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Ecuador, Our Departure – And All That Lies Ahead…

warning: grab a nice beverage while reading this post. It’s a bit long … but, i don’t think, wastefully so 🙂

Some of you may already know about this, but a pretty significant amount of you will not. That I can not tell you all one at a time, I apologize. But things seem to have just moved so quickly lately that it’s been nearly impossible to communicate it all. In addition, part of being more quiet about it all has been the feeling of good-old-fashioned not wanting to jinx anything – y’know?

But, anyway – our update:

We are flying to Ecuador in three days to meet our new daughter, to live together in an ancient colonial city, to immerse ourselves in a language we have yet to learn … and to return as a family of five at a time that can not yet be determined.

So, y’know, not really much going on here right now.

🙂 🙂 🙂

We are – all of us, the whole family – going together. That’s pretty amazing. We will be moving there for around 6-8 weeks, although we know that timeline might extend based on a variety of factors. Or it might just stay put.

We’re getting an apartment, trying desperately to learn Spanish and – as best we know at this point – are all caught up on vaccinations, passports, and that surprisingly detailed list of stuff to do/have/secure.

Just to follow all the rules & regulations (so, so many), there is much I cannot say at this time. But there are a few key things that I can, happily, share about the best part of all of this:

Our new daughter’s name is Ana Elisa. She’s almost 3 1/2 years old, and although I cannot show her photograph, I can assure you that she has such a sweet, sweet face and eyes that have absolutely captivated me. I am so intrigued to learn more about what’s going on behind those eyes. I am so interested in knowing her.

Wow.

A bit of background? After our daughter was born, my husband & I got really excited about the idea of bringing our second child into the family by adoption. And when our Caleb came home from Ethiopia, at the age of nearly ten months, we experienced first-hand how incredible adoption can be, how we could form a true-in-every-way family based on nothing more than, really, love.

The connection between our two children was immediate and, as we’ve happily come to learn, lasting. Here’s one of my favorite images that I’d captured right after he came home, almost four years ago. Downright vintage! But this image conveyed so much, his sweet, open smile – her inability to stop looking at him with such fascination and wonder…

Fast forward several years later, we started thinking that maybe we could switch from one-on-one to a zone defense – and upgrade our family to three children. Or, as my friend Rachel would put it: Lackey Family v3.0.

I’ve been asked a lot of questions around our motivation for adoption. I know that it’s so different for every one, their reasons. We are simply floored by the beauty of adoption. For us. For others. To me, it looks a lot like hope. And so we quickly realized that we were considering no other option but to grow our family through adoption. It just felt the most right to us.

Almost exactly seven months ago to this day, I posted an article that showcased our children on the front page of the News & Observer, the Triangle’s major newspaper. The article itself was very detailed, and very sad for me to read, even as I was quoted throughout the piece, and our family was showcased. The takeaway was that, basically, foreign adoption is getting almost too difficult – it was a discouraging read for anyone considering the possibility, and I was sorry to see it put out there. But, in all honesty, it also came out at a time when we had just experienced a major stall in our own process. A process that’s been about 17 months long at this point.

But we received a call two months ago that changed everything. They told us her name. They sent us her photograph. They mailed us a background document that was sparse but telling. She’s been in the orphanage since she was 5 days old. She sways her body when music is played. She does not nap but is put to bed, in a room with many others, at 5pm every night. She recognizes the concept of pronouns.

We accepted the referral immediately. And then we waited. For a green light to book tickets and a go-ahead that we’d been scheduled with the courts. We got that green light several days ago and booked all of our flights – Raleigh to Miami to Guayaquil, next day in-country flight to Cuenca. And we put a new date on the calendar: the exact time of the exact day that we will meet Ana Elisa.

So…a lot there. So beautifully much.

____

As for studio stuff, I am beyond blessed to work with some amazing people. Truly. Any one who has ever heard me speak about Lisa Walter, our Studio Director, knows that I ooze affection when I speak her name. But she is so capable, so smart, so darn competent. She, specifically, was a significant factor in our decision-making process: can we take on an adoption involving so much red tape, so much commitment in-country? But Lisa is why I know that I can leave an enormously busy studio during an enormously busy time – and also just know that everything will be under control. That I will return to a business that is not only still thriving but also probably a few steps ahead. That realization is huge to me because this business is in no way just a business for me. I love photography, I love this entire industry. I am quite grateful to our amazing clients, that so many return again and again and then they tell their friends, allowing us this fantastic opportunity to offer our talents, coupled with our enthusiasm, again and again.

And the support here – Rachel, Courtney, Michael, Jose, Steve, all those who will do their job so well and support Lisa’s efforts, too … thank you.

My amazing clients: we have a great process set up to of course still be able to fulfill all those holidays orders, the gift certificates, the holiday cards, the albums. To put it simply, we are on it. For those whose portraits have been photographed but not yet received, the gorgeous wedding I am photographing tomorrow – all of your images will be turned around in the same timeframe we’d discussed. I appreciate your extra patience but every single image will be delivered at the same level of quality, even if it takes just a few days more 🙂

____

Melissa Locklear, staying in our home, taking care of our animals, checking the mail. Probably sneaking in a few house parties, hah. You have been a sister forever. You are beloved – and we are beholden. (word of the day. had to use it. it was just too perfect 🙂

_____

We are moving to Cuenca, the third-largest city in Ecuador – interestingly, one of the first cities that came under Inca Empire domination. Normally, a bizarrely random fact but I had the opportunity, a few years back, to happily endure a four-day hike through all the gorges and passes of The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu … and watch the sun come up over that forgotten city on the last morning. I just have had a whole new sense of appreciation for the Inca culture after that. And anyone who’s been there probably knows what I mean.

But, I digress. Ack. Back to the point, our new home for the next couple of months:

I plan to keep up the blogging from Ecuador. Goodness knows, I have a lot to catch up on – I am months and months behind on posting weddings and portraits. It’s been a beautifully busy year! If you have been looking for your post, as some of you have emailed me, it is coming 🙂 I honestly haven’t shot one wedding, portrait or editorial session this year that has left me feeling anything less than so pleased, and I am excited to share the wonder of that.

Since I just don’t know exactly how often I will be able to post, though, I will be sure to twitter often. That is simply the easiest thing for me to do to stay in touch. If you are not on twitter, sign up {it’s easy, fast and free, mom & dad!} once you sign in, just search for “Tamara Lackey” and click follow. That’s it. And once you’re there, I’d love to follow you, to keep in touch with many of you that way, too!!

____

Lastly (for any of you who stuck around this long, whew!) more than a few wonderful people have asked me if there’s anything they can do. Honestly? Just send a ton of great energy out for this little girl who is about to experience such an enormous transition. That’s all I would want. Everything else is just kind of wonderful.

Crazy, lovely universe.

113 responses to “Ecuador, Our Departure – And All That Lies Ahead…”

  1. porter says:

    follow that love in your hearts with a running stride Tamara, Steve & family!!! Love every second for what it is.

  2. porter says:

    follow that love in your hearts with a running stride Tamara, Steve & family!!! Love every second for what it is.

  3. Lisa says:

    Oh Tamara!! You have made me cry with love, happiness and emotion all over again! You tell a story so well – and it seems getting yourself so well-prepared by telling it in this way…. Sophie, Caleb and Ana Elisa will love hearing this story over, and over, and over again for so many years to come and will surely tell it to their own children – and grandchildren…. you are truly, truly, truly beyond amazing and I am so happy to be your friend!!

    xoxo

  4. Lisa says:

    Oh Tamara!! You have made me cry with love, happiness and emotion all over again! You tell a story so well – and it seems getting yourself so well-prepared by telling it in this way…. Sophie, Caleb and Ana Elisa will love hearing this story over, and over, and over again for so many years to come and will surely tell it to their own children – and grandchildren…. you are truly, truly, truly beyond amazing and I am so happy to be your friend!!

    xoxo

  5. Jen Bebb says:

    We are sending all our positive energy to you. I read my boys your story and they are so excited for the two of you. I can’t wait to see her picture and hear more about your journey.

    Our hearts are with you all.

  6. Jen Bebb says:

    We are sending all our positive energy to you. I read my boys your story and they are so excited for the two of you. I can’t wait to see her picture and hear more about your journey.

    Our hearts are with you all.

  7. Wow! Reading your beautiful words has my heart feeling so full of joy for you guys it is about to burst! Congratulations to the Lackeys. And sending lots of prayers and love to you all during your trip. Lisa rocks and how awesome that you have so many other wonderful friends and family around you! I’ll bet you’ll be able to go on some amazing runs there! xoxo, amy

  8. Wow! Reading your beautiful words has my heart feeling so full of joy for you guys it is about to burst! Congratulations to the Lackeys. And sending lots of prayers and love to you all during your trip. Lisa rocks and how awesome that you have so many other wonderful friends and family around you! I’ll bet you’ll be able to go on some amazing runs there! xoxo, amy

  9. Liz says:

    i love your heart. thank you thank you for sharing it with us. what a blessing the lackey v3.0 will be to ana elisa and vice versa.

    love shower!!

  10. Liz says:

    i love your heart. thank you thank you for sharing it with us. what a blessing the lackey v3.0 will be to ana elisa and vice versa.

    love shower!!

  11. Taleah says:

    You don’t know me, but I’ve been stalking your blog for a while – being amazed and inspired by your photos. Thanks for living an inspiring life as well – what an incredible journey you’re headed into!

  12. Taleah says:

    You don’t know me, but I’ve been stalking your blog for a while – being amazed and inspired by your photos. Thanks for living an inspiring life as well – what an incredible journey you’re headed into!

  13. Heather de Rox says:

    I can’t even see the screen. I am typing and hoping that my fingers remember where the letters are. I am so touched by the love that pours forth from your sharing. So much love to you and your *entire* family. Love, Heather

  14. Heather de Rox says:

    I can’t even see the screen. I am typing and hoping that my fingers remember where the letters are. I am so touched by the love that pours forth from your sharing. So much love to you and your *entire* family. Love, Heather

  15. Good luck and God bless.

  16. Good luck and God bless.

  17. Season says:

    This is AMAZING news!!!!! Oh gosh, what an experience for your entire family. Best wishes!!

    Oh and Rosetta Stone! It’s fantastic software.

  18. Season says:

    This is AMAZING news!!!!! Oh gosh, what an experience for your entire family. Best wishes!!

    Oh and Rosetta Stone! It’s fantastic software.

  19. Sally Gerstner says:

    You and your family are simply amazing. As I am sitting here tearing up over your soon to be adventure, it reminds me of how blessed we are here. I will keep your family in my prayers for a safe trip and a wonderful experience – adding to your family.

  20. Sally Gerstner says:

    You and your family are simply amazing. As I am sitting here tearing up over your soon to be adventure, it reminds me of how blessed we are here. I will keep your family in my prayers for a safe trip and a wonderful experience – adding to your family.

  21. Ana Elisa's Dad says:

    I am so truly proud to travel this life with you, Tamara. Ever since I first met you, life has meant so much more and I am very confident that Ana Elisa will experience the same wonderful emotion when she gets to know you. Looking forward to every moment of this journey with unconditional excitment and appreciation. There is nothing more wonderful than sharing this love 🙂 🙂

  22. Ana Elisa's Dad says:

    I am so truly proud to travel this life with you, Tamara. Ever since I first met you, life has meant so much more and I am very confident that Ana Elisa will experience the same wonderful emotion when she gets to know you. Looking forward to every moment of this journey with unconditional excitment and appreciation. There is nothing more wonderful than sharing this love 🙂 🙂

  23. Ana Elisa's Dad says:

    Do you know where our passports are?

  24. Ana Elisa's Dad says:

    Do you know where our passports are?

  25. Jameka Autry says:

    much congratulations to you and the entire family! i know you have been waiting a long time to meet your new daughter and i can’t wait to see pictures of all of you (finally) together!

  26. Jameka Autry says:

    much congratulations to you and the entire family! i know you have been waiting a long time to meet your new daughter and i can’t wait to see pictures of all of you (finally) together!

  27. Tamara says:

    omg, these comments and the lovely messages have me seriously emotional!! (ana elisa’s dad – yes, i actually do know where the passports are. you have them. 😉

  28. Tamara says:

    omg, these comments and the lovely messages have me seriously emotional!! (ana elisa’s dad – yes, i actually do know where the passports are. you have them. 😉

  29. jesh de rox says:

    dear friend, thank you so much for living a life that is such a fountain of inspiration, hope and love for so many. these are the seeds of everything good in the universe,,,

  30. jesh de rox says:

    dear friend, thank you so much for living a life that is such a fountain of inspiration, hope and love for so many. these are the seeds of everything good in the universe,,,

  31. Mark Jacoby says:

    Hi, I see the world through my "grandpa filter" and want to offer my heartfelt congratulations for bringing a new grandchild home! What a giant heart you have.

  32. Mark Jacoby says:

    Hi, I see the world through my "grandpa filter" and want to offer my heartfelt congratulations for bringing a new grandchild home! What a giant heart you have.

  33. Penny Noell says:

    Congratulations Tamara! I was adopted at the age of 4 and I know how lucky I was,since babies are often preferred. So, bless you for adopting Ana Elisa. I know she is truly lucky and blessed to be a member of your family as well. Safe travels.

  34. Penny Noell says:

    Congratulations Tamara! I was adopted at the age of 4 and I know how lucky I was,since babies are often preferred. So, bless you for adopting Ana Elisa. I know she is truly lucky and blessed to be a member of your family as well. Safe travels.

  35. Kate Rose says:

    Hi Tamara,
    I am also teary-eyed (big surprise) and full of admiration and inspiration for what you and Steve are doing and creating. Jesh asked the other day on twitter where hope comes from and I think it comes from watching and learning from people who do such good, inspiring things as you and your family. It makes my own heart bigger with possiblity. I wish you the best on your travels and I’ll definitely be sending good vibes to Ana Elisa and your whole family.
    Love, Katie

    ps You are going to try to avoid petting stray animals, even if they are cute, right?

  36. Kate Rose says:

    Hi Tamara,
    I am also teary-eyed (big surprise) and full of admiration and inspiration for what you and Steve are doing and creating. Jesh asked the other day on twitter where hope comes from and I think it comes from watching and learning from people who do such good, inspiring things as you and your family. It makes my own heart bigger with possiblity. I wish you the best on your travels and I’ll definitely be sending good vibes to Ana Elisa and your whole family.
    Love, Katie

    ps You are going to try to avoid petting stray animals, even if they are cute, right?

  37. Katie says:

    So excited for you and your family! What a blessing that you are able to do this. Can’t wait to **meet** Ana Elisa and will follow your journey on your blog. and side note – can’t believe you are shooting a wedding TOMORROW – you amaze me!

  38. Katie says:

    So excited for you and your family! What a blessing that you are able to do this. Can’t wait to **meet** Ana Elisa and will follow your journey on your blog. and side note – can’t believe you are shooting a wedding TOMORROW – you amaze me!

  39. MeganJ says:

    Tamara! You spoke of adopting another child at Learnfest and my heart filled at that moment. Congratulations that this time has arrived! Thanks for sharing such a beautiful time in your life with all of us out here. Good luck with your travels and the new leap you’re taking. Thanks for the wonderful inspiration you give to many! Ana Elise will be blessed to be a member of your family!

  40. MeganJ says:

    Tamara! You spoke of adopting another child at Learnfest and my heart filled at that moment. Congratulations that this time has arrived! Thanks for sharing such a beautiful time in your life with all of us out here. Good luck with your travels and the new leap you’re taking. Thanks for the wonderful inspiration you give to many! Ana Elise will be blessed to be a member of your family!

  41. Heather Justus says:

    Wow! Congratulations! I can’t wait to meet the newest addition to your family via your blog! Keep up the good work and I’ll be thinking about you guys!

  42. Heather Justus says:

    Wow! Congratulations! I can’t wait to meet the newest addition to your family via your blog! Keep up the good work and I’ll be thinking about you guys!

  43. Rachel Garrison says:

    Where have I been all day that I am just now seeing this? Pretty sure I just used up our last Kleenex in the entire studio, which is bad news since you haven’t even left yet. Lisa said it best when she wrote that your children will love hearing this beautiful story over and over in the years to come. Wow wow wow. xoxo

  44. Rachel Garrison says:

    Where have I been all day that I am just now seeing this? Pretty sure I just used up our last Kleenex in the entire studio, which is bad news since you haven’t even left yet. Lisa said it best when she wrote that your children will love hearing this beautiful story over and over in the years to come. Wow wow wow. xoxo

  45. Leah Bowman says:

    Tamara!!!! My heart is so happy for you right now. I know this little angel has captured your heart and will make a beautiful addition to your family. I can’t wait to see her pictures and to hear about your amazing adventures!!! My hugs and prayers are with you as you travel.

  46. Leah Bowman says:

    Tamara!!!! My heart is so happy for you right now. I know this little angel has captured your heart and will make a beautiful addition to your family. I can’t wait to see her pictures and to hear about your amazing adventures!!! My hugs and prayers are with you as you travel.

  47. melissa says:

    Wow-this was so beautiful and amazing to read. Thank you so much for wonderful words, I love you and your family more than I could ever express and will miss you even more.
    xoxo

  48. melissa says:

    Wow-this was so beautiful and amazing to read. Thank you so much for wonderful words, I love you and your family more than I could ever express and will miss you even more.
    xoxo

  49. Maureen says:

    I am sending infinite love vibes to the new little lady in your life and to the rest of the family too!!! Wow, your family is amazing and nothing short of inspirational! I am so excited for you all …xoxo

  50. Maureen says:

    I am sending infinite love vibes to the new little lady in your life and to the rest of the family too!!! Wow, your family is amazing and nothing short of inspirational! I am so excited for you all …xoxo

  51. Maureen says:

    I am sending INFINITE love vibes to the new little lady in your life and the rest of the family!!! Your family is amazing and nothing short of truly inspirational! I can’t wait to keep posted… xoxo

  52. Maureen says:

    I am sending INFINITE love vibes to the new little lady in your life and the rest of the family!!! Your family is amazing and nothing short of truly inspirational! I can’t wait to keep posted… xoxo

  53. Anna says:

    Holy cow! This is amazing! Congratulations on growing your family and have a blast in Ecuador! Say hello to Soph and Caleb.

  54. Anna says:

    Holy cow! This is amazing! Congratulations on growing your family and have a blast in Ecuador! Say hello to Soph and Caleb.

  55. Suzie says:

    Oh Tamara, I am literally sitting here with Kleenex in my lap. What a wonderful, emotional, touching story and I am SO happy for you and your family. CONGRATS!
    (and I should have read this before emailing you with my stupid questions! I’m so sorry!)

  56. Suzie says:

    Oh Tamara, I am literally sitting here with Kleenex in my lap. What a wonderful, emotional, touching story and I am SO happy for you and your family. CONGRATS!
    (and I should have read this before emailing you with my stupid questions! I’m so sorry!)

  57. laura novak says:

    so excited for you and Steve and the rest of the family… it’s just too wonderful for words! have a great trip!!! (I know you will)

  58. laura novak says:

    so excited for you and Steve and the rest of the family… it’s just too wonderful for words! have a great trip!!! (I know you will)

  59. Lara Casey says:

    I am in tears here. What an incredible story. Many prayers for you and your family on this amazing journey. Thank you for sharing all of this… how inspiring!

  60. Lara Casey says:

    I am in tears here. What an incredible story. Many prayers for you and your family on this amazing journey. Thank you for sharing all of this… how inspiring!

  61. Tina Bass says:

    You are truly an inspiration to me. Beyond photography, I look up to your views on family and love. I literally am sitting here crying after reading this entry because it is filled with so much hope.
    I cannot wait to read about your journey and the new addition to your family 🙂

  62. Tina Bass says:

    You are truly an inspiration to me. Beyond photography, I look up to your views on family and love. I literally am sitting here crying after reading this entry because it is filled with so much hope.
    I cannot wait to read about your journey and the new addition to your family 🙂

  63. Mom/Dad says:

    OK, Tammy. We’ve done a lot for you over the years, but, seriously, now you want us to TWITTER?

  64. Mom/Dad says:

    OK, Tammy. We’ve done a lot for you over the years, but, seriously, now you want us to TWITTER?

  65. carrie w says:

    wow….this is incredible. I am proud to know someone as amazing as you and your family. That is one lucky little girl. I will be thinking and praying for your expanding family. Can’t wait to see her smiling face on your blog one day! xoxoxoxox, carrie

  66. carrie w says:

    wow….this is incredible. I am proud to know someone as amazing as you and your family. That is one lucky little girl. I will be thinking and praying for your expanding family. Can’t wait to see her smiling face on your blog one day! xoxoxoxox, carrie

  67. melissa says:

    The Inca Trail – is Ana Elisa’s dad ready for the sudden danger of the puma ??

  68. melissa says:

    The Inca Trail – is Ana Elisa’s dad ready for the sudden danger of the puma ??

  69. tamara says:

    thank you so much for such beautiful, beautiful feedback, friends 🙂 it means so very much.

  70. tamara says:

    thank you so much for such beautiful, beautiful feedback, friends 🙂 it means so very much.

  71. Courtney Gray says:

    Hello happy tears! 🙂 We are going to miss you SO much while you’re away… and have lots of happy tears when you return! I cannot wait to meet Ana Elisa…

  72. Courtney Gray says:

    Hello happy tears! 🙂 We are going to miss you SO much while you’re away… and have lots of happy tears when you return! I cannot wait to meet Ana Elisa…

  73. Jen MacNiven says:

    You are a blessing and your family is so blessed to have you! I truly admire you (and it’s been said to me once, surround yourself with those who you admire) 😉 I wish you and your family a SAFE, HEALTHY and wonderfully amazing journey…please say HOLA to Ana Elisa from Jen. I look forward to meeting your family v3.o one of these days.

    All my blessings to you!
    p.s. I still look forward to ‘talking’ to you when you return. Cheers

  74. Jen MacNiven says:

    You are a blessing and your family is so blessed to have you! I truly admire you (and it’s been said to me once, surround yourself with those who you admire) 😉 I wish you and your family a SAFE, HEALTHY and wonderfully amazing journey…please say HOLA to Ana Elisa from Jen. I look forward to meeting your family v3.o one of these days.

    All my blessings to you!
    p.s. I still look forward to ‘talking’ to you when you return. Cheers

  75. Aunt T, Grammy Jule & Poppy says:

    We are all sending all of our love for a safe, happy journey and anxiously await your arrival home with the newest addition to our family!

  76. Aunt T, Grammy Jule & Poppy says:

    We are all sending all of our love for a safe, happy journey and anxiously await your arrival home with the newest addition to our family!

  77. Kelli Taylor says:

    What a lucky girl Ana is! I can not wait to see a photo!!! Best of luck in your travels! Keep us updated!

  78. Kelli Taylor says:

    What a lucky girl Ana is! I can not wait to see a photo!!! Best of luck in your travels! Keep us updated!

  79. Mom says:

    Be safe, be well, and return home soon so that we can all meet this new grandchild.

  80. Mom says:

    Be safe, be well, and return home soon so that we can all meet this new grandchild.

  81. Taschia Taylor says:

    I just read on the yahoo board that you are leaving for Ecuador. We are thrilled for you. If you are interested in checking out our daily blog while we were there, please email me and I will send you the address.
    Enjoy this amazing adventure!

    Taschia

  82. Taschia Taylor says:

    I just read on the yahoo board that you are leaving for Ecuador. We are thrilled for you. If you are interested in checking out our daily blog while we were there, please email me and I will send you the address.
    Enjoy this amazing adventure!

    Taschia

  83. How truly wonderful! Your babies are so beautiful and happy. Be safe and well.

  84. How truly wonderful! Your babies are so beautiful and happy. Be safe and well.

  85. Patrice says:

    The Lackey’s ARE what this world needs more of. Ana Elisa is destined for "favored grace". And be still my heart – the love shown by your husband’s comments! (I met you at LF and feel so fortunate) 🙂

  86. Patrice says:

    The Lackey’s ARE what this world needs more of. Ana Elisa is destined for "favored grace". And be still my heart – the love shown by your husband’s comments! (I met you at LF and feel so fortunate) 🙂

  87. Suzanne Lyon says:

    Tamara,
    Que tienen ustedes buen viaje! I’ve been home from Loja, Ecuador for a year with my son. It’s been, and continues to be, the most amazing experience of my life. I truly had no idea just how much I would come to love this little person. What a wonderful journey all of you are about to embark upon with Ana Elisa. Our thoughts and best wishes travel with you. Abrazos!
    Suzanne in Ottawa
    Proud Mom to Hernan, age 5.

  88. Suzanne Lyon says:

    Tamara,
    Que tienen ustedes buen viaje! I’ve been home from Loja, Ecuador for a year with my son. It’s been, and continues to be, the most amazing experience of my life. I truly had no idea just how much I would come to love this little person. What a wonderful journey all of you are about to embark upon with Ana Elisa. Our thoughts and best wishes travel with you. Abrazos!
    Suzanne in Ottawa
    Proud Mom to Hernan, age 5.

  89. Tira J says:

    Hi Tamara. I have only been to your blog a few times via Infinet Design. Love your work. But what I love even more is that you cherish the gift of adoption. Speaking from an adopted child’s heart, you are so loved, and I know that God is going to do some amazing things for you and your family. God Bless You!

  90. Tira J says:

    Hi Tamara. I have only been to your blog a few times via Infinet Design. Love your work. But what I love even more is that you cherish the gift of adoption. Speaking from an adopted child’s heart, you are so loved, and I know that God is going to do some amazing things for you and your family. God Bless You!

  91. jsj says:

    Tamara – I was so impressed when you mentioned this journey at ImageX, I kept meaning to share with you that my husband and I welcomed our 3.5yo niece into our home this spring. Its has been a crazy experience with tremendous ups & downs (most downs directly relate to our previous parenting experience solely involving our fur-kids!) but worth it. I look forward to reading about your journey and seeing the new family portraits! enjoy every minute of the adventure! ~joellynn (redhead in corner with similar consulting resume!)

  92. jsj says:

    Tamara – I was so impressed when you mentioned this journey at ImageX, I kept meaning to share with you that my husband and I welcomed our 3.5yo niece into our home this spring. Its has been a crazy experience with tremendous ups & downs (most downs directly relate to our previous parenting experience solely involving our fur-kids!) but worth it. I look forward to reading about your journey and seeing the new family portraits! enjoy every minute of the adventure! ~joellynn (redhead in corner with similar consulting resume!)

  93. Renee says:

    I am so happy for you! My twin sister and I are adopted from Vietnam and she has 4 adopted children so it thrills me to learn of this beautiful journey. Enjoy and BREATHE!It was great meeting you at Image X….r

  94. Renee says:

    I am so happy for you! My twin sister and I are adopted from Vietnam and she has 4 adopted children so it thrills me to learn of this beautiful journey. Enjoy and BREATHE!It was great meeting you at Image X….r

  95. Amber Byrd says:

    Congratulations to you and your family. This is a beautifully post and your Chapel Hill community will be thinking of you and saying prayers for a wonderful trip and meeting the newest Lackey. Come home soon and safely!

  96. Amber Byrd says:

    Congratulations to you and your family. This is a beautifully post and your Chapel Hill community will be thinking of you and saying prayers for a wonderful trip and meeting the newest Lackey. Come home soon and safely!

  97. alice park says:

    wishing you and your wonderful family safe travels! i’m soooooo thrilled for you! and i can’t wait to hear about your new little munchkin. "Hola, me es Mama." =P

  98. alice park says:

    wishing you and your wonderful family safe travels! i’m soooooo thrilled for you! and i can’t wait to hear about your new little munchkin. "Hola, me es Mama." =P

  99. therese says:

    Tamara, my very best wishes for your journey and time in Ecuador. It will be wonderful and i’m so sure your reserves of love and energy of which you have so much will carry you over any bumps in the road. Also a belated thank you for the wonderful seminar in New Orleans, you were incredible, so so much valuable information and tips and laughs, a great day. Thanks and best wishes, Therese.

  100. therese says:

    Tamara, my very best wishes for your journey and time in Ecuador. It will be wonderful and i’m so sure your reserves of love and energy of which you have so much will carry you over any bumps in the road. Also a belated thank you for the wonderful seminar in New Orleans, you were incredible, so so much valuable information and tips and laughs, a great day. Thanks and best wishes, Therese.

  101. How exciting for your family! I hope one day that my fiance and myself get the chance to adopt. I hope your travels are safe and you bring your daughter home safely!

  102. How exciting for your family! I hope one day that my fiance and myself get the chance to adopt. I hope your travels are safe and you bring your daughter home safely!

  103. hidavis says:

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you daily during this journey. We cannot wait to meet Ana Elisa and welcome you to the fabulous insanity of three!

  104. hidavis says:

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you daily during this journey. We cannot wait to meet Ana Elisa and welcome you to the fabulous insanity of three!

  105. Angie Baxter says:

    I have stumbled on your blog and your work and now I am in tears and speechless. What lucky, lucky children you have.

  106. Angie Baxter says:

    I have stumbled on your blog and your work and now I am in tears and speechless. What lucky, lucky children you have.

  107. Vivian Vega Bolanos says:

    Wow Tamara! I was just e-mailing to find out about a studio shoot (we moved to Pinehurst and had another baby a couple of months ago) and I stumbled on your blog. Congrats. We are wishing you the best. And if you need any help with Spanish when you get back, let me know!
    Vivian.

  108. Vivian Vega Bolanos says:

    Wow Tamara! I was just e-mailing to find out about a studio shoot (we moved to Pinehurst and had another baby a couple of months ago) and I stumbled on your blog. Congrats. We are wishing you the best. And if you need any help with Spanish when you get back, let me know!
    Vivian.

  109. Angela Burke says:

    Wow! I just found your gorgeous blog and am a new fan. I doubt you’ll even have time to read this comment, but you have all my prayers and best wishes on your journey. My three sisters are adopted and my brother wrote and directed a movie based on his experience working in Ecuador (www.safebymyside.com) with street children. All the best to you and your family – I’m off to vote! 🙂

  110. Angela Burke says:

    Wow! I just found your gorgeous blog and am a new fan. I doubt you’ll even have time to read this comment, but you have all my prayers and best wishes on your journey. My three sisters are adopted and my brother wrote and directed a movie based on his experience working in Ecuador (www.safebymyside.com) with street children. All the best to you and your family – I’m off to vote! 🙂

  111. Anna Yu says:

    Tamara, my thoughts are with you and your wonderful family (of 5 now!) I follow your blog and read your posts in and out with such interest, I’m simply glued to my computer screen :)…and when I think I can’t get more fascinated by the beauty of your soul (as I am already SO MUCH), I still do. You are incredible, you are one of those people that make this world a better place for all of us by sharing what you’ve got within. I’ve cried couple of times reading this story, so touching, and so inspiring. Lots of love to you guys out there!

  112. Anna Yu says:

    Tamara, my thoughts are with you and your wonderful family (of 5 now!) I follow your blog and read your posts in and out with such interest, I’m simply glued to my computer screen :)…and when I think I can’t get more fascinated by the beauty of your soul (as I am already SO MUCH), I still do. You are incredible, you are one of those people that make this world a better place for all of us by sharing what you’ve got within. I’ve cried couple of times reading this story, so touching, and so inspiring. Lots of love to you guys out there!

  113. Ethan Sehr says:

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