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April 16, 2009

When I received an email from Theresa months ago, I was so excited. She and her husband Jim were in the process of adopting a baby from Ethiopia and wanted to have someone at the airport to take pictures of a small gathering of friends and family that would be there to welcome them. I knew it would be unlike any other job I’ve had and was thrilled to be a part of it. I didn’t want to miss a second of such a monumental event so I asked Tom to come along too. Neither one of us had any idea what was in store.

When the date finally arrived, we got to the airport early. I pulled a few strings and got to the gate to wait for them while Tom stayed on the other side of security waiting with the small group of friends and family that had already gathered. When Theresa and Jim got off of the plane they were excited to show off their beautiful little angel. They were all smiles and definitely had no idea of the reception awaiting them. None of us did. As we approached the exit we could see rows and rows of friends and family, balloons and banners, it was unreal. When the doors opened there was an explosion of cheers, crying, laughter, and hugs. I wasn’t prepared for how hard that would hit me. Overwhelmed by emotion I fought back tears while I tried to catch every smile, every hug, every once in a lifetime moment. This was the beginning for them. After a long road of paperwork and trip around the world…they were finally home together, and their friends and family made sure they had the warmest welcome home ever. It was one of the most beautiful moments I’ve ever witnessed.

I will forever remember Luca’s excited smile…and the way Jim and Theresa beamed as she carried him around and introduced him to all the people that will be a part of his new life here. Several weeks later and I still get choked up thinking about it. It was amazing; and unforgettable and I am so honored to have been a part of such a monumental event in their lives.

Many thanks to Tomas Flint for coming along and catching some fantastic shots of this incredible day. For more information on BFAS Ethiopian Adoption click here.


    • Dawn Davis says:

      I am so blessed to know you! What a wonderful job you did capturing the emotion of their homecoming!!! Adoption is so near and dear to our hearts. Bless you and Tomas!!! xoxoxo ~ Dawn

    • kelli marsh says:

      Thanks you guys! It was an experience beyond words…I'm glad the images can relay that.

    • Pam says:

      Wow, Kelli! You somehow always manage to find that nugget in everything…you sense the specialness of every moment and you have mastered the art of freezing it for those of us who might not be quite as adept at seeing it on our own. Thank you for sharing this story in both your eloquent words and your unmatched artistry. And what cool people you have in your life!! Beautiful all around!

    • Amy says:

      Excellent work Kelli! Tears again. What an amazing day you captured!

    • Jenn Z says:

      Kelli Marsh, You once again have brougt me right to the moment you have captured. What a wonderful thing for this family and I am so glad they picked you to photo document thier moment. i cried…beautiflly amazing!

    • my life, my loves! says:

      I am CRYING!!! You are truly amazing! Thank you so much for capturing these pictures for us!! Seeing those brings me right back to those wonderful moments we hoped and prayed for for so long. We can't thank you enough!!!

    • Ali says:

      Oh, Kelli you've done it again. I'm in tears looking at these image!! They are amazing!!
      Such a powerful moment for so many people. I am so happy that my friend can hold her baby boy in her arms. Your images captured the beauty of their family for all to see.
      Welcome home Luca!

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