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The Fischer Family





Happy first birthday Esme!

Melissa Fischer

Today our baby is one!



That’s really all I can say about it. It still hasn’t fully hit me that an entire year has passed since we were in Florida meeting her for the first time. I still remember that day so vividly, which makes it feel even more like it was just a couple months ago, not 365 days ago.

The last couple of weeks, my heart and emotions have been all over the place. There have been the usual emotions of “My baby is turning one. This is so sad!” and the “Look how big she is! She is so cute. Look at her walking! This is so fun!” But this year, preparing to celebrate Esme’s first birthday, I have also found myself feeling deeper levels of grief than I ever have at my child’s first birthday before.

Adoption changes a birthday. Yes, it is still filled with the magic of remembering the first time you laid eyes on your child. You still feel the intense love and pride you knew the moment you held them. Your heart still aches to hold that tiny newborn bundle while you can’t help but beam seeing who your child has become. But, you also feel the weight of what was lost.

This week I have not been able to stop thinking about our birth mom, S. She has been on my mind amidst the party planning and preparations and celebrations. When I think of her, I still can’t grasp the honor that she has given me. I still can’t believe that I get to be the one to plan the party, and watch Esme try her first piece of cake. When I think of S, I remember the sweet days we spent together during this month last year. When I think of her, I remember how the bond we made was deeper than most any I have ever, ever felt. When I think of her, I feel so unbelievably sad.

I didn’t expect that. I knew I would feel sad. I have had many moments throughout this year where I have felt sad missing her or wishing she could be a part of a moment. But this week it has been so much deeper than that. It’s intensely missing her, and missing that time we had together. It’s grieving for her that she is not here for the precious moments of Esme’s life. It’s grieving for Esme that her story began with brokenness, and praying that, as she grows each year, she sees the beautiful redemption that is all of ours.

These emotions I've been experiencing have been consuming me. Most days my heart feels physically heavy, and {if I let myself} I could cry in an instant. With all the fun of the holiday season and a birthday in the family, this is not how I thought December would feel.

The reason I started this blog was to be open about the adoption process, and to share our journey with you all. Although I’ve been pretty much silent on the blog for the last year, our adoption journey is still going. I wanted to take time to write this post not only because it’s Esme’s birthday, and we want to celebrate that with all of you who walked this time with us last year, but also because my hope has always been to be transparent about adoption with anyone interested enough to read our blog. I hope this post also gives insight into “life after adoption” {sounds like the name of a pretty sweet reality tv series}. 

As I sat down, on a couple of different occasions, to write this post, and I let my fingers start typing, I kept going to the “I feel sad” thoughts. Then I kept thinking “I should be writing more upbeat things. This is Esme’s birthday post!” But, for some reason, I just couldn’t do that. So, I believe that this was something I was meant to share. Adoption is not cut and dry. It’s not wrapped in a little box with a bow. You don’t sign the papers and then go “back to normal”. Adoption creates a new normal, and this is mine. Normal now might be that every December, in the midst of Holiday cheer and Esme’s birthday, I feel really sad, and that’s ok.

The amazing thing about it is, when I feel that level of sadness and grief, I am also reminded of the depth of beauty and sovereignty God has bestowed on our family. We get to spend today celebrating the birth of our sweet girl. We got to have a birthday party for her on Saturday surrounded by friends who love and adore her {almost} as much as we do ;) We get to experience her joy and spunk and screams of delight. We get to laugh when she laughs, and we get to hold her when she cries. We get to know the things that make her excited and the things that make her fearful. We get to comfort her. We get to encourage her. We get to teach her. We get to watch her learn and conquer new things. We get to watch her grow. WE get to be the crazy mom and dad behind the camera trying to capture each precious moment of her life, because it’s going by so quickly, and I want to remember everything.

So today, amidst my sea of emotions, I want to say a few things to my baby girl Esme.

Esme Yvette Elizabeth Fischer, 

I love you. More than I could ever express, I love you. You have been the most perfect third gift I could have ever received from our Lord. You bring me so much joy and delight and pride. Your spirit is fierce and full of life. You are fast and wild. You are determined and strong. You are independent but also wonderfully dependent. You are sassy and sweet. You are loud and crazy. You are joyful and so much fun.

Since the day you were born you have captured my heart. You have eyes that look into my soul, and you radiate breath-taking beauty and light. I cannot imagine my life or our family without you. You have changed me in the most beautiful and profound ways. I am forever grateful for your life and that God chose us to be yours + you to be ours.

I hope you always know how honored I am to be your mama, and how much I cherish you, my beloved.


If you'd like to see our Esme a year ago, you can see her birth announcement here.