determination to get down the road make this picture. Although I’m pretty sure Noah fell off shortly after this picture was taken.
Ok. Can I just say that I love this picture. That’s all. Oh, and it’s not uncommon for people to say that Esther resembles Michael Luke. It makes him smile every time he hears it.
All dressed up to go to a Fancy Nancy book signing. This is the day Esther fell in love with Fancy Nancy. So much so that we check out a Fancy Nancy book almost every week at the library and she just might have a Fancy Nancy birthday party next year. Yeah, she’s already planning it… weekly.And this is who Esther thinks she really is. A princess.
Hanging out at the library. Don’t mind us. We are just your typical American family.
What? You wouldn’t let your kids ride a zebra if it promised not to move?
It’s the moments like this that make it all worthwhile. The moments when they love each other.
At the beginning of the summer this child cried because her swim suit got splashed by a wave. Now look at her. She’s a little fish!
Just a girl and a donkey.
Because every girl needs to know what a Krispy Kreme Donut tastes like and because sometimes Momma is just plain craving some sweets. It happens. Needless to say Esther is a huge fan of donuts now. Mission Accomplished.
… and our most recent family picture taken this past Sunday.
That ladies and gentlemen is Esther. A girl that six months ago didn’t want us and now wants to know why we waited so long to come get her. God has truly worked in her heart and ours.
Speaking of God working in hearts. You may have noticed that something doesn’t look quite right about one of Esther’s eyes. She has a facial eye cleft of the left eye. These days I hardly notice it. God has allowed me to see past her special need and to instead see the beautiful girl that he created in his image and that he loves. He loves her! He loves her and how could I not love his creation?
When we received that first picture of her over a year ago I knew almost immediately that she was meant to be our daughter but I also struggled with adopting a girl with such a visible special need. Not because I worried what other’s would think but because I didn’t know if it was something that would keep me from seeing her true beauty.
So I began praying from the beginning that God would give me strength. That he would allow me to see her as he sees her. And now six months later I can say without a shadow of doubt that he has done that. It’s not even a special need to me anymore. I hardly even think about it because all I see is my beautiful daughter staring back at me. I have enjoyed these past six months of hiding her face from you. Not because I am ashamed of it but because you have had the chance to fall in love with her for who she is. Star. Esther.
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She is beautiful! In that one photo I totally thought “she looks like ML.” How funny 😉 Congratulations!
Favorite post ever!!!
Thank you! I was happy to finally be able to write it.
I was trying to pick my favorite picture but guess what THEY ARE ALL MY FAVORITE – love your sweet family and can not wait to meet Esther.
Thank you. It was hard to narrow it down to this few.
Ester is beautiful, and now I’m sobbing because your sweet family is just so amazing! Noah and Ester were clearly meant to be sisters, you have such amazing hearts, all of you! Lots of love from my neck of the woods!
Thank you so much, Jessica.
She is so sweet! Congratulations to all of you!