Our first baby came to us four years ago, at 11 months old.
That’s her, sleeping with her eyes open, laying in the pack-n-play that first night when she came at 3 in the morning dressed only in an EMSA towel.
That’s her, sleeping in the pack-n-play, that first morning when I brought Alex in to meet her, when he leaned over with his little four year old self and shouted, “Where did you get that little brown baby? At the gift shop?”
We loved this little girl! While I had done babysitting all growing up, and had nieces and nephews and little cousins, and had taught all kinds of little classes, this was Nathan’s first experience with bottles and diapers any tiny snaps and zippers. He worked so hard caring for her!
It was the start of our family, with little Alex (and his long red curls) and baby Anber! They lived together with us for two years, while other children came and went, before we ever got Mary, and three years before we ever got Kirk and Barrett.
But we were smitten with that little bald baby! She was almost four before she had any more hair than that!
We loved that little baby girl, even though she only screamed those first few months. It took her a long time to trust us, but we got there.
It was Alex, of course, who taught her how to smile, who helped her relax, who showed her how to play and laugh and sing.
This was the beginning of our story as a family.
These are the pictures we could not share back then, back when her face had to be hidden from view while visits continued and we lived and breathed from court date to court date, back when her code name here was “Toddler” and her big brother was only known as “Five”.
She grew up so fast!
And loved music from the beginning.
And always helped Mama cook.
We loved her, this little one that landed on our doorstep one night at 3 in the morning.
She has always had a thing for big sunglasses.
And she has always been a good helper.
Even though now she is the middle child in the girls’ room, she will always be our first baby.
And even though she is super shy and doesn’t like very many people, she loved Mary from the very first day. We knew Mary was a keeper when even Anber approved!
And remember that time when she wasn’t even three yet, and they tried to take her picture at preschool, and she punched the photographer in the face and broke his glasses “because he told me to smile”!?!
Yes, we loved this little girl, so much!
Also, she is crazy. You guys may not know this, since she rarely speaks outside the home, but she is one of the most hilarious little creatures I have ever met. These three together are a riot, and their smart wit and quick banter cracks us up! They are so funny!
Also, she finally grew hair. Almost.
And she’s a daddy’s girl.
We are so honored that she is a part of our family, and having her sealed to us for time and all eternity was one of the best days ever!
That’s when we got to meet Kirk and Barrett, finally:
And if we ever thought Alex and Anber were BFF’s, that was nothing like the love these two “twins” have for each other! What adventures we have had watching these two grow up together!
This was our family!
Plus one more, and Anber was the first one to meet Kyrie, since they were biological siblings and the others were not finalized in their adoptions yet. Anber got to meet Kyrie in the hospital in Oklahoma City, after the first life flight, when Kyrie was about three months old and still in the NICU after her first seven surgeries.
We didn’t tell her when we finally got to bring Kyrie home, but just surprised her by picking her up early from school.
Ever our wild child, she is always coming up with some creative scheme just like Papa:
And she was as glad as anyone when Kyrie and I finally came home from Cincinnati.
That’s how I got three daughters, and how my first baby became the middle child.
Happy Birthday, Anber! I cannot believe you are five years old!