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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.



 Reima’s room










Elke and her mom.




Elke’s grandmother painted these beautiful Christmas cards. This is also where Elke’s love for watercolours and later her Bright Owl Business (paper goods for kids) idea came from.
















Elke’s niece in the waiting area.







































The soft hearted foster-mom with Elke and Reima…




















































Reima’s foster mom saying goodbye.
















Trying to figure out the car-seat:



Elke’s mom drove back and the whole time little Reima held Elke’s hand:





































































































Read more about the adoption on Elke’s Bright Owl Blog.

let me know what you think

  • Lou
    August 3rd, 20154:41 pm

    Net ongelooflik. Sjo.

  • Lindy
    August 3rd, 20154:48 pm

    Sooooooo mooi! Wow Lizelle hoe spesiaal! Xx

  • Anelle Mostert
    August 3rd, 20154:52 pm

    Dis so so mooi. My hart is so vol.

  • Christo
    August 3rd, 20155:00 pm

    My woorde is min – in fact, ek’s stom. die storie is amazing!

  • Kosma
    August 3rd, 20155:11 pm


  • Tiffany
    August 3rd, 20155:49 pm

    Phew the tears ran down my face. So beautiful. What a very lucky two to have found each other. So beautifully photographed as always Lizelle. Forever these will be treasured.

  • Suraya
    August 3rd, 20156:27 pm

    Lizelle this is so beautiful. It’s really nice of you to capture that wonderful time for them.
    I wish both your friend and her new daughter all the best..

  • leanne
    August 3rd, 20156:34 pm


  • Liezel
    August 3rd, 20157:23 pm

    Sjoe Lizelle hierdie is iets baie besonders! Well well done!! Ek sit op n groot rooi bus in London en tjank vreugde trane vir hierdie gesinnetjie.

  • nikkim
    August 3rd, 20157:32 pm

    Ongelooflik kosbaar! Perfek vasgevang deur jou lens.

  • Kira van Schalkwyk
    August 3rd, 20158:28 pm

    This is the most beautiful piece that you have ever written…and the photos bring so much emotion that completes the whole story… So inspirational….

  • Mary-Ann Prinsloo
    August 3rd, 201511:22 pm

    Lizelle, terwyl ek dit lees en kyk na die fotos raak dit dik in my keel en my hart klop vinniger want dit was asof ek dit presies weer oor beleef nie net saam met Elke in my gees nie maar toe ek my klein Alleha gekry het. Die gevoel van onwerklikheid ingeweef saam met geloof en dankbaarheid. Dit is so spesiaal dat jy dit kon beleef.

  • Jeanine
    August 5th, 201512:45 pm

    Die liefde wat sy vir daai kleintjie moet voel is ongelooflike. Laat mens net weer en weer besef hoeveel ons het om voor dankbaar te wees! Ek het ongelooflik baie dogtertjie speelgoed indien sy dalk sal belangstel;)

  • Fritz van Zyl
    August 5th, 20159:57 pm

    Baie mooi post !!

  • Natascha
    August 14th, 20159:35 am

    Dis sooooo spesiaal! So bly vir Elke en haar engeltjie.
    Lizelle, jy het al die liefde en deernis vasgevang op kamera. En mens kan nie help om dit saam te beleef nie.

  • Ilse
    August 14th, 20155:06 pm

    Elke mag die Here jou en jou baba elke dag ryklik seen, so dankbaar en opgewonde saam met jou en jou familie!

  • Geraldine
    August 22nd, 20153:52 pm

    Ek’t hoendervleis gekry terwyl ek na die foto’s gekyk het. Dis so wonderlik as Liewe Jesus twee mensies bymekaar bring xxx.

  • Bree Heathname
    August 26th, 20158:41 am

    Full of tears, you people are really kind-hearted, there are more kids need to be adopted. I wish i’d do something like you did.

  • […] Lizelle Lotter, came with to fetch both our kiddos and you can see her photos of those days here and […]