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With such pride, I present ā€¦ Ana Elisa

I am so unbelievably proud to announce the formal completion of our adoption of Ana Elisa Anita Maria (Vasquez Sarmiento) Lackey.

Oh. My. Goodness.

What a beautiful thing.

You know that feeling, after you finish an event of some great physical endurance – whatever that means to you, surviving a holiday with extended family, racing a 5K, crossing the finish line of a marathon, or crossing the expanse of the Sahara Desert ? and immediately afterwards, you know you?ll be having that whole flood of realization, of accomplishment, of specific, separate feelings. But at that moment, right at the you-are-done finish, you are simply tired … and just a bit overcome?

Receiving Ana Elisa?s exit visa, as it was slipped under the bullet-proof window at the U.S. Embassy. Wow.

I double-checked the pertinent details, I so did not want a problem getting back home via Miami, and – holding the visa and passport with one hand, holding my officially-new-daughter’s hand with my other – I was flooded with such an immensely powerful rush of emotion. All was correct. All was complete.

And, realizing that everything was done, I immediately swooped her up and just held her to me so tight, feeling the sting of my eyes filling up with those sharp tears of relief.

We gathered everyone together and walked out past the security checkpoints, past the graffitied walls, past the curious looks, out into the bright sunlight and sticky heat and dirty smog. I didn?t care who thought what, once we got out – I just buried my face into her little neck and squeezed her to me, so tight.

We left the consulate and took the kids out to a caf?, telling them to order any treat they wanted. Sophie and Caleb actually jumped up and down, excitedly pointing to each of their little cakes, and Steve ordered yet more coffee. I stood in the same spot, just continuing to rock Ana Elisa back and forth, she who was sweet enough to squeeze me back while simultaneously (and so skillfully) pointing to her preferred sweets selection.

So, since it is now the next day – and I have more specific emotions to call up ? I am so proud, so thrilled, so in-love, so relieved, and so all-the-way-to-the-bottom-of-my-heart happy to introduce our new daughter, Ana Elisa:

If she seems to look a little different in every photograph, then you’ve gotten a great look at our daughter. Depending on the angle, her clothing, her mood, her hair, she can look very different. She is a beautiful surprise often.

The first day we met her was, simply, surreal. Sitting in the front of the orphanage, waiting for them to bring our little girl out to us, so that we could meet our 3 1/2 year-old daughter for the very first time.

Yeah. Surreal.

She was so terribly shy at first, kinda petrified. But she opened up relatively quickly and, within the first hour or so, it just felt incredibly natural to be together. I got to see that gorgeous smile of hers, the one she normally flashes so often. Her expressiveness. Her quick understanding, her even quicker hugs. Well, hugs that are offered quickly. They are then held for quite a beautiful while. When Ana Elisa hugs you, she rounds out that loving squeeze with a loving sound, “mmmmmm”, as if she is also saying: isn’t this the most wonderful thing we will do today?

Steve grabbed this photograph of she and I together, that very first morning…

We’ve been asked about the orphanage. What strikes me first, more than anything, is that it’s an exceptionally caring place. Not a great deal of luxury, no. Definitely not. But, certainly, a great deal of affection and love.

There are so many wonderful people who work at the orphanage: the sweet-smiling nuns who run the place, all the individuals who care for so many children day in and day out – what a huge job – and the volunteers! The volunteers who give their time – and so much of their hearts – staying in Ecuador for short stints or moving there for months, even years. Visiting the orphanage almost every single day, doing what they can to make the lives of the children there better. As better as it can possibly be. Their hugs, their kisses, and their incredible affection undoubtedly prepared our Ana Elisa to love each of us so well.

Because of the sheer amount of work of caring for so many children, they are all on a strict schedule. As it was explained to us, they had one hour of free play, and Ana Elisa spent about 13 hours a day in her crib. This one, specifically …

All other times, they were confined to their rooms and these small outside areas, located just off the bedrooms they shared, fenced in to ensure that they would not wander off and get hurt. I asked for more details on schedule – there very well may be more. Because, I think, how can this be? They were educated so well, they were obviously hugged so often, and their muscles seemed strong and well-used. Even if Ana Elisa is quite little for her age, she took off running as soon as we hit the streets of Cuenca.

But their schedule seems pretty straightforward. One hour of free play. The rest in pens and cribs and, of course, at meals.

Just a few of the beautiful, beautiful children who live in this one orphanage (one of so many around the world – I mentioned earlier: about 150 million orphans worldwide).

Children who are alive, yes. Children who learn and grow and find a way to find their way.
But who, mostly, just wait.

When Ana Elisa walked past the pens with me, children cried out and she guarded me fiercely, “Mi Mami, Mi Mami!”. I looked at all of them, as we walked past. How these children need homes, families, their very own Mami’s.

It is not difficult to feel yourself buckling at that. The need.

It’s nearly unbelievable to me that Ana Elisa lived in that orphanage for 17 months before we could legally get to her. She who has so much to offer: confined to a pen, to a crib. She who wants to see pretty much everything, now that she can.

We were lucky enough to take Ana Elisa home the day after we met her, an exceptionally fast release from the orphanage. So they called us a couple of days later, asking us to bring her in to say goodbye to the other children. It was a difficult experience, for everyone. She carried the gift of a baby doll in a case like her own tiny suitcase, the only thing she took from her home of 3 1/2 years, besides the clothes on her back and the shoes on her feet, shoes that she would not let us replace for weeks. It was a gift to her from the mother superior of the orphanage, a woman just oozing with beauty.

I was lucky with our daughter. I got her smiles, her hugs, and her kisses nearly immediately. She did not offer them to her father, to her sister, or to her brother (in that order) until after a long couple of weeks. So, at first, they just had to try a bit harder to get her attention šŸ™‚ šŸ™‚ šŸ™‚

Now, though, she requests time with her daddy, too. She’s come to realize that he can carry her for longer stretches at a time – and, even better, he can throw her higher!!

Wow. There’s three of them, huh? I was asked about what being a mom of three feels like. These images below – perfect. This is how it feels, to me. We’re laughing. We’re close. I am blessed. And, yes, they are all over me. They are, most certainly, winning.

One of the most beautiful spots in Ecuador is the gorgeous El Cajas, which offers stunning views of cloud forests and the striking Andes Mountains, with waterfalls, little houses dotted throughout, and all kinds of animals – like the kids’ favorite, the ultra-attentive llama.

While driving up, we stopped at a a restaurant nestled just in the mountain tops, a very cold restaurant that served the most incredible-tasting hot chocolate. You could see your breath, yes, but man did you appreciate the warm beverage.

We all tried to identify the ingredients. Sophie thought she tasted nutnilla, a spice exclusive to Sophie’s specific knowledge data bank. Caleb tasted chocolate. Lots of it. And I am pretty sure I determined the secret ingredient: free-range llama milk. I don’t know, that discovery may or may not be true, but it kinda seemed like the taste of what that would be.

Thanks to Steve for capturing so many of these:

One of the most amazing things about these past 6 ? weeks has not only been the privilege of getting to know our youngest daughter better, but the unexpected gift of getting to see our two older children in such a different light. To see them so patient, so loving, sometimes shy and sometimes confused, but ? consistently ? fully accepting.

I?ve never seen Sophie put up with so much, with such a steady and loving smile. Those first few weeks, we had to teach Ana Elisa that swatting people back was not really a wonderfully beautiful behavior trait. And Sophie would get too close at first ? man, would she get swatted with some force, those first few weeks. But she would just freeze and look from Ana Elisa to me, and I would say, in my children’s Spanish, to please not hit, to please say sorry to your sister, who loves you so much.

But instead of bursting into tears in response, like I would expect, Sophie would raise her little chin and and wait for her apology, smiling encouragingly at Ana Elisa to, go ahead, apologize. It?s okay. I?m right here. I’ll wait for you to be ready. Eventually, Ana Elisa would say she was sorry. So quietly, a shred of a whisper, you had to lean in close to catch it: “lo siento”. The first time, it took two days. But, eventually improvement. Now we are at a breakneck two-minute turnaround.

I remember being particularly floored by Sophie?s enormous patience one night. It was about 2am, and Ana Elisa had been waking again and again with night terrors. It had already been several weeks of this, of fierce middle-of-the-night wakings. I felt for her, I tried as best as I could to calm her, to show all the compassion I could but, also, I was exhausted. So, finally, I enlisted Sophie?s assistance. That specific night was the first night that Sophie slept alongside Ana Elisa. (They haven?t slept apart since.)

The familiar waking ? screaming, kicking, clawing at the air, not quite awake and Lord knows what she was seeing in that state. Sophie shot up, took it all in, and immediately started singing. Immediately. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star: over and over and over until Ana Elisa finally came out of it a little bit, focusing on Sophie, then me and then, quietly, in near slow motion, falling back onto her pillow. Once Sophie saw that, she, too, collapsed back to sleep: again, immediately. That, after 25 minutes of singing, all the while shaking her head to stay awake, putting her hand down to prevent herself from falling over, consistently careful not to touch Ana Elisa, not to upset her more.

And, as they both finally slept again, soundly, for what would end up being the rest of that night, I just sat there, so wide awake. My heart was flip-flopping, taking them both in – but also thinking, quite specifically, about how God had just filled up my Sophie with such a capacity to love – and how brightly she shared it with those around her. How she had about the best temperment that I could imagine for the job of being big sister to her exceptional younger siblings.

I just shook my head in wonder at her. And then, because I was so tired, I went ahead and cried one more time. Just for good measure.

And our little Caleb. I?ve never seen Caleb try quite so hard to win anyone over in his whole little life. Never, ever. A familiar pattern: Ana Elisa, do you want this? No. Do you want this? No. Do you want this? No. How ?bout ? maybe this? Ah, this. She will so want this!

And he would offer and offer with this confused, half-smile on his face the whole time, looking for any opportunity of acceptance from this fascinating girl. And when she did accept, when she went ahead and took that toy car, or she said yes to the right-sized french fry? Oh my.

His entire face would change, his almond-shaped eyes would go wide, and a huge smile would be instantly squeezed into a more contained grin, powered by a burst of joy and a quick reminder of his innate shyness. She accepted! She ate the french fry and, so, she loved him.

And the next day it would start again, the constant offering of gifts. The finding of her growing love for him.

_____

I don?t know what I expected with the three of them, exactly. I really don’t.

But I honestly hadn?t known that they would all try so hard.

_____

So, now, the end of a journey. And, of course, a new beginning.
I don’t know with any great certainty what, exactly, is next. But how can it not be beautiful?

And, lastly, I am in awe of this. I have never had an answer to this oft-asked question. But, finally, I do.
Here it is: my absolute favorite photograph of all time…

307 responses to “With such pride, I present ā€¦ Ana Elisa”

  1. Kristi says:

    This is all amazing. All of it. The pictures, the story and what you have done for your daughter. Congratulations and God Bless You and Keep you.

  2. Kristi says:

    This is all amazing. All of it. The pictures, the story and what you have done for your daughter. Congratulations and God Bless You and Keep you.

  3. Aunt T says:

    Poppy and I just reviewed these pictures as they just posted a moment ago and are totally overwhelmed!!! Must read the written words but the eyes are teary! Just at a loss for words!!! The last has to be one of the most precious pictures ever all sound sleep huddled holding hands! WOW!!!! God Bless the children!!! And our family!! With Love Aunt T Poppy and Grammy Jule

  4. Aunt T says:

    Poppy and I just reviewed these pictures as they just posted a moment ago and are totally overwhelmed!!! Must read the written words but the eyes are teary! Just at a loss for words!!! The last has to be one of the most precious pictures ever all sound sleep huddled holding hands! WOW!!!! God Bless the children!!! And our family!! With Love Aunt T Poppy and Grammy Jule

  5. Wendy says:

    Tamara, she is truly a beautiful, precious, exquisite little girl. Your post has me in tears. The story about Sophie singing to Ana Elisa in the night is just wonderful. Your children are amazing, just like you. That last picture is great, I know your heart must burst with happiness when you look at it. Congratulations and thank you so much for sharing your journey. These images and stories make me want to go out and adopt all of those lonely children that are looking for their Mami!

  6. Wendy says:

    Tamara, she is truly a beautiful, precious, exquisite little girl. Your post has me in tears. The story about Sophie singing to Ana Elisa in the night is just wonderful. Your children are amazing, just like you. That last picture is great, I know your heart must burst with happiness when you look at it. Congratulations and thank you so much for sharing your journey. These images and stories make me want to go out and adopt all of those lonely children that are looking for their Mami!

  7. Lisa says:

    oh, my….. dear friend, you have done it again. moved me to tears – just sitting here with tears completely streaming down my face. You are all such unbelievably, supremely and stupendously amazing and beautiful people. I am blown away by the love in all of these images, in your story, and in the hearts of your already incredibly loving children….. I AB-SO-LUTE-LY cannot wait to meet this little girl, to hug Sophie and Caleb and tell them how proud I am of them, to see Steve in all of his unshaven glory, and to sit with you and hear your voice!!! Oh, and by the way – Caleb has grown a foot since you left!! He will be quite a match for Ian now!! love, love, love to you all!!

  8. Lisa says:

    oh, my….. dear friend, you have done it again. moved me to tears – just sitting here with tears completely streaming down my face. You are all such unbelievably, supremely and stupendously amazing and beautiful people. I am blown away by the love in all of these images, in your story, and in the hearts of your already incredibly loving children….. I AB-SO-LUTE-LY cannot wait to meet this little girl, to hug Sophie and Caleb and tell them how proud I am of them, to see Steve in all of his unshaven glory, and to sit with you and hear your voice!!! Oh, and by the way – Caleb has grown a foot since you left!! He will be quite a match for Ian now!! love, love, love to you all!!

  9. clarissa riggins says:

    beautiful, beautiful story. i love it. i look forward to hearing more about your journey with your 3 beautiful children.

  10. clarissa riggins says:

    beautiful, beautiful story. i love it. i look forward to hearing more about your journey with your 3 beautiful children.

  11. Oh my, so incredibly beautiful, all of it. You are not only a talented photographer, but a writer too! Ana Elisa is beyond words. She is an angel and a beautiful addition to your family. Thank you for sharing her story. Congratulations!

  12. Oh my, so incredibly beautiful, all of it. You are not only a talented photographer, but a writer too! Ana Elisa is beyond words. She is an angel and a beautiful addition to your family. Thank you for sharing her story. Congratulations!

  13. jesh de Rox says:

    how proud i am of you and your beautiful family : ) what a precious mix of personalities, courage and love. thank you for sharing this glimpse into your extraordinary life with us.

  14. jesh de Rox says:

    how proud i am of you and your beautiful family : ) what a precious mix of personalities, courage and love. thank you for sharing this glimpse into your extraordinary life with us.

  15. kristen says:

    that whole post made me make the ana elisa hugging sound…yes, tamara, this is the best thing you will do today. how lovely for you and your family…

  16. kristen says:

    that whole post made me make the ana elisa hugging sound…yes, tamara, this is the best thing you will do today. how lovely for you and your family…

  17. adriaLYN says:

    Thankyou for the wonderful journey you have taken us through and inviting us so much into your life; a life filled with so much love that even my computer screen seemed to radiate your words with so much warmth. How blessed ana elisa to be found by such an amazing family. Congratulations Lackey Family!! So what’s next…a new van, NAY a bus!

  18. adriaLYN says:

    Thankyou for the wonderful journey you have taken us through and inviting us so much into your life; a life filled with so much love that even my computer screen seemed to radiate your words with so much warmth. How blessed ana elisa to be found by such an amazing family. Congratulations Lackey Family!! So what’s next…a new van, NAY a bus!

  19. I knew when I met you you were an awesome amazing woman. I am in awe. As a mother we have questioned adoption for a few years and as tears roll down my face I cannot imagine not doing it. God bless you all!!!!

  20. I knew when I met you you were an awesome amazing woman. I am in awe. As a mother we have questioned adoption for a few years and as tears roll down my face I cannot imagine not doing it. God bless you all!!!!

  21. Jennesa says:

    Tamara,
    You are all blessed. I was an incredible jouney, but well worth the wait. Welcome home and welcome to another chapter of the adventure. Looking forward to catching up with you all.

    Isn’t the transformation amazing!!!!

    Blessings,
    Jennesa

  22. Jennesa says:

    Tamara,
    You are all blessed. I was an incredible jouney, but well worth the wait. Welcome home and welcome to another chapter of the adventure. Looking forward to catching up with you all.

    Isn’t the transformation amazing!!!!

    Blessings,
    Jennesa

  23. liz says:

    tamara….this story is so full of love and beauty.
    i’m moved by anna elisa’s presence in your family’s lives and how this mutual adoption will impact our world to be that much closer to the healing and hope that we continually need.
    thank you for following your heart. for persisting through the all of those months. and for sharing all of this.
    inspired.

  24. liz says:

    tamara….this story is so full of love and beauty.
    i’m moved by anna elisa’s presence in your family’s lives and how this mutual adoption will impact our world to be that much closer to the healing and hope that we continually need.
    thank you for following your heart. for persisting through the all of those months. and for sharing all of this.
    inspired.

  25. Katie says:

    beautiful…can’t see to type..tears…just beautiful. i am so happy for you!

  26. Katie says:

    beautiful…can’t see to type..tears…just beautiful. i am so happy for you!

  27. marla lackey says:

    This is the best story I have read in a long long time. Maybe ever, I am so touched and I think I read all the words, but a lot of it was through teary eyes.
    You & your husband certainly have a spot reserved in heaven, as do your three beautiful children.
    Congratulations, on your newest family member, what a lucky girl she is. šŸ™‚

  28. marla lackey says:

    This is the best story I have read in a long long time. Maybe ever, I am so touched and I think I read all the words, but a lot of it was through teary eyes.
    You & your husband certainly have a spot reserved in heaven, as do your three beautiful children.
    Congratulations, on your newest family member, what a lucky girl she is. šŸ™‚

  29. Liz says:

    oh yeah.
    and that pic of steve, sophie & caleb with the dolls on their heads is so funny!! and the others are just precious….

    šŸ™‚

  30. Liz says:

    oh yeah.
    and that pic of steve, sophie & caleb with the dolls on their heads is so funny!! and the others are just precious….

    šŸ™‚

  31. Gorgeous! Your family is gorgeous! I am so happy for you and your family.

  32. Gorgeous! Your family is gorgeous! I am so happy for you and your family.

  33. Thank you for gifting the rest of us with the story of your journey. I love how connected your kids are in the sleeping image… how wonderful and affirming that must be as their mom to see that relationship – confirmed in the comfort of their sleep together. be well.

  34. Thank you for gifting the rest of us with the story of your journey. I love how connected your kids are in the sleeping image… how wonderful and affirming that must be as their mom to see that relationship – confirmed in the comfort of their sleep together. be well.

  35. melissa says:

    Tamara…what can we all say but thank you…thank you for sharing such beautiful images and thank you for sharing such beautiful, thoughtful, and intimate thoughts of this journey of expanding your family. The story about Sophie singing and shaking her head to stay awake, the story of Caleb trying with such willingness and hope….I will never forget those stories. So once again, thank you for letting us in…I love you for it.

  36. melissa says:

    Tamara…what can we all say but thank you…thank you for sharing such beautiful images and thank you for sharing such beautiful, thoughtful, and intimate thoughts of this journey of expanding your family. The story about Sophie singing and shaking her head to stay awake, the story of Caleb trying with such willingness and hope….I will never forget those stories. So once again, thank you for letting us in…I love you for it.

  37. Oh Tamara, how much I am fighting back the tears. What a beautiful story, and how eloquent you wrote it. Thank you for sharing. I will be sending your this blog link to my sister in law who just adopted a little girl from China. It’s so sweet to hear your wonderful ending, and yet so sad to see all the children still waiting for homes. I appreciate your photography and telling the story. I will be sure to circulate it. Congratulations and enjoy this amazing time as a family.

  38. Oh Tamara, how much I am fighting back the tears. What a beautiful story, and how eloquent you wrote it. Thank you for sharing. I will be sending your this blog link to my sister in law who just adopted a little girl from China. It’s so sweet to hear your wonderful ending, and yet so sad to see all the children still waiting for homes. I appreciate your photography and telling the story. I will be sure to circulate it. Congratulations and enjoy this amazing time as a family.

  39. Tina says:

    Hi Tamara! I am so amazed by your story. Truly beautiful…I could not help my tears of joy for you and your family. You are such an inspiration on how our world would be such a peaceful place, because all we really need is love. I love that last picture of the kids. I will pray for you to have a safe and easy trip back home.

  40. Tina says:

    Hi Tamara! I am so amazed by your story. Truly beautiful…I could not help my tears of joy for you and your family. You are such an inspiration on how our world would be such a peaceful place, because all we really need is love. I love that last picture of the kids. I will pray for you to have a safe and easy trip back home.

  41. casey says:

    Beautiful. Just… wow. Thank you for sharing your story. And welcome little Ana Elisa!

  42. casey says:

    Beautiful. Just… wow. Thank you for sharing your story. And welcome little Ana Elisa!

  43. Dana F says:

    Oh – my heart swells with happiness for your beautiful new family! The stories you share of your three children discovering each other, comforting one another and caring for one another overwhelm me with joyful tears.

    Yours is a family that embodies grace, Tamara. Thank you for sharing so eloquently your journey with us.

  44. Dana F says:

    Oh – my heart swells with happiness for your beautiful new family! The stories you share of your three children discovering each other, comforting one another and caring for one another overwhelm me with joyful tears.

    Yours is a family that embodies grace, Tamara. Thank you for sharing so eloquently your journey with us.

  45. Jessica says:

    What a fairy tale unfolded. Such an amazing story. I feel so blessed for just having the chance to see into the fullness of your life at this moment. Thanks for sharing.

  46. Jessica says:

    What a fairy tale unfolded. Such an amazing story. I feel so blessed for just having the chance to see into the fullness of your life at this moment. Thanks for sharing.

  47. Jessica says:

    Tamara, I am so grateful that you shared a glimpse of your life and your family with us. That last picture is priceless…

  48. Jessica says:

    Tamara, I am so grateful that you shared a glimpse of your life and your family with us. That last picture is priceless…

  49. Tira J says:

    I started crying at the first picture and don’t have any tears left. You have a special place in my heart Tamara, even though I have never met you. Because you understand, love, respect, cherish the gift of adoption. Thank you for sharing this wonderful story. I think this should be your next book.

  50. Tira J says:

    I started crying at the first picture and don’t have any tears left. You have a special place in my heart Tamara, even though I have never met you. Because you understand, love, respect, cherish the gift of adoption. Thank you for sharing this wonderful story. I think this should be your next book.

  51. erin says:

    I don’t even know you or your sweet babies but I sit here teary eyed by the sheer magnitude of your love and their love for one another…so beautiful. It breaks my heart to see these children in cribs for that many hours a day..I can’t imagine. I want to help, just don’t know what to do or where to start. God Bless you and thank you so much for sharing your story and your beautiful children.

  52. erin says:

    I don’t even know you or your sweet babies but I sit here teary eyed by the sheer magnitude of your love and their love for one another…so beautiful. It breaks my heart to see these children in cribs for that many hours a day..I can’t imagine. I want to help, just don’t know what to do or where to start. God Bless you and thank you so much for sharing your story and your beautiful children.

  53. ratna says:

    Can I ask a rather silly question? How did you or Steve find the time to take photograph during this highly-emotional & physical moments? I have 2 children and when I play I cannot take photo and vice versa. Seriously, how do you do it? May I tell you that you are my idol and my inspiration: in photography and life in general. Really!

  54. ratna says:

    Can I ask a rather silly question? How did you or Steve find the time to take photograph during this highly-emotional & physical moments? I have 2 children and when I play I cannot take photo and vice versa. Seriously, how do you do it? May I tell you that you are my idol and my inspiration: in photography and life in general. Really!

  55. julie says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful story. You are as talented a writer as you are a photographer, and I have enjoyed following your family’s journey in words and pictures. Congratulations.

  56. julie says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful story. You are as talented a writer as you are a photographer, and I have enjoyed following your family’s journey in words and pictures. Congratulations.

  57. Wow, what a moving and inspiring story! I really feel the love in your beautiful family. I can’t wait to hear more stories about Ana Elisa and see more photos. She is gorgeous!

  58. Wow, what a moving and inspiring story! I really feel the love in your beautiful family. I can’t wait to hear more stories about Ana Elisa and see more photos. She is gorgeous!

  59. Penny Noell says:

    Many congratulations, she’s beautiful in every way. Your eloquent writing has once again moved me to tears. I’m so happy for you and your family. Blessings on you all and thank you again for letting us share in your journey. Welcome Home!

  60. Penny Noell says:

    Many congratulations, she’s beautiful in every way. Your eloquent writing has once again moved me to tears. I’m so happy for you and your family. Blessings on you all and thank you again for letting us share in your journey. Welcome Home!

  61. Patti says:

    Tamara! I think I will be back to read this post a dozen times. I’m so inspired by you… and that last photograph might now be MY favorite of all time as well. šŸ™‚ šŸ™‚

  62. Patti says:

    Tamara! I think I will be back to read this post a dozen times. I’m so inspired by you… and that last photograph might now be MY favorite of all time as well. šŸ™‚ šŸ™‚

  63. Chung Nguyen says:

    Your family is adorable. (:

  64. Chung Nguyen says:

    Your family is adorable. (:

  65. kaitlin rogers says:

    No words. I really have no adequate words, and yet I feel so compelled to write something in response to that powerful, heartwarming, encouraging, emotional, and wholly inspiration post. You have so moved me, and now my heart is about to burst out of my chest. And how perfect that in your last picture, your favorite picture of all time, Sophie?s shirt reads, ?love.? I am so blessed to know you and your unbelievably special family. Thank you.

  66. kaitlin rogers says:

    No words. I really have no adequate words, and yet I feel so compelled to write something in response to that powerful, heartwarming, encouraging, emotional, and wholly inspiration post. You have so moved me, and now my heart is about to burst out of my chest. And how perfect that in your last picture, your favorite picture of all time, Sophie?s shirt reads, ?love.? I am so blessed to know you and your unbelievably special family. Thank you.

  67. deb says:

    Tamara,
    The story and the kids are both beautiful. It brought tears to my eyes. Ana elisa is so very lucky.

  68. deb says:

    Tamara,
    The story and the kids are both beautiful. It brought tears to my eyes. Ana elisa is so very lucky.

  69. Kristina Gordon says:

    Wow, I am speechless! and a little teary eyed. Congratulations.

  70. Kristina Gordon says:

    Wow, I am speechless! and a little teary eyed. Congratulations.

  71. shawna says:

    wow, wow, wow. you have me in tears. such a beautiful girl, and the happiness surrounding each of you is so apparent. and the pictures of ecuador. i just want to scoop each of those kids up and take them home to hug them all day. i hope you will all get to visit those beautiful mountains again so ana elisa can remember. wow, just wow. thank you for taking the time to share when you have already given so much.

  72. shawna says:

    wow, wow, wow. you have me in tears. such a beautiful girl, and the happiness surrounding each of you is so apparent. and the pictures of ecuador. i just want to scoop each of those kids up and take them home to hug them all day. i hope you will all get to visit those beautiful mountains again so ana elisa can remember. wow, just wow. thank you for taking the time to share when you have already given so much.

  73. Mom says:

    You tell your story so well, my friend. I’m so proud of you.

  74. Mom says:

    You tell your story so well, my friend. I’m so proud of you.

  75. you dont know me, but my sister Lisa worked in that orphanage about 2 years ago and came to love this little girl. She married when she got home and they went down there to adopt her, but couldnt because of their age or something-cant remember the particulars. I’m not sure how she came across your blog, but she forwarded it to all of her family. The photos are SO adorable and your narration so touching you had me in tears. If I was as happy for her as I was, I know my sister Lisa is much more! Thank God there are kind people out there, like you and your husband, willing to open their homes and their hearts to these precious children. Anyway, I just thought I would add a comment, this blog really touched my sould this morning, I can hardly see the screen through the tears (happy ones!:)
    Kristy

  76. you dont know me, but my sister Lisa worked in that orphanage about 2 years ago and came to love this little girl. She married when she got home and they went down there to adopt her, but couldnt because of their age or something-cant remember the particulars. I’m not sure how she came across your blog, but she forwarded it to all of her family. The photos are SO adorable and your narration so touching you had me in tears. If I was as happy for her as I was, I know my sister Lisa is much more! Thank God there are kind people out there, like you and your husband, willing to open their homes and their hearts to these precious children. Anyway, I just thought I would add a comment, this blog really touched my sould this morning, I can hardly see the screen through the tears (happy ones!:)
    Kristy

  77. Lora Carr says:

    Tamara – A beautiful story with amazing images. I’ve followed your story and was thrilled to finally see images of your adorable Ana Elisa. She is a very lucky girl.

    You have most of the blog world in tears and we wish you unending love and happiness with your new family.

  78. Lora Carr says:

    Tamara – A beautiful story with amazing images. I’ve followed your story and was thrilled to finally see images of your adorable Ana Elisa. She is a very lucky girl.

    You have most of the blog world in tears and we wish you unending love and happiness with your new family.

  79. Lú Guimarães says:

    What a beautiful story, congratulations Tamara and God bless you and your beutiful family!!!!

  80. Lú Guimarães says:

    What a beautiful story, congratulations Tamara and God bless you and your beutiful family!!!!

  81. Rachel Garrison says:

    That last photograph is Perfection. I am so blessed to be your friend and so privileged to witness the love of your beautiful family on an almost-daily basis. The pride I feel in reading this rivals the pride I felt on November 4th–quite a feat! Much, much love and hurry back!

  82. Rachel Garrison says:

    That last photograph is Perfection. I am so blessed to be your friend and so privileged to witness the love of your beautiful family on an almost-daily basis. The pride I feel in reading this rivals the pride I felt on November 4th–quite a feat! Much, much love and hurry back!

  83. Mary Beth says:

    Oh Tamara – I’m so happy for your family and especially for Ana Elisa. For her to have your photographs and your words and always know how quickly and powerfully she was and is loved is a beautiful. Thank you for my morning tears.

  84. Mary Beth says:

    Oh Tamara – I’m so happy for your family and especially for Ana Elisa. For her to have your photographs and your words and always know how quickly and powerfully she was and is loved is a beautiful. Thank you for my morning tears.

  85. Taschia says:

    one more home…149,999,999 to go…I am thrilled for your family!

  86. Taschia says:

    one more home…149,999,999 to go…I am thrilled for your family!

  87. Megan says:

    Tamara, I’m sure you’ve been through tons of ups and downs since you mentioned in our Learnfest workshop that you were going through another adoption. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story with us. Congratulations on your new addition. She’s is precious. All 3 of your children are! Safe travels on your way home!

  88. Megan says:

    Tamara, I’m sure you’ve been through tons of ups and downs since you mentioned in our Learnfest workshop that you were going through another adoption. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story with us. Congratulations on your new addition. She’s is precious. All 3 of your children are! Safe travels on your way home!

  89. Season says:

    Oh wow, I could barely make it through this post. Congratulations to you and your beautiful family. Amazing.

  90. Season says:

    Oh wow, I could barely make it through this post. Congratulations to you and your beautiful family. Amazing.

  91. Anna Routh says:

    Wow! This is amazing. I’m so happy for your family, and I hope I’ll get to meet Ana Elisa one day!

  92. Anna Routh says:

    Wow! This is amazing. I’m so happy for your family, and I hope I’ll get to meet Ana Elisa one day!

  93. porter says:

    wow…

    beautiful…

    simple, beautiful love…

  94. porter says:

    wow…

    beautiful…

    simple, beautiful love…

  95. Jennifer says:

    I haven’t read something as moving and inspirational as this in quite a while. Your family oozes love and devotion to one another. The last photo melted my heart.

  96. Jennifer says:

    I haven’t read something as moving and inspirational as this in quite a while. Your family oozes love and devotion to one another. The last photo melted my heart.

  97. Catherine says:

    I originally lurked on your blog for the beautiful photography. And then your story took this turn and I admit I was hooked. This post has me crying tears of happiness for you all. Congratulations! You have a beautiful family.

  98. Catherine says:

    I originally lurked on your blog for the beautiful photography. And then your story took this turn and I admit I was hooked. This post has me crying tears of happiness for you all. Congratulations! You have a beautiful family.

  99. grace says:

    your favorite photo is mine too. congratulations on the latest addition to your family. what a beautiful, moving story.

  100. grace says:

    your favorite photo is mine too. congratulations on the latest addition to your family. what a beautiful, moving story.

  101. Ana Elisas Daddy says:

    There is nothing that makes me more proud than this gorgeous family – you so beautifully capture the light in all of us and your words are as emotive as the images you share. Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank You (from all of us šŸ™‚

  102. Ana Elisas Daddy says:

    There is nothing that makes me more proud than this gorgeous family – you so beautifully capture the light in all of us and your words are as emotive as the images you share. Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank You (from all of us šŸ™‚

  103. Greg Lee says:

    Congratulations on the addition of your new daughter, and thank you for sharing your story. It (and she) is beautiful.

  104. Greg Lee says:

    Congratulations on the addition of your new daughter, and thank you for sharing your story. It (and she) is beautiful.

  105. Steve says:

    Your words like your images beg me to revisit them – offering something more each time – few things flow through me like the love you share here – a true gift to anyone who choses to listen. So poowerfully beautiful.

  106. Steve says:

    Your words like your images beg me to revisit them – offering something more each time – few things flow through me like the love you share here – a true gift to anyone who choses to listen. So poowerfully beautiful.

  107. best. blogpost. ever! in the history of blogposts…WOW! =)

  108. best. blogpost. ever! in the history of blogposts…WOW! =)

  109. Sarah says:

    I know how lucky and blessed you feel, but wow, is Ana Elisa a lucky lucky girl to have found the most gracious, loving, kind, super fabulous parents one could ever ask for. And on top of that, a wonderfully sweet brother and sister. My heart is so full of pride after reading your blog. I’m so proud to have you as a friend.

  110. Sarah says:

    I know how lucky and blessed you feel, but wow, is Ana Elisa a lucky lucky girl to have found the most gracious, loving, kind, super fabulous parents one could ever ask for. And on top of that, a wonderfully sweet brother and sister. My heart is so full of pride after reading your blog. I’m so proud to have you as a friend.

  111. Patrice says:

    There are not enough adjectives to describe you and your family, my anticipation for your posts feeds my heart with what life is all about. Thank you for reminding me to love and love some more and then some more! I am so honored to have met you at the first Learnfest!!!

  112. Patrice says:

    There are not enough adjectives to describe you and your family, my anticipation for your posts feeds my heart with what life is all about. Thank you for reminding me to love and love some more and then some more! I am so honored to have met you at the first Learnfest!!!

  113. Anna Yu says:

    Congratulations, Tamara! It is truly a beautiful-beautiful beginning, I’m sitting again in tears, but as you say "all-the-way-to-the-bottom-of-my-heart happy" for your family!!! The greatest gift of all…everything what is happening and what lies ahead. This picture of your kids peacefully sleeping/cuddling together simply takes my breath away!

  114. Anna Yu says:

    Congratulations, Tamara! It is truly a beautiful-beautiful beginning, I’m sitting again in tears, but as you say "all-the-way-to-the-bottom-of-my-heart happy" for your family!!! The greatest gift of all…everything what is happening and what lies ahead. This picture of your kids peacefully sleeping/cuddling together simply takes my breath away!

  115. Sally Barbour says:

    I have checked babck frequently to follow along on this amazing journey by your family. When I saw your post last night and every time I have looked at agin since then…I am so moved by the eloquence of your words, the beauty of your family and am just bursting with happiness for Ana Elisa and the rest of the Lackey family. Lots of happy tears too! I must agree that the last picture is perfection…love to you all and safe travels.

  116. Sally Barbour says:

    I have checked babck frequently to follow along on this amazing journey by your family. When I saw your post last night and every time I have looked at agin since then…I am so moved by the eloquence of your words, the beauty of your family and am just bursting with happiness for Ana Elisa and the rest of the Lackey family. Lots of happy tears too! I must agree that the last picture is perfection…love to you all and safe travels.

  117. Big grins, Mommie Tamara. šŸ™‚ What a wonderful heart felt story; and you’re spoiling Ana Elisa already? – Pick any treat you want? Giddy-UP!!! Many congrats. You’re going to have an AMAZING holiday season. šŸ™‚ šŸ™‚ šŸ™‚

  118. Big grins, Mommie Tamara. šŸ™‚ What a wonderful heart felt story; and you’re spoiling Ana Elisa already? – Pick any treat you want? Giddy-UP!!! Many congrats. You’re going to have an AMAZING holiday season. šŸ™‚ šŸ™‚ šŸ™‚

  119. Erica says:

    She is absolutely beautiful. There is something about those big, dark eyes that really draws you to her. Congratulations. I can only imagine how happy you all are.

  120. Erica says:

    She is absolutely beautiful. There is something about those big, dark eyes that really draws you to her. Congratulations. I can only imagine how happy you all are.

  121. chip says:

    OMG!! Tears and wonder and joy are my only comments.

  122. chip says:

    OMG!! Tears and wonder and joy are my only comments.

  123. amy Martin says:

    Beautiful! the pictures the story…alll beautiful. makes me want to take my three spoiled children to Equador and get s couple more šŸ˜‰

  124. amy Martin says:

    Beautiful! the pictures the story…alll beautiful. makes me want to take my three spoiled children to Equador and get s couple more šŸ˜‰

  125. Georgia says:

    Wow.. I am neither a photographer nor an adoptee (or even a parent) but I want to be you when I grow up!

    I stumbled on your blog through my odd love of photography blogs- but I also follow adoption blogs (I know odd..) that I stumbled on through missionary blogs…

    Long story short- I have so loved and appreciated getting the double blessing on your pages. Your photography is breathtaking but this aspect has been even more so.

    I wept through this post. Congratulations. And what a beautiful name she has with her sweet face. Thanks for sharing (and being brave enough to love).

  126. Georgia says:

    Wow.. I am neither a photographer nor an adoptee (or even a parent) but I want to be you when I grow up!

    I stumbled on your blog through my odd love of photography blogs- but I also follow adoption blogs (I know odd..) that I stumbled on through missionary blogs…

    Long story short- I have so loved and appreciated getting the double blessing on your pages. Your photography is breathtaking but this aspect has been even more so.

    I wept through this post. Congratulations. And what a beautiful name she has with her sweet face. Thanks for sharing (and being brave enough to love).

  127. Casey says:

    Tamara and Steve: Wow! There are no words. You have said them all more eloquently than I can imagine. Your children, this incredible family of bright and light, are beautiful. Your newest is just as beautiful , expressive, unique and special as your first two – an exotic blend of happiness and love. This picture of the three of them is magical. Simply magic. Congratulations. We can’t wait to welcome you all back HOME. Ahhh…..
    Joy.

  128. Casey says:

    Tamara and Steve: Wow! There are no words. You have said them all more eloquently than I can imagine. Your children, this incredible family of bright and light, are beautiful. Your newest is just as beautiful , expressive, unique and special as your first two – an exotic blend of happiness and love. This picture of the three of them is magical. Simply magic. Congratulations. We can’t wait to welcome you all back HOME. Ahhh…..
    Joy.

  129. Courtney Gray says:

    I have read this over and over… glanced through the photos again and again… trying to sum up all my emotions… I just feel blessed and proud to know you Tamara. I cannot wait to see Sophie, Caleb, and Ana Elisa in action. šŸ™‚ Congrats to you and Steve!

  130. Courtney Gray says:

    I have read this over and over… glanced through the photos again and again… trying to sum up all my emotions… I just feel blessed and proud to know you Tamara. I cannot wait to see Sophie, Caleb, and Ana Elisa in action. šŸ™‚ Congrats to you and Steve!

  131. barbara says:

    Now that I am done weeping, I can only say once again…congratulations. I am so incredibly happy for you. This was a beautiful journey and I thank you for sharing it with all of us. Can’t wait to see you. Hugs to everyone.

  132. barbara says:

    Now that I am done weeping, I can only say once again…congratulations. I am so incredibly happy for you. This was a beautiful journey and I thank you for sharing it with all of us. Can’t wait to see you. Hugs to everyone.

  133. Brandy, Fabio and kiddos says:

    Welcome home. All our love to you!

  134. Brandy, Fabio and kiddos says:

    Welcome home. All our love to you!

  135. Jen MacNiven says:

    I’ve met you once and I’m honored to ‘know’ so much about you, your family and the amazing people you all are! I’m so happy for you all and God is certainly shining down upon you! BEAUTIFULLY written, Beautiful story, Beautiful Life and such beautiful children!
    Congratulations and welcome back to a new a fabulous life!

  136. Jen MacNiven says:

    I’ve met you once and I’m honored to ‘know’ so much about you, your family and the amazing people you all are! I’m so happy for you all and God is certainly shining down upon you! BEAUTIFULLY written, Beautiful story, Beautiful Life and such beautiful children!
    Congratulations and welcome back to a new a fabulous life!

  137. Jen MacNiven says:

    The last picture…’your favorite’…is breathtaking and I’m completely drawn to every angle, hand hold and that Sophie’s shirt is the middle of the picture, expressing LOVE! It’s Perfect!

  138. Jen MacNiven says:

    The last picture…’your favorite’…is breathtaking and I’m completely drawn to every angle, hand hold and that Sophie’s shirt is the middle of the picture, expressing LOVE! It’s Perfect!

  139. Steve T says:

    Oh Tamara, you and Steve are so fortunate as are your children. Thank you for sharing your personal struggles/stories with us and for making us realize what life can and should be…..congratualtions on the completion of your journey….and the start of your new life as a family. What a great life it is!

  140. Steve T says:

    Oh Tamara, you and Steve are so fortunate as are your children. Thank you for sharing your personal struggles/stories with us and for making us realize what life can and should be…..congratualtions on the completion of your journey….and the start of your new life as a family. What a great life it is!

  141. Rebecca Timberlake says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. It is both inspiring and humbling. I so admire you for taking on the greatest challenge and the greatest blessing that life can offer…motherhood. Your photographs are breathtaking. I have always had a heart for orphans and hope to someday adopt as many as I can and your photos have only served to make that desire stronger. Thank you for sharing your heart, your family, and your photos with all of us.

  142. Rebecca Timberlake says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. It is both inspiring and humbling. I so admire you for taking on the greatest challenge and the greatest blessing that life can offer…motherhood. Your photographs are breathtaking. I have always had a heart for orphans and hope to someday adopt as many as I can and your photos have only served to make that desire stronger. Thank you for sharing your heart, your family, and your photos with all of us.

  143. Congratulations Tamara!! I’m sure you are overwhelmed with JOY!! Welcome to motherhood!

  144. Congratulations Tamara!! I’m sure you are overwhelmed with JOY!! Welcome to motherhood!

  145. Kim Shaw says:

    If everyone in the world could know the kind of love and appreciation and joy that you find every day, there would never again be a war or a harsh word said. Please publish that whole piece somewhere so I can buy a hundred copies and send them to everyone I know. You are an amazing woman, Tamara. Keep up the beautiful job!

  146. Kim Shaw says:

    If everyone in the world could know the kind of love and appreciation and joy that you find every day, there would never again be a war or a harsh word said. Please publish that whole piece somewhere so I can buy a hundred copies and send them to everyone I know. You are an amazing woman, Tamara. Keep up the beautiful job!

  147. Anna Wallis says:

    You have captured the essence of motherhood and family to a "T". I wish you could join us when we get our little one to capture it in these amazing ways. So happy for you and your family to have found each other! Anna

  148. Anna Wallis says:

    You have captured the essence of motherhood and family to a "T". I wish you could join us when we get our little one to capture it in these amazing ways. So happy for you and your family to have found each other! Anna

  149. Stacy says:

    What a blessing for Ana Elisa to have found her family! I worked in the orphanage two years ago with little Ana, and she is a precious spirit! I know Lisa will have more photos than I do, but if you would like, we can pull some photos together that the volunteers took from when Ana was a baby and send them to you! Congratulations on your newest addition, and may God bless you!

  150. Stacy says:

    What a blessing for Ana Elisa to have found her family! I worked in the orphanage two years ago with little Ana, and she is a precious spirit! I know Lisa will have more photos than I do, but if you would like, we can pull some photos together that the volunteers took from when Ana was a baby and send them to you! Congratulations on your newest addition, and may God bless you!

  151. Stephanie says:

    Congratulations on your beautiful, beautiful daughter and family! Adoption is very near and dear to our heart (we are working on numbers 4 &5 from Haiti) as is Latin America (we live in Chile.) God bless!

  152. Stephanie says:

    Congratulations on your beautiful, beautiful daughter and family! Adoption is very near and dear to our heart (we are working on numbers 4 &5 from Haiti) as is Latin America (we live in Chile.) God bless!

  153. Joy Nudd says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful post and family! What a wonderful gift and you are so blessed!
    The last photo says it all.

  154. Joy Nudd says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful post and family! What a wonderful gift and you are so blessed!
    The last photo says it all.

  155. laura whayne says:

    Tears. Tears. Tears. 3 times the joy! This, too, my favorite photograph. Can’t wait to see YOU ALL!

  156. laura whayne says:

    Tears. Tears. Tears. 3 times the joy! This, too, my favorite photograph. Can’t wait to see YOU ALL!

  157. Tamara says:

    We are home now and I am weepy myself, all these gorgeous notes. Such sweetness, this world šŸ™‚

  158. Tamara says:

    We are home now and I am weepy myself, all these gorgeous notes. Such sweetness, this world šŸ™‚

  159. Sandra Lemin says:

    What an amazing story! You both are so very lucky for finding each other what an incredible life you have in front of you.
    sandra

  160. Sandra Lemin says:

    What an amazing story! You both are so very lucky for finding each other what an incredible life you have in front of you.
    sandra

  161. This was one of the most amazing stories. I cried as I read it and took in each of the beautiful pictures of your babies. My heart is so full and I am sure that I will read this again today and cry some more. Babies are truly a gift from God, but your story shows me how you are truly a gift to your children. Thank you so much for sharing this. Love & Soul Always, Kay

  162. This was one of the most amazing stories. I cried as I read it and took in each of the beautiful pictures of your babies. My heart is so full and I am sure that I will read this again today and cry some more. Babies are truly a gift from God, but your story shows me how you are truly a gift to your children. Thank you so much for sharing this. Love & Soul Always, Kay

  163. Wow. This story was so amazingly well told it brought tears to my eyes – what a journey! Congratulations to you and your family for opening up your hearts to this lovely little girl.

  164. Wow. This story was so amazingly well told it brought tears to my eyes – what a journey! Congratulations to you and your family for opening up your hearts to this lovely little girl.

  165. Seshu says:

    I am in awe of all that you are for everyone around you. Thank you for this amazing story. I will be sharing it with my wife.

  166. Seshu says:

    I am in awe of all that you are for everyone around you. Thank you for this amazing story. I will be sharing it with my wife.

  167. Sandra C says:

    I was so moved by your journey. Thank you for sharing your experience and your beautiful images. I wish you great happiness as you get to know your newest daughter. All the best.

  168. Sandra C says:

    I was so moved by your journey. Thank you for sharing your experience and your beautiful images. I wish you great happiness as you get to know your newest daughter. All the best.

  169. Suzanne Lyon says:

    Yay – one more home!! I’m beyond happy for all of you, but most especially for Ana Elisa. Gorgeous photos, as always, especially that last one. I’ve loved reading your blog, it brought back amazing memories of our journey 15 months ago. Thanks for letting us tag along, and best of luck as you settle back into real life.
    Suzanne and Hernan in Ottawa

  170. Suzanne Lyon says:

    Yay – one more home!! I’m beyond happy for all of you, but most especially for Ana Elisa. Gorgeous photos, as always, especially that last one. I’ve loved reading your blog, it brought back amazing memories of our journey 15 months ago. Thanks for letting us tag along, and best of luck as you settle back into real life.
    Suzanne and Hernan in Ottawa

  171. Jane says:

    Tamara, I am just so overwhelmed by you and your family, and I am so happy for you! How very lucky you all are to have found each other. Congratulations and love to all of you!

  172. Jane says:

    Tamara, I am just so overwhelmed by you and your family, and I am so happy for you! How very lucky you all are to have found each other. Congratulations and love to all of you!

  173. Renee says:

    I absolutely love this image. She is beautiful and so are your other two. I am enjoying your book and am so happy for you!

    Best wishes to all of you,
    an Image X-er, an adoptee and an aunt of 4 adopted beauties.

  174. Renee says:

    I absolutely love this image. She is beautiful and so are your other two. I am enjoying your book and am so happy for you!

    Best wishes to all of you,
    an Image X-er, an adoptee and an aunt of 4 adopted beauties.

  175. Simply beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing your story. What a blessing you are to the world.

  176. Simply beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing your story. What a blessing you are to the world.

  177. Glotisq says:

    Fantastic. I just returned from volunteering at an orphanage in Honduras with slightly better cribs. Your story resonates and is filled with beauty, love and hope. May all your family’s dreams come true.

  178. Glotisq says:

    Fantastic. I just returned from volunteering at an orphanage in Honduras with slightly better cribs. Your story resonates and is filled with beauty, love and hope. May all your family’s dreams come true.

  179. Kelli Taylor says:

    WOW! You are such a beautiful, strong and lucky family! Just wow!

  180. Kelli Taylor says:

    WOW! You are such a beautiful, strong and lucky family! Just wow!

  181. Leah says:

    What a beautiful story. Thank you so much for sharing. (I’m sitting here in my office, trying not to let too many tears spill.)

  182. Leah says:

    What a beautiful story. Thank you so much for sharing. (I’m sitting here in my office, trying not to let too many tears spill.)

  183. Treacy Mize says:

    Speachless and weeping…

  184. Treacy Mize says:

    Speachless and weeping…

  185. Jennifer says:

    OMG – your story just moved me to tears! How wonderfully exciting! Thank you for sharing in such great depth and emotion.

  186. Jennifer says:

    OMG – your story just moved me to tears! How wonderfully exciting! Thank you for sharing in such great depth and emotion.

  187. Jen Roberts says:

    What an amazing story. My heart & eyes are full as I finish reading & looking at these lovely images. That last one is so gloriously breathtaking. Congratulations to you on your new addition to your family. She is absolutely beautiful.

  188. Jen Roberts says:

    What an amazing story. My heart & eyes are full as I finish reading & looking at these lovely images. That last one is so gloriously breathtaking. Congratulations to you on your new addition to your family. She is absolutely beautiful.

  189. Keely says:

    Wow, that story… your family is just so beautiful and strong and giving. Despite being connected to an adoption story that was not-so-great, you and your family give me hope for how well adoption can work out. Thank you.

  190. Keely says:

    Wow, that story… your family is just so beautiful and strong and giving. Despite being connected to an adoption story that was not-so-great, you and your family give me hope for how well adoption can work out. Thank you.

  191. Allison Weber says:

    Wow! As a mom of two I was definitely teary eyed reading your post. I worked with you ages ago in S.F. and even then I was impressed by your passion to enjoy life to it’s fullest. What a great thing to see you put that same passion into your family. Thank you for sharing your life so openly on your blog. Your pictures and words are so moving and inspiring. Best wishes to you and your family!

  192. Allison Weber says:

    Wow! As a mom of two I was definitely teary eyed reading your post. I worked with you ages ago in S.F. and even then I was impressed by your passion to enjoy life to it’s fullest. What a great thing to see you put that same passion into your family. Thank you for sharing your life so openly on your blog. Your pictures and words are so moving and inspiring. Best wishes to you and your family!

  193. Kim Crouch says:

    Wow! Thank you for sharing this beautiful, loving story. You and your family are true inspirations and highlight the human spirit so wonderfully. Congratulations on the new addition to your family!

  194. Kim Crouch says:

    Wow! Thank you for sharing this beautiful, loving story. You and your family are true inspirations and highlight the human spirit so wonderfully. Congratulations on the new addition to your family!

  195. Iana says:

    Tamara, I’m from Brazil and I just love your blog. I came here every single day to see your pictures and read your stories. How sweet. How incredible family. Today I cried and I needed to say how wonderful heart you have.

    Blessings from Brazil. šŸ˜‰

  196. Iana says:

    Tamara, I’m from Brazil and I just love your blog. I came here every single day to see your pictures and read your stories. How sweet. How incredible family. Today I cried and I needed to say how wonderful heart you have.

    Blessings from Brazil. šŸ˜‰

  197. alice park says:

    tamara, we are soooo unbelievably happy for you and your family. i’ve read and re-read your coming home story about 4 times now. such beautiful emotion and love… ana elisa is just. so. perfect!

  198. alice park says:

    tamara, we are soooo unbelievably happy for you and your family. i’ve read and re-read your coming home story about 4 times now. such beautiful emotion and love… ana elisa is just. so. perfect!

  199. Kis Kent says:

    I am in tears crying with oy for your happiness and the beautiful family you have. You are an inspiring writer and while
    I was reading your story it reminded me of my days in Ecuador 2005 adopting Cristian Alejandro Kent from for his Children orphanage. My mother is in Ecuador now coming home 12/22. She is enoying all the sites. Thank you for sharing your pictures.
    I wish you lived closer as
    I love your photography work Kris Kent

  200. Kis Kent says:

    I am in tears crying with oy for your happiness and the beautiful family you have. You are an inspiring writer and while
    I was reading your story it reminded me of my days in Ecuador 2005 adopting Cristian Alejandro Kent from for his Children orphanage. My mother is in Ecuador now coming home 12/22. She is enoying all the sites. Thank you for sharing your pictures.
    I wish you lived closer as
    I love your photography work Kris Kent

  201. For the story – in both pictures and word – you just shared, I thank you. Every momma in the world must know a little of what you felt at that moment. Congratulations to you ALL for finding each other. *gonna go be girly-weepy and hold my kids a while*
    šŸ™‚

  202. For the story – in both pictures and word – you just shared, I thank you. Every momma in the world must know a little of what you felt at that moment. Congratulations to you ALL for finding each other. *gonna go be girly-weepy and hold my kids a while*
    šŸ™‚

  203. Meredith Parnell says:

    Wow! I’m pretty much speechless right now! Congratulations to your family! Isn’t it perfect that Sophie’s shirt says ‘love’ in the photograph!

  204. Meredith Parnell says:

    Wow! I’m pretty much speechless right now! Congratulations to your family! Isn’t it perfect that Sophie’s shirt says ‘love’ in the photograph!

  205. Sally says:

    amazing…your family is beautiful. your ability to capture and convey the experience is so special. thank you for sharing. šŸ™‚

  206. Sally says:

    amazing…your family is beautiful. your ability to capture and convey the experience is so special. thank you for sharing. šŸ™‚

  207. Wow. I was moved to tears reading this and seeing the photos. I’ve wanted to learn more about adoption since I know so little about it, and just this simple blog post really opened my eyes. Thank you for sharing. I’ve really enjoyed seeing your work since I discovered it this past year, and now I see that it’s the person behind the work that is so beautiful! Pretty amazing…I look forward to meeting you at DWF.

  208. Wow. I was moved to tears reading this and seeing the photos. I’ve wanted to learn more about adoption since I know so little about it, and just this simple blog post really opened my eyes. Thank you for sharing. I’ve really enjoyed seeing your work since I discovered it this past year, and now I see that it’s the person behind the work that is so beautiful! Pretty amazing…I look forward to meeting you at DWF.

  209. Brandy says:

    You know I cry at your blog more than anything else in the whole world? Good tears though. She’s beautiful, and your entire family is just too super for words.

  210. Brandy says:

    You know I cry at your blog more than anything else in the whole world? Good tears though. She’s beautiful, and your entire family is just too super for words.

  211. Angie Baxter says:

    I think your "fave photo of all time" could easily be my fave photo of all time. You are all so overwhelmingly full of love. An adventure I love reading about. Thanks for such happiness šŸ™‚ x

  212. Angie Baxter says:

    I think your "fave photo of all time" could easily be my fave photo of all time. You are all so overwhelmingly full of love. An adventure I love reading about. Thanks for such happiness šŸ™‚ x

  213. Congratulations Tamara on enduring such an emotional roller coaster you’re inspirational! I Love love love the photo of your 3 kids all snugged up in the car. God has truly blessed you with a wonderful family and caring heart. Thanks so much for sharing! Cheerio Mimika

  214. Congratulations Tamara on enduring such an emotional roller coaster you’re inspirational! I Love love love the photo of your 3 kids all snugged up in the car. God has truly blessed you with a wonderful family and caring heart. Thanks so much for sharing! Cheerio Mimika

  215. amanda padgham says:

    I am so overcome with emotion after reading this. You epitomize the meaning of human kindness and I am again humbled and honored to have met you. Please know that through your words and actions you have changed the lives of so many others, including me. Enjoy your precious family:-)

  216. amanda padgham says:

    I am so overcome with emotion after reading this. You epitomize the meaning of human kindness and I am again humbled and honored to have met you. Please know that through your words and actions you have changed the lives of so many others, including me. Enjoy your precious family:-)

  217. Christina says:

    What an amazing, inspirational story. I read this with my daughter as she sat on my lap, and when i scrolled down to the photos, she shouted "Dora!" This is a big compliment in her two year old world. šŸ™‚

  218. Christina says:

    What an amazing, inspirational story. I read this with my daughter as she sat on my lap, and when i scrolled down to the photos, she shouted "Dora!" This is a big compliment in her two year old world. šŸ™‚

  219. shara lana says:

    Beautiful she is indeed! Your whole family is just precious. It is wonderful to witness such LOVE. That image is PRICELESS!!! May God continue to Bless You and Yours.

  220. shara lana says:

    Beautiful she is indeed! Your whole family is just precious. It is wonderful to witness such LOVE. That image is PRICELESS!!! May God continue to Bless You and Yours.

  221. susie belsinger says:

    beautiful photos and a beautiful story. congratulations to you and your family

  222. susie belsinger says:

    beautiful photos and a beautiful story. congratulations to you and your family

  223. val ayres says:

    I am completely in awe of you family.
    this post got me all teared up.
    I am a mother of 3, and the 2 photographs show on your post pretty much says all about our day by day…
    so much love, so much trouble.
    I wish you and you beautiful family all the happiness in the world from the bottom of my heart.

    val

  224. val ayres says:

    I am completely in awe of you family.
    this post got me all teared up.
    I am a mother of 3, and the 2 photographs show on your post pretty much says all about our day by day…
    so much love, so much trouble.
    I wish you and you beautiful family all the happiness in the world from the bottom of my heart.

    val

  225. Tanya says:

    So incredibly precious! Thank you for sharing!
    T

  226. Tanya says:

    So incredibly precious! Thank you for sharing!
    T

  227. Adrienne says:

    This is such an amazing, beautiful, inspiring story. I was in tears by the end. That last photo is especially stunning. Thank you so much for sharing and congratulations!!

  228. Adrienne says:

    This is such an amazing, beautiful, inspiring story. I was in tears by the end. That last photo is especially stunning. Thank you so much for sharing and congratulations!!

  229. Leah Bowman says:

    Oh Tamara! She is so beautiful!!! I’m sure the love and freedom she has just being part of your family is not lost on her, even at the tender age of 3! Thank you so much for allowing us to watch this life-changing transition in your family. I’m so looking forward to many more pictures of your baby girl! ((HUGS))

  230. Leah Bowman says:

    Oh Tamara! She is so beautiful!!! I’m sure the love and freedom she has just being part of your family is not lost on her, even at the tender age of 3! Thank you so much for allowing us to watch this life-changing transition in your family. I’m so looking forward to many more pictures of your baby girl! ((HUGS))

  231. ~ Sue-Leigh says:

    what a Beautiful family, congratulations!!

  232. ~ Sue-Leigh says:

    what a Beautiful family, congratulations!!

  233. Claudia says:

    This is so inspirational. To have two kids and have the open heart to accept one more. I wish more people in the world had your compassion for others. I am also thinking about adopting kids. That has always been something I wanted to do. I am do glad that this trend is growing. There are so many children out there who need loving parents. Thanks for sharing your story.

  234. Claudia says:

    This is so inspirational. To have two kids and have the open heart to accept one more. I wish more people in the world had your compassion for others. I am also thinking about adopting kids. That has always been something I wanted to do. I am do glad that this trend is growing. There are so many children out there who need loving parents. Thanks for sharing your story.

  235. Kate Rose says:

    Hi Tamara,
    My comment didn’t go through, but that’s ok because it probably was illegible through the tears. This post, your story, who you guys are as a family, is so moving and inspiring. And these images are just the most beautiful…what a perfect reflection. Hope our paths cross again in the future.

  236. Kate Rose says:

    Hi Tamara,
    My comment didn’t go through, but that’s ok because it probably was illegible through the tears. This post, your story, who you guys are as a family, is so moving and inspiring. And these images are just the most beautiful…what a perfect reflection. Hope our paths cross again in the future.

  237. Dilip Barman says:

    What a touching story. That’s actually superflous as your stories always seem to be so touching. But what a special life-changing one. Wow. I can’t wait till I’m privileged to meet Ana Elisa — she seems to be such a cute spark and gem of a kid!! Congratulations!

  238. Dilip Barman says:

    What a touching story. That’s actually superflous as your stories always seem to be so touching. But what a special life-changing one. Wow. I can’t wait till I’m privileged to meet Ana Elisa — she seems to be such a cute spark and gem of a kid!! Congratulations!

  239. Oh my, Tamara!!!! It was so wonderful reading this and sharing the moments… I am so touched right now and so elated for you! I know your family is feeling the biggest joy EVER!!!!!

  240. Oh my, Tamara!!!! It was so wonderful reading this and sharing the moments… I am so touched right now and so elated for you! I know your family is feeling the biggest joy EVER!!!!!

  241. James + Meridith says:

    We are so happy for you!! Thank you for sharing this amazing, inspiring journey. We can’t wait to meet Ana Elisa in person.

  242. James + Meridith says:

    We are so happy for you!! Thank you for sharing this amazing, inspiring journey. We can’t wait to meet Ana Elisa in person.

  243. porter says:

    just had to come back and see that last pic, Tamara…

    Best wishes to you, Steve & the kids!

  244. porter says:

    just had to come back and see that last pic, Tamara…

    Best wishes to you, Steve & the kids!

  245. Kimberly says:

    I am so happy to see Ana Elisa with such a wonderful family. I was a volunteer through OSSO this past Spring at the orphanage where Ana Elisa came from. She is such a sweet girl and she is so loving. God Bless you and you family šŸ™‚

  246. Kimberly says:

    I am so happy to see Ana Elisa with such a wonderful family. I was a volunteer through OSSO this past Spring at the orphanage where Ana Elisa came from. She is such a sweet girl and she is so loving. God Bless you and you family šŸ™‚

  247. Stacy says:

    WHAT a blessing! I know that you and your family will have the best Christmas EVER!!! I can’t wait to mee you hun you are a very very special person! My God bless your family this year and each and every year to come! WOW…ok off to clean up my tears….

  248. Stacy says:

    WHAT a blessing! I know that you and your family will have the best Christmas EVER!!! I can’t wait to mee you hun you are a very very special person! My God bless your family this year and each and every year to come! WOW…ok off to clean up my tears….

  249. Jason Kovacs says:

    Your family is beautiful – a small picture of heaven! Thank you for sharing your heart and thoughts on your adoption. Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. My wife and I are parents to three adopted children and one biological child.
    God’s richest blessings!

  250. Jason Kovacs says:

    Your family is beautiful – a small picture of heaven! Thank you for sharing your heart and thoughts on your adoption. Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. My wife and I are parents to three adopted children and one biological child.
    God’s richest blessings!

  251. Mag says:

    you have such a beautiful family and you are truely super-mom. congrats on the adoption and for being such a wonderful inspiration.

  252. Mag says:

    you have such a beautiful family and you are truely super-mom. congrats on the adoption and for being such a wonderful inspiration.

  253. I can barely see to write through my tears. You have just filled me with love, hope, gratitude and awe! What you have given these children is a gift more precious than words, but how you perceive them, how you marvel at them and appreciate it all is only something a mother can understand and not all can ever experience it to the depth you so obviously do. From one blessed mother who takes not a moment for granted to another I say we are very lucky ladies indeed.

  254. I can barely see to write through my tears. You have just filled me with love, hope, gratitude and awe! What you have given these children is a gift more precious than words, but how you perceive them, how you marvel at them and appreciate it all is only something a mother can understand and not all can ever experience it to the depth you so obviously do. From one blessed mother who takes not a moment for granted to another I say we are very lucky ladies indeed.

  255. Allegra says:

    Tamara, how beautifully written. What an incredible experience all around. What a joyful gift of a child, especially at this time of year. :0

  256. Allegra says:

    Tamara, how beautifully written. What an incredible experience all around. What a joyful gift of a child, especially at this time of year. :0

  257. WOW! What an incredible story and you are so vulnerable in your writing. Thank you for sharing your experience so openly, its beautiful.

    This all seems so familiar. I went through an adoption with my closest friends very recently. We have had her in our arms and as a part of our family for a little over a year now and this reminds me of the first time I got to meet her. the stories seem so familiar as well – she came into a family of five from Guatemala with broken english.

    Anyways, Congratulations! This was an amazing story and the photos are beautiful!

  258. WOW! What an incredible story and you are so vulnerable in your writing. Thank you for sharing your experience so openly, its beautiful.

    This all seems so familiar. I went through an adoption with my closest friends very recently. We have had her in our arms and as a part of our family for a little over a year now and this reminds me of the first time I got to meet her. the stories seem so familiar as well – she came into a family of five from Guatemala with broken english.

    Anyways, Congratulations! This was an amazing story and the photos are beautiful!

  259. Aunt Mimi and Charlie says:

    Dearest Tamara, Steve, Sophie, Caleb, Ana Elisa, Glory, and Kitty Cat — Your long journey was so beautifully and so sensitively chronicled. While traveling along through your six week adventure, tears of joy fell in the wonderous confirmation of your courage, your integrity, your selflessness, your generosity, and your great capacity to love. We are so proud of you all. We can’t wait to meet our newest niece and to introduce her, and all of you, to our newest Newman family member, Master Jack Patrick.

    With much love and great admiration,

    Mimi and Charlie

  260. Aunt Mimi and Charlie says:

    Dearest Tamara, Steve, Sophie, Caleb, Ana Elisa, Glory, and Kitty Cat — Your long journey was so beautifully and so sensitively chronicled. While traveling along through your six week adventure, tears of joy fell in the wonderous confirmation of your courage, your integrity, your selflessness, your generosity, and your great capacity to love. We are so proud of you all. We can’t wait to meet our newest niece and to introduce her, and all of you, to our newest Newman family member, Master Jack Patrick.

    With much love and great admiration,

    Mimi and Charlie

  261. Beth says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your journey. What a beautiful family you have! I loved reading the stories of your other two trying to win their new sister over. The last picture is absolute perfection!!

  262. Beth says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your journey. What a beautiful family you have! I loved reading the stories of your other two trying to win their new sister over. The last picture is absolute perfection!!

  263. Shelley says:

    What an amazing story! Thank you so much for sharing it and your beautiful children with all of us! I have often thought of adopting a little girl but money has always held me back. Maybe one day…

  264. Shelley says:

    What an amazing story! Thank you so much for sharing it and your beautiful children with all of us! I have often thought of adopting a little girl but money has always held me back. Maybe one day…

  265. Mark Jacoby says:

    What a lovely child & family. Thanks for sharing.

  266. Mark Jacoby says:

    What a lovely child & family. Thanks for sharing.

  267. Mel says:

    I happened to stumble upon your site and have no idea who you are, but that didn’t stop me from having tears streaming down my face while reading your posts.. You seem like an amazing woman! Congrats and happy holidays!

  268. Mel says:

    I happened to stumble upon your site and have no idea who you are, but that didn’t stop me from having tears streaming down my face while reading your posts.. You seem like an amazing woman! Congrats and happy holidays!

  269. What a beautiful family…what a wonderful blessing to open your site today. Thank you for sharing!

  270. What a beautiful family…what a wonderful blessing to open your site today. Thank you for sharing!

  271. emily says:

    tamara,
    congrats on your gorgeous girl!
    was wondering if you could share your agencies name? we are hoping to start the process for our second adoption and are interested in ecuador, although i cannot find much on it. our first baby, lulu, is from vietnam!
    thanks in advance,
    emily

  272. emily says:

    tamara,
    congrats on your gorgeous girl!
    was wondering if you could share your agencies name? we are hoping to start the process for our second adoption and are interested in ecuador, although i cannot find much on it. our first baby, lulu, is from vietnam!
    thanks in advance,
    emily

  273. Oh, you said it perfectly and your last photo is amazing!!

    Our daughter still awakes in the middle of the night very upset and now some times in the morning or after naps ….it is comforting to know others are going through the same thing.

    Happy New Year. I enjoy your blog.

    ~Michele Houston

  274. Oh, you said it perfectly and your last photo is amazing!!

    Our daughter still awakes in the middle of the night very upset and now some times in the morning or after naps ….it is comforting to know others are going through the same thing.

    Happy New Year. I enjoy your blog.

    ~Michele Houston

  275. haley Lamb says:

    wow…..i am just now catching up with all the latest. i’m floored by this post. your little girl is precious…it is so moving to read about your new family dynamic. that last picture…..totally priceless.
    p.s. i just received your book for christmas(it was on my list!) and can’t wait to dive in!

  276. haley Lamb says:

    wow…..i am just now catching up with all the latest. i’m floored by this post. your little girl is precious…it is so moving to read about your new family dynamic. that last picture…..totally priceless.
    p.s. i just received your book for christmas(it was on my list!) and can’t wait to dive in!

  277. Cristina Alt says:

    This was the most beautiful and well written post I have ever read :). Your story touched my heart and left me in tears, I am so happy for you and your beautiful family! Congratulations, I wish you all the love and happiness that your hearts can hold in the New Year.

  278. Cristina Alt says:

    This was the most beautiful and well written post I have ever read :). Your story touched my heart and left me in tears, I am so happy for you and your beautiful family! Congratulations, I wish you all the love and happiness that your hearts can hold in the New Year.

  279. kellie h says:

    No words….what a wonderful thing to have your family open their hearts to another blessed heart. She is amazing! & to have gone through the strict sked at the orphanage. oh. Now she has you all to let her explore to her heart’s desire. Oh that last photo says it all. How proud you must be to have your 3 babes & your husband together. I also think you are amazing to be able to go through the process of adoption..twice..with all the waiting & unknown-ness. I hope you have the best year ever…happy 2009 Tamara!

    ps…just read your book …thank you for your tips =)

  280. kellie h says:

    No words….what a wonderful thing to have your family open their hearts to another blessed heart. She is amazing! & to have gone through the strict sked at the orphanage. oh. Now she has you all to let her explore to her heart’s desire. Oh that last photo says it all. How proud you must be to have your 3 babes & your husband together. I also think you are amazing to be able to go through the process of adoption..twice..with all the waiting & unknown-ness. I hope you have the best year ever…happy 2009 Tamara!

    ps…just read your book …thank you for your tips =)

  281. Tamara, I just "Hap’d" on your website and recognized your sweet Ana Elise as an Ecuatoriana. I met my husband in Ecuador and we travel there very often doing mission and volunteer work. I just wanted to say congratulations. I’ve experienced the need there for years, and it is dear to my heart. I would like to know which agency you used for your adoption as we are interested as well.
    Thanks!
    Stephanie Rhea

  282. Tamara, I just "Hap’d" on your website and recognized your sweet Ana Elise as an Ecuatoriana. I met my husband in Ecuador and we travel there very often doing mission and volunteer work. I just wanted to say congratulations. I’ve experienced the need there for years, and it is dear to my heart. I would like to know which agency you used for your adoption as we are interested as well.
    Thanks!
    Stephanie Rhea

  283. Veronica Hinojosa says:

    God Bless your generous heart. God Bless your husband’s generous heart. God Bless your three babies.

  284. Veronica Hinojosa says:

    God Bless your generous heart. God Bless your husband’s generous heart. God Bless your three babies.

  285. Lora says:

    I would also like to know what agency and orphanage, etc. you used. My husband and I have 3 natural children but God has put it on both of our hearts to adopt.

  286. Lora says:

    I would also like to know what agency and orphanage, etc. you used. My husband and I have 3 natural children but God has put it on both of our hearts to adopt.

  287. Judith says:

    That was the most touching thing I have ever read. Thank you!

  288. Judith says:

    That was the most touching thing I have ever read. Thank you!

  289. Amy Clifton says:

    This is the first time I’ve been to your site, and this is one of the most touching posts I’ve ever read, anywhere. So, so much love and beauty in your family…

  290. Amy Clifton says:

    This is the first time I’ve been to your site, and this is one of the most touching posts I’ve ever read, anywhere. So, so much love and beauty in your family…

  291. i have never seen your blog/work before until today and i have been moved to tears by this post. you are AMAZING! i wish you and your family an abundance of blessings in 2009 and the years to come…

  292. i have never seen your blog/work before until today and i have been moved to tears by this post. you are AMAZING! i wish you and your family an abundance of blessings in 2009 and the years to come…

  293. Tanya Perez says:

    Such a beautiful child and such a beautiful family you have.

  294. Tanya Perez says:

    Such a beautiful child and such a beautiful family you have.

  295. Lisa Buck says:

    Thanks for sharing the heart-warming story of your journey to Ana Elisa, and the beautiful photos. We also adopted a litte girl (from Russia, in 2006), and your story brought back memories. Best wishes to your family in the new year!

  296. Lisa Buck says:

    Thanks for sharing the heart-warming story of your journey to Ana Elisa, and the beautiful photos. We also adopted a litte girl (from Russia, in 2006), and your story brought back memories. Best wishes to your family in the new year!

  297. Amy says:

    How could I do anything but cry tears of joy from this amazing story! Truly amazing:) I love this last photograph, especially of how ‘new big sister’ has her hands on both of siblings. This is a true story of love.

  298. Amy says:

    How could I do anything but cry tears of joy from this amazing story! Truly amazing:) I love this last photograph, especially of how ‘new big sister’ has her hands on both of siblings. This is a true story of love.

  299. Caitlin says:

    This gave me chills – you are a beautiful person and I am truly inspired by not just your photography skills but your life choices as well. Thank you for sharing your story.

  300. Caitlin says:

    This gave me chills – you are a beautiful person and I am truly inspired by not just your photography skills but your life choices as well. Thank you for sharing your story.

  301. Congratulations on the growth of your family! Ana Elisa is very lucky to have such a loving and wonderful family!

  302. Congratulations on the growth of your family! Ana Elisa is very lucky to have such a loving and wonderful family!

  303. ashley says:

    What a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing.

  304. ashley says:

    What a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing.

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