Welcome Home Aster!

My wonderful girlfriends Sharon, Bev, Alli, Erin and Erika (all from my Bible study group at church) hosted a big homecoming/baby shower for Aster at our house this past Saturday. We were lavished with love and gifts, but the best gift of all was having so many friends stop by to meet Aster and celebrate our precious little girl with us!

My friends Heather and Sharon, and Sharon’s daughter Morgan, made this beautiful banner with sparkles and all to welcome us home at the airport last weekend.
I just had to save it, so we decided to hang it up over our living room for the party. It’s so pretty! I’m not sure when I’ll take it down..maybe Christmas!
This is the first bow I put in her hair. She looked so special and pretty that day.
The whole time I opened gifts, I was surrounded by sweet girls who also served as personal assistants.
That is Alli and Erika to the right and then Pa Saw to the left. Pa Saw is Melissa and Mark’s adopted daughter (also in this photo with their baby girl Marissa). Pa Saw and her sister Moo Nay (in the photo above this one) are Karen refugees from Thailand.

That is Aster’s big-girl cousin, Sara! She drove in with her mom from Raleigh. She loved helping Aster discover her new lights and music learning walker.
I love how Aster is leaning over to see and listen to me. Isnt’ that the cutest little outfit I am holding from my friend Jennifer!

My friend Alli’s friend Laura, who I met an a nail salon, gave Aster her kid’s almost new soft plush rocking snail. It is adorable! Thank you Laura.
Us girls in the kitchen chattin’ it up! That’s my beautiful friend Erika.
My sweet friend Erin feeding Aster with two sweety pies nearby, Madeline and Emma.
Here are Madeline and Emma’s dad and mom, Jason and Sharon Epperly. They brought home their little boy, Jonas, from the Ukraine last February.
More fun toys!
And cute clothes!
Ahh, I love this one. What a cutie pie in that pink hat. I could eat that little fluff of cotton candy!
Micca Campbell, my surprise! She and her husband, Pat, drove 7.5 hours all the way from Nashville, TN for the party. She just had to meet Aster before she got too big to hold and snuggle. I was so happy to see her!

My very sneaky sweet friend, LeAnn Rice, coordinated the surprise! Here she is with Micca in Aster’s room.

Aster’s Room ~God’s sweet gift to me and my little girl!
When we started our adoption process two years ago we prayed long and hard about moving. We loved our old house but we needed room from more. Right when the market was crashing God sold our house in 21 days and led us to this one. When we found the house we now live in (which was a model home), it was completely decorated with a beautiful princess room. Even the window treatments were here! My friend Pam loaned me that beautiful crib that looks like it was made for this room. All I added was the pink princess fluff!

What says girly more than pearls and diamond rings!? Here are my my sweet sisters-in-Christ, Megan and Erin, who happen to also be sisters with each other!

As I showed Aster’s room to my friends, I shared with them how we are going stencil one of my favorite verses inside that diamond ring above the bed. It’s going to say ~ “You will be a crown of splendor in the Lord’s hand, a royal diadem in the hand of your God. Isaiah 62:3”

My friend Jodi is giving me the gift of painting Aster’s dresser to match the crib. Won’t that be so pretty? I love, love, love this room. Sometimes I just go up there and lay on one of the beds and pretend I’m the princess!

My sweet guys were a little overwhelmed with all the girl-ness going on downstairs. But we caught them watching and enjoying it all from a distance. They are such great big brothers!!

About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.


  1. 🙂 Love the pictures, sure wish I lived closer. Loving the pink in the house. I am so happy for you!!!!!!


  2. She is a doll!…and what a great room she has!

  3. Anonymous says:

    God bless zour family; You make such a wonderful thing by raising this kid like your own.

  4. Those little lips and chubby cheeks are adorable! I love the picture of the two of you where Aster is wearing the pink hat. How fun! God bless!

  5. I am Ooohing and Awwing over here! She is absolutely beautiful! I would love to hold her! I love babies. Love them. I especially love to spoil them and then send them home. 😉

    I do have a question… do you know how to braid? Cornrows or anything like that? Heee! If not, you will have fun learning and I can't wait to see what that pretty little head of hair will look like. Of course, you do still have a good amount of time to even think about that.

    I am so excited for you and your family. I pray God just continues to bless you abundantly!

  6. Oh Renee, she's absolutely beautiful and looks so happy! I'm really excited for you guys.
    Paula G.

  7. How fun. She is precious. Love the pearls and ring in her room. You are blessed. B

  8. Thanks for sharing the precious pics Renee! My heart is so full of joy for you and your family!

  9. Thanks for taking time to load the photos…they were a lot of fun to look at!!

    She is SOOOO cute!!!

  10. Wow Renee, Aster's countenance has changed so much! You can just see on her face that she feels the love, and is absorbing it all.

    Your pictures are adorable…LOVE her room, LOVE the sign and rejoice with you over God's goodness through your friends.

    Your little Aster is absolutely precious! Okay, I've gushed enough. hee hee

  11. This is all just amazing, precious, and SO God-ordained!

  12. I love Our God of details! The scripture is just perfect for the room and your princess!

  13. It is amazing what a few days of love can do for an orphan. Her smile and bond will grow with each kiss and hug. I am rejoicing over seeing her secure in her forever home! Looks like a great party!

    Enjoy each day….
    From another adopted mom

  14. What great photos Renee. Praising God with you for your new gift from Him. What a blessing. You are in my thoughts and prayers.


  15. Love the verse!!! How sweet to stencil that above her bed! 🙂 🙂

    Great pictures! What a sweet blessing of a shower!

    I've been thinking about you and praying for you.

    Prayers and blessings to you and Miss Aster!


  16. Oh, such precious pictures!! Aster is just so adorable. Continuing in prayer for you all.

  17. She looks absolutely adorable in the pictures! Aster has obviously bonded totally with you and your family, and acclimated to her beautiful new home! She's smiling all the way…

    Thanks for sharing!

  18. I love her!!! My favorite picture is the one where she is leaning and looking at her Mommy. She knows your voice…how sweet is our God!

  19. How precious! I love the pictures…especially her in her little hat. Too cute! And what wonderful friends God has blessed you with!!!!

    Praying for you in all of the adjustments…happy ones…but still adjustments I am sure. 🙂

    Love you,
    K 🙂

  20. What a little doll Renee!! Can't wait to hear more about her!! God is good!! Blessings, Jill

  21. She is just so cute with those little cheeks that makes one want to reach into the picture and pinch them. I came into your story a little later but have been so impressed/inspired over the last few months as I read your updates. God has truly bless your family.

  22. You are going to have so much fun "playing dress up" with all the new clothes for Aster!


  23. Oh I just love all the pictures and seeing you coo over your girl!!

  24. The sign fits so perfectly on your banister. I can see why you'd not want to remove it…what a precious memory.

    My favorite pic of Aster is also the one where she is leaning forward to see and hear you. I just may have missed that had you not mentioned it.

    I love love love her room. The purple pearls on the walls are fab! I love how they just go up and down and all around.

    I'm sure your sons are freaking out with all the pink, fluff, princess, girly-girl. hehe

    Congrats on everything!!

  25. The pictures are beautiful!! I know you are excited, ecstatic, and overwhelmed at the same time!! I will continue to pray for your family as you guys all adjust to having a BABY in the house!!

    If you have a moment, will you pray for our family? We had requested to adopt a little girl, and it was posted on someone's blog that we already had her REFERRAL(which we don't) and we are unsure now whether the country will allow us to adopt her or not.

    Enjoy Sweet Aster,

  26. Sooo enjoyed the pictures. Looks like a lot of fun…and Aster is soooo beautiful! Makes me want to adopt, but for now we better think about having this baby…we just announced that we're expecting our again!!

    Looking forward to meeting you face to face, hearing more about Aster…and seeing more pictures at Rise & Shine. Only 8 days away now!!!

    Said a prayer for you that Aster will get on a good sleep schedule…so you can also get some rest!

  27. Anonymous says:

    hi! Renee…im from Puerto Rico …so i let you know that im so happy for you and for you miracle baby…god bless you for that…and always remember me…as you friend from PR..Love always Sheila

  28. Oh, Renee! I am so happy for you. I'm so late in congratulating you. I've been a little out of it. I just had a baby 9-9-09. I understand the feeling of little sleep and baby smell. Congratulations!! God is so good.

  29. Congratulations, Renee! She is beautiful. Your pics and adoption story brought tears to my eyes.


  30. Hmm it seems like your site ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I wrote and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to the whole thing. Do you have any tips and hints for beginner blog writers? I’d definitely appreciate it.

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