Esther, our new foster child, seems to be adapting well to her new environment. With its satellite TV, wireless Internet and squeaking toys, the ayatollah compound is worlds apart from Esther's old home on her cloistered West Texas ranch. The technology of the modern world was completely foreign to young Esther, but she has already mastered the dishwasher and vacuum. God willing, she will take to the hedgetrimmers with similar aplomb and lack of bloodshed.
Esther misses her mother greatly, but she has confided in me that she is happy to be away from the Yearning for Zion Ranch. Though she described certain idyllic charms consistent with a typical third-world upbringing, Esther also spoke of an atmosphere of cruelty at the polygamist compound. Worst of all, she said, was the constant teasing and ridicule of the other children, who had been calling her a spinster since her 11th birthday.