one year ago…

we got a phone call that would change us forever.

Esther had passed away.

My goodness, I miss her so.

God has done much in our lives since then, to bring us comfort. To bring us joy.

He has been so very good to us.

Shortly after we accepted Esther’s referral, He encouraged me to create a t-shirt, as a way to fundraise. But since her passing, it has become so much more.

Last July, as we approached what would have been Esther’s 2nd birthday, we began offering So Loved for sale at Wild Olive with 100% of the proceeds going to fund a future heart surgery for an orphan in China. And so far, So Loved sales have generated over $5000 in proceeds.

On Esther’s birthday, July 31st, 2012, we will donate all the funds raised towards that goal – an orphan will receive life-saving heart surgery – in honor of Esther.

So to everyone who has supported this effort through the purchase of a So Loved tee, thank you.

Thank you for being a part of something bigger than a fundraiser t-shirt.

Thank you for helping a child in China receive life-saving heart surgery.

Thank you for helping Esther’s memory live on.



  1. Thank you for sharing your heart, your faith and your passion for God’s children! So blessed by your leading and encouraging through all your missions and your blog!
    Celebrating Esther’s life with our Lord! Praising God she’s not alone anymore, she is HOME!
    Blessings :)

  2. I absolutely love my shirt and what it stands for! I will proudly wear it on Gotcha Day, for Lucy and in memory of your sweet Esther! Aren’t you glad you will get to meet her one day? As a matter of fact, so will I! Oh the hope we have in Jesus! Bless you for all the lives you touch, mine included.

  3. Thank you for thinking out of the box, Stefanie. Thank you for daring to look different.

  4. I can’t imagine how hard that would be. I am so sorry you never got to hold her.

  5. A year.

    Truly, joy does come in the morning. He is so faithful.

    Thank you for inspiring so many of us to love so big because HE has loved us!

    • NiHaoYall says:

      Thank you, my friend, for walking alongside our family on this journey. And thank you for lifting Esther up many, many times.

  6. Dear Stefanie–I have seen the So Loved shirt in your photos, but had no idea that it was about sweet Esther! Would it be possible to partner with Wild Olive to create personalized t-shirts for charitable causes? I would love to talk with you!!!!

    God bless you on this difficult day. We know firsthand how the pain ebbs and flows. We also know firsthand how God’s love gives us the joy to see past that pain.

    Thinking about your family…

  7. Grief goes through phases, and sometimes it can be days, weeks, or even months before it again causes a lump in your throat, a catch in your voice, a pit in your stomach, and a larger hole in your heart. God is so gracious to hold your hand through it, wrap His arm around your shoulder, and help you put one foot in front of the other until grief passes on its way once more. I pray for you often, but today I’m adding a little side note to God, asking Him to let you feel His hand on you in the most tangible of ways.

  8. I know how it feels, to lose the child you so long for, and the hurt that endures. My brother died the day after Christmas before we could bring him home. I will always miss him!

  9. You guys are so amazing!!!!

  10. What a beautiful ways to honor Sweet little Esther’s life! You always inspire me Stef.

    Kate always talks of heaven having a golden bathtub in with golden bubbles and for some reason as I read this post I kept picturing you and Esther someday in that huge golden tub!!!! I know. I am silly.


    • NiHaoYall says:

      Not silly at all, Kim. I love the idea of soaking in a golden bathtub in heaven with my Esther… it sounds “heavenly” :)

  11. Stef, your Esther is so loved, and so missed!
    I wanted to tell you a story . . . Last month I went to a women’s retreat and I wore my so loved tshirt for the car ride. One of the other women was asking me about it so I told Esther’s story to the 5 other women in the car – they asked for your website so I gave it to them. and forgot all about it. Saturday I took Tia to soccer and I ran into my friend – wearing a so loved t-shirt! I honestly got chills the minute I saw her, and immediately thought of sweet Esther :). My friend told me how she had been reading your blog and was so inspired by all of you. So so exciting because we have talked adoption before and I am pretty sure that door was just opened a bit
    more. by sweet Esther. What an amazing legacy she has!

    xo ellie

    • NiHaoYall says:

      Wow, Ellie. I can’t tell you how much this blessed me to read. I read it to my husband, too and he was equally touched by all God is doing through our precious Esther. Thank you so much for sharing.

      • I’m getting chills again just thinking about sweet Esther’s amazing legacy! I’m so glad you were blessed by how her shirt is touching people :)

  12. Thank YOU for being the hands and feet of Jesus. Thank YOU for allowing us to join in glorifying HIm and participating in Esther’s beautiful legacy!
    Praying for your comfort today!
    Love & Blessings,

  13. Sweet Esther.
    She (and God) led you to 2 little blessings.
    She (and God) will allow you to give a heart surgery to another.
    Such a momentary life created such a lasting beautiful legacy.
    I just know she will be there to greet you telling you, along with Jesus, “great job Momma”.
    Happy Early Mother’s Day!

  14. Oh Stefanie, what God has done through Esther is simply amazing.

    Every time I wear my So Loved tee, I think of her….of you…..

    And then, once again, I am reminded of God’s great love… renders my speechless!!

    My thoughts and prayers are with you all!


  15. What a wonderful tribute to a very loved and very beautiful little girl!
    I can personally say that I receive many compliments on my So Loved shirt every time I wear it.
    How incredible the impact that is being made!
    God is good!

  16. Sending a big hug from MN!!!! Your precious girl is smiling down at what you have done!!! We love our “So Loved” shirts over here!!!!


  17. I wear my shirt at least once a week. Every time it is clean again basically.

    Nearly every time I am out in it, someone asks me “where can I get one of those shirts?”

    And I am able to share … not just about the shirt but about your precious Esther … and all the Lord continues to do because you obeyed.

    I can’t imagine how much your heart misses her. I am so sorry Stefanie.

  18. Good morning Stef – I remember that day a year ago – I remember reading your words on the blog – I remember….

    And I see “so loved” tee’s here in Cincy on a pretty regular basis too, and I find some comfort in that.

    And I read today’s post and I know the power of the Healing that our Father provides, and find some small comfort in that too.

    hugs – aus and co.

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