Sometimes my heart overflows with all the things I feel and then my emotions get flooded and my words get all mixed up. Like when I think about adoption, or my dear friends Celeste and Markus, or seeing a child coming home, or seeing God’s interest in his people or when a beautiful story unfolds (and I get to photograph it).
My job has MANY amazing perks, but driving to this shoot made me realise again how much I love it to document and how special it is to witness these profound moments in people’s lives. Then I look at the images and many times they only show small gestures, but it represents so much more. Like this story. Markus and Celeste made a decision to be parents and it is changing the life of this beautiful boy, now called their son, forever. :) I could see how the process was shaping and forming them individually and as a couple – up to a point where they now are family.
This is one beautiful story of people searching God’s face, living His love and imparting hope to those seeing their family’s story being written.
This was the morning it all came together. Levi came home…
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About 3 years ago, Elke started talking about adoption. The more time we spent together, the more I heard about her plans to adopt. During this time she made changes to her home to be more child friendly, she launched her new “Bright Owl” business to help support her daughter, and she celebrated breakthrough in the adoption paperwork journey whilst continually making all the needed mental shifts. I saw the leaders in her life asking her difficult questions. Questions she answered honestly and bravely.
I saw her friends and family gather around her. I saw many tears (and for the longest time I could not speak to Elke about the adoption without balling MY eyes out) and through it all I saw her brave smiles. I saw her transition from a lady investigating adoption, to a mother expecting a baby.
She took a huge step of faith, quitting her old job after feeling that the season was completed. It was scary to let go, but she did. She prayed to God, asking Him that she didn’t want to be alone on the day of the long-awaited phone call confirming the match, and He listened. The morning when her colleagues came to say goodbye to Elke, her phone rang. She was not alone, but surrounded by a whole bunch of people that loved and cared for her.
She asked God if her daughter’s foster home could be in the same Province, to help ease the logistical difficulties, and it was. Elke felt that her daughter would be born around her late dad’s birthday – and later discovered that their birthdays are just 2 days apart. So many small details came together confirming one thing. This was the daughter that God and Elke had been dreaming about. This girl was the daughter she was waiting for.
After months of paperwork and many layers of preparation, the day arrived when Elke could meet her baby and take her daughter home. Her mom, 2 sisters, little niece, myself & my camera had the privilege of going with.
I’ve never seen Elke with so many bags. In my mind’s eye, it symbolised her readiness. She was prepared as well as she could be – physically, emotionally and spiritually – to receive her daughter, and to be a mom.
This is my photo version of this special day, and how it all came together.
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