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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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Getting the last things ready.

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Last videoclip from Levi’s Kangaroo mom. They will soon meet him in real life.

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Levi will get used to the sound of the coffee grinder very quickly – this house likes good coffee.

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Arriving at the adoption agency:

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Meeting the Kangaroo mom who loved and cared for Levi until he was ready to go home:

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Levi’s Kanga-mom with the very special treasure chest they filled with souvenirs, gifts, tips and things that would be handy in raising Levi:

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…and they made a very special video with the most beautiful music and all the images they took while Levi was in her care. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room.

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Moments away from meeting Levi:

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Seeing their child for the first time:

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Feeling at home already – drooling all over mom:

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Quick hello to ouma and aunt on the way home:

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Home! Meeting Molly.

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Nose cleaning ritual. Markus is still getting used to the idea.

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Follow the Coetsee family’s story on their amazing blog HERE.

One of my favourite posts is one Celeste wrote about Levi’s biological mom, called The brave one. Read it HERE.

let me know what you think

  • Elke Dunaiski
    June 7th, 20169:41 pm

    Oh my goodness… No words are enough to finally be able to see this day through your eyes. Zellie – thank you for being there!

  • Liezel
    June 7th, 201610:10 pm

    Lizelle!!!! Ek huil snot en trane!! Hierdie is kosbare oomblikke wat jy so mooi gevang het!! En wat n bulletjie…kostelik!

  • Kobie
    June 8th, 201612:14 am

    Sjoh Lizelle…?

    So excited vir hierdie nuwe lewe vir julle Celeste & Markus! Baie liefde!

  • Helene van Zyl
    June 8th, 20166:38 am

    Sò mooi en bitter spesiaal! Xxx

  • Adri Rossouw
    June 8th, 20168:00 am

    Wow Lizellie. Hoe lekker pik ek nou ñ traan. Wat ñ pragtige fotostorie!

  • Yolande
    June 8th, 20168:31 am

    Ongelooflik kosbaar, perfek & van God af! Baie geluk aan die nuwe ouers.

    Lizelle – knop in my keel.

  • Pam
    June 8th, 20168:59 am

    Beautiful portrait of an incredible story.

  • jou heel grootste fan
    June 8th, 20169:27 am

    …ek huil al van jou pragtige skrywe bo-aan…seker oor die Here so goed is en ek dit hier in kleur en prent net weer kan beleef…

    Lizelle, jou foto’s is absoluut stunning, jyt die regte oomblikke vasgevang, dis sensitief, dis beautiful. Dit wys die afwagting, die onvoorwaardelike liefde, die HOOP!

    Markus, Celeste: baie-baie geluk met julle Levi – ons Pappa se seen en joy en oorvloed vir julle as gesin – tot eer van Sy Koninkryk. Geniet!

    Nou eers nog tissues kry…

  • Anné Gray
    June 8th, 20169:56 am

    Dis so mooi Zellie!!

  • Elana
    June 8th, 20169:58 am

    Wat ‘n voorreg om hierdie kosbare oomblikke deur jou oë te mag beleef, Lizelle.

    Markus en Celeste, julle inspireer my. Baie geluk met julle Levi-lyfie.

    Aan Christus al die eer xx

  • Carlien van Blerk
    June 8th, 201610:05 am

    tjank ek nou! Sal dit love om in ‘n paar maande weer ‘n “update” te sien.

  • Kerry
    June 8th, 201610:37 am

    Lizelle, as a foster mom and a passionate adoption advocate I cannot say thank you enough for being a gloriously beautiful part of helping the world have a glimpse of the love & redemption & grace that is the story of a adoption- our story as believers of the spiritual eternal gospel of adoption is played out in such a tangible way here on earth (in our temporary, physical home) through every child welcomed home to their own family through the act of adoption. Thank you Lizelle, may this open many hearts to consider loving a child into their family just as the Father has adopted us into His. Markus, Celeste & Levi, richest blessings on your precious family!!xXx

  • June
    June 8th, 201610:46 am

    Mens moet regtig nie hierdie foto’s by die werk kyk nie! Moet net heeltyd die trane wegvee voor iemand sien!

    Pragtige foto’s. Pragtige familie.

  • Nicola Momberg
    June 8th, 201611:43 am

    Sjoe! Huil ek nou dat die trane by die kante van my oë uitskiet soos ‘n cartoon karakter. Dis so ongelooflik mooi en spesiaal!

  • Nadine
    June 8th, 201612:08 pm

    Wow!! Baie spesiaal! Pragtige fotos!

  • Selma
    June 8th, 20161:45 pm

    Oh Lizelle! This is just so special! Wow!

  • Toni
    June 8th, 20161:52 pm

    Amazing pics and story! Cant wait to see how he will grow up
    

  • Davene
    June 8th, 20162:26 pm

    This is so absolutely amazing! I don’t even know any of the people in this photograph but the way the story and everything else is captured moves my heart soooo much.

  • Jackie Rudd
    June 8th, 20164:50 pm

    I was taken back 16 and 11 years ago when we adopted or two gifts from God …. God is so good … thank you for sharing

  • Linzi Bristow
    June 8th, 20169:58 pm

    Wow guys. All the best!! I was a kangamom many years ago. Your story warms my heart!! ?

  • Marine
    June 8th, 20169:59 pm

    Wow wow dis pragtig… ekke het nou lekker gehuil. Baie dankie vir die deel van die wonderlike dag.

  • Yolanda Zafi
    June 9th, 20163:01 am

    Adoption is not plan B… It’s simply a different way to reach the same desire… Which is To love and raise a gift , which is a child. I have 32 and love them all so much.

  • Anneke Mackenzie
    June 9th, 20168:02 am

    Hi lizelle, celeste en markus.
    Ek het ‘n seuntjie aangeneem en hy is al volle 4 dae by my. My niggie het hierdie vir my aangestuur. Dankie vir dien pragtige storie en dat ek dit met julle kan deel!
    Geniet elke oomblik v Levi.
    My hart is vol vir malcolm en vir julle en levi!

  • Xanilizé
    June 9th, 201610:15 am

    Ag kyk daardie bolwange, tannie!! Baie mooi en verewig kosbaar, Lizelle!!

  • Deirdré Louw
    June 9th, 201611:52 am

    Beautiful, words cannot describe…

  • Janet fenner
    June 9th, 20164:07 pm

    Loved this. Brought back so many memories of our 3 adoptions God has blessed us and he will bless you. Trust Him for the future and you will have a great time as a whole family,

  • Rabbie Chibweya
    June 9th, 201610:40 pm

    These guys are awesome people I have ever meet.

  • Glenys
    June 10th, 20165:34 am

    Mens kan nie die fotos kyk en die storie lees en nie BAIE emosies voel nie. Dit is so mooi.

  • Marele
    June 11th, 20167:11 am

    Ek het al baie gedroom en gewonder oor die dag en nou kon ek dit ook sien en beleef Lizelle, dankie!
    Dankie Celeste en Markus dat julle dit met ons deel, julle is kosbaar.

  • Maré
    June 16th, 201610:13 am

    Kan nie die trane keer nie. Dankie dat ons ook kan deel hierin – saam bly en in awe (: (: (:

  • […] Lizelle captured the Coetsees homecoming day (just as she did ours) and she took these photos of their family. (You can see the full post about their day on her blog.) […]

  • […] (Our friend Lizelle came with us to bring Levi home, just as she did with Elke and Reima, and you can see the full post on her blog.) […]

  • Kristin
    July 19th, 20161:50 pm

    Oh my goodness! These are incredible!!

  • Clea
    August 15th, 20169:02 am

    What a beautiful story!

  • Mandy
    August 15th, 201612:54 pm

    Oh this is so special!!

  • Samantha
    August 16th, 20164:41 pm

    No man! The pic of his tiny little hand on his Dad’s shoulder – finished me! Such a precious moment beautifully captured forever <3

  • Bianca
    August 17th, 20169:23 am

    This is sooooo special and had to swallow REALLY hard to get the tears down. Beautiful story and AMAZING photography <3

  • candice
    August 17th, 20161:42 pm

    omgosh these photos brought tears of joy to my eyes. He is sooo adorable reminds me of my 6 month old with those cute fat cheeks. you guys are lucky to be blessed with such a strong adorable little boy. may you enjoy him and may you three be blessed in abundance.

  • […] We also invite you to read a bit more about our journeys of adoption here and here. (Our friend and gifted capturer of stories, Lizelle Lotter, came with to fetch both our kiddos and you can see her photos of those days here and here.) […]