About three years ago, Elke started talking about adoption. The more time we spent together, the more I heard about her plans to adopt. She made her home more child friendly, launched her new “Bright Owl” business to help support her daughter, and celebrated a breakthrough in the adoption paperwork journey, while continually making all the needed mental shifts.
I saw the leaders in her life asking difficult questions, which she answered honestly and bravely. I saw friends and family gather around her. I saw many tears (and for the longest time I could not speak to Elke about the adoption without balling MY eyes out) and through it all I saw her brave smiles. I saw her transition from a lady investigating adoption, to a mother expecting a baby.
She took a huge step of faith, quitting her old job after feeling that the season was completed. It was scary to let go, but she did. She prayed to God, asking Him that she didn’t want to be alone on the day of the long-awaited phone call confirming the match, and He listened. The morning when her colleagues came to say goodbye to Elke, her phone rang. She was not alone, but surrounded by a whole bunch of people who loved and cared for her.
She asked God if her daughter’s foster home could be in the same province, to help ease the logistical difficulties, and it was. Elke felt that her daughter would be born around her late dad’s birthday. She later discovered that their birthdays are just two days apart. So many small details came together confirming one thing: This was the daughter God and Elke had been dreaming about. This girl was the daughter she was waiting for.
After months of paperwork and many layers of preparation, the day arrived when Elke could meet her baby and take her daughter home. Her mom, two sisters, little niece, myself and my camera had the privilege of witnessing the experience.
I’ve never seen Elke with so many bags. In my mind’s eye, it symbolised her readiness. She was prepared as well as she could be – physically, emotionally and spiritually – to receive her daughter, and to be a mom. This is my photo version of this special day.