I want to know what you think about life. I imagine you’ve seen so much, some things you probably remember in exceptional detail and other things must have frayed edges. There have to be memories that are so vivid, and yet, maybe some you wish would have blurred with time. 

I think about all you’ve been a part of, all your heart has gone into, and how many times that heart has been broken. I wonder how high your hopes have gotten and how low your spirits may have dipped when life was inevitably unfair. 

I wonder how much the family has changed since you first came into it. You’ve seen so many new faces, whether they were born into this family or found themselves welcomed by you in a different way. You have heard baby cries, teenage drama, and adult uncertainty. And you’ve been there to comfort any and all, reassuring us as the one who has seen it, lived it before, and knows the way through. 

I am curious what holiday memory is your favorite, which birthday sticks out the most, and which anniversary present still means more than the rest. I think about if there is anything you would have done differently or if there is something you would like to do again. Or maybe you are a person who believes it all shakes out the way it is supposed to anyway. 

I wonder if when you look at me you see parts of your life, maybe the same challenges or similar moments of joy. I am guessing when you see my daughter, you see everything – all the firsts that lie ahead and the struggle that will come at times because as we all know, struggle does come. 

The difference is when the struggle comes for me or my daughter or anyone in our family who has been able to live with you, the struggle isn’t so bad because we’ve had you as the example. We’ve had your smile and your laugh breathing life into our family, building generations of love. 

I hope, one day, my daughter or my granddaughter or my great-granddaughter wonders about me. I hope she’s curious about the life I’ve led and all the things I’ve seen. It means I’ve influenced her. It means I’ve left a mark. It means I’ve lived a story worth retelling. 

Your story, well, it is in your smile, in the corners of your eyes, in the sound of your laughter, and I love every word.

Article by: Brittany Renee

Images by: NVS Photography

*The parties in the images are not related to the author of this piece and did not participate in the writing.

**The images are solely meant to add visual interest to the story.


You were different from the start. I saw signs that you were coming. Certain things started to go right; things that had been so unbelievably hard before. I remember going to the grocery store, just with a feeling I would get the call I had been waiting so long for – a baby girl needing a home. And then, my phone rang. Call it mother’s intuition. 

My world changed in that instant, like any woman who realizes she is going to become a mother. You know that you can never go back to the way you were before, but you also don’t want to.  

When I met you, you didn’t have a name. They called you Baby Girl. You were 6 pounds 10 ounces, but at a month old. You were born in July, yet I met you in August. I told myself a summer baby like that, you’d have the fire of the sun in your little soul. I was right, but I was also wrong because you were beyond what I imagined. You were more than I allowed myself to hope for, more than I could have dreamed. I knew I was your mother in that moment, at that hospital on that August day. And I knew I was going to give you a name as beautiful as you. 

Adopting a child is a process that can gut you, and usually does, multiple times over. It can feel impossible to get through. I would open my home and my heart, without hesitation but with secret hope, that this child would become part of my family, permanently. That did not always happen. It was vulnerability. It was an act of love. It was what I did to get you. 

I met you on August 5, 2018. I called you mine then, but on July 21, 2019, it became official. I didn’t need that to know you were my daughter. My soul knew that before I knew you. 

I planned your first birthday, knowing you were home now. Home. We had done it, together, falling in love as a family – the family we both wanted, needed, and deserved. The way it was always supposed to be. 

As your mother, there are so many things I hope to give you in your life. Family. Safety. Love. A sense of belonging. I will live every day trying to give you a world as beautiful as you. I can say, I was able to make good on one promise so far. I gave you a name as beautiful as you. 

I love you, Paisley Rose. 

Written by: Brittany Renee

Photographed by: NVS Photography