In honor of her teen's birthday, Katherine Heigl shared a carousel of photos of Naleigh Mi-Eun throughout the years on Instagram Tuesday
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Katherine Heigl
Credit: Katherine Heigl/instagram. Inset: getty

Katherine Heigl is officially the mother of a teenager!

To commemorate the milestone birthday, the Firefly Lane star shared a carousel of photos of 13-year-old Naleigh Mi-Eun throughout the years, including some from just before she and husband Josh Kelley adopted her as an infant from South Korea.

"The first two photos are the first two photos @joshbkelley and I received of our beautiful baby daughter Nancy Leigh Mi-Eun as she waited in Seoul Korea to come home to us and we waited in LA to hold the baby we already loved," Heigl, 43, captioned the throwback snapshots, shared on Instagram, Tuesday.

"I'm not gonna lie…I'm tearing up a little…ok a lot…looking through these photos, reaching back in time grasping at the smoke of memories that still hold this gorgeous, spectacular girl at 9 months. All folds and rolls and chicken fluff hair."

In the loving birthday tribute, the mom of three, who also shares daughter Adalaide Marie Hope, 9, and son Joshua Bishop, 4, with Kelley continued to reminisce about Naleigh's toddler years, leading up to her becoming a teenager.

"This girl. The girl that made me a mother. The girl that gave my life purpose. Meaning. Direction. Boundless eternal love. This girl turns 13 today. 13. She is officially a teenager.I can't seem to process it. How did this happen. Wasn't she my silly, giggling, gap toothed, rolly polly baby just a few years ago…just yesterday?"

The Grey's Anatomy alum dedicated words of gratitude to her "extraordinary" daughter, before concluding the heartfelt post, which included a final snapshot of the teen.

"I love you Naleigh. I love you with every fiber of being, every cell in my body, every wish in my heart. I love you. Happy Birthday my beautiful girl."

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In the April issue of Parents magazine, Heigl got candid about her decision to adopt.

She revealed to the outlet that the girls, who are both adopted, "have more questions as they get older" about their origins.

"We have said to them, 'This is your story. We don't have any information about your biological fathers, but we do have a bit about your biological mothers,'" she said of Naleigh and Adalaide.

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"'If you guys want to talk more about them, you can have as much or as little information as you want,' " she added of their conversations. "'Tell us what you're comfortable with knowing.' "

Heigl was "raised with adoption," having a sister, Meg, who was also adopted. And while she feels she was "so naïve" about Meg's experience when she was younger, "I had to realize, okay, this isn't about how it makes me feel. It's about how I need to protect my daughters and prepare them for the world, because I can't change society in one fell swoop."