Lackey Family Adoption Experience: FAQs
And speaking of children, my children happen to be here and they're going to join us here and we're gonna discuss adoption in more detail I am I am actually really excited teo try to de mystify ah lot of what you hear out there I would love for people to feel like if you have questions I know you said a lot of questions have come in. Our children are going to answer the questions from their perspective so let me introduce them and then we'll talk more. Okay? You guys ready to come on in one time all I want. All right. Sad. Damn. Um and at least you want to stand up quick. This is anna lisa. She came home from ecuador at age three and a half since then she has grown. She just just turned ten. Han had her birthday. We celebrated and so she's joining us and she's going to talk a little bit of her experience with adoption but not yet set that down. He'll jump up kayla hey, is you came home at nine months old? You remember it all, but I have lots of photographs from ethiopia and we spent a ...
week in ethiopia when we're adopting caleb and brought him home and you're going to talk about your feelings too, right and help answer questions okay? Do you feel expressive today? Yeah, definitely yeah, thank you. Alright. And sofia sofia was born not adopted everyone so she jokes about like I was only born. So be jester not just sophie turned thirteen and you're gonna share a lot about what it's like to be the only one and then build your family through adoption sophie was the biggest champion in the world. She knew she wanted a brother. She was very specific. She was so excited on the very first time she met caleb was magical, so we'll talk about that a little bit all right and you could talk to you. Okay, check. I do have to say that by the way, the very first time we got off a plane with caleb, sophie didn't, so we didn't actually go to ethiopia with us. She stayed with all four grand parents in our home and got spoiled like crazy. We went to ethiopia for week came back with caleb, came through the airport where they're all waiting and sophie ran I was just that night and seen her in a week. I've never done that in her whole life and I was just weeping to see her, but she raced past us and went right to caleb and she started singing the barney song because that song I love you, you love me and unbeknownst to her it was the video that they kept looping in his orphanage and isa baba and so he immediately recognized it and it was this just amazing moment where they hugged each other it was just it felt like there was a re union which was the craziest thing in the world this terribly sweet on we had to remind her for about a year afterwards that he was not like an angel like you could play with him and we used to joke like wait we need her to get annoyed with him for a second luckily they're taking care of that uh but to realize that he was just wasn't a china doll and they could play and all that stuff so um guys we want to have you guys answer a few questions are you up for it? Okay good can it do we have anything specific to start with we can we can go here but to our studio audience but nothing specific yet want to let everybody know that they can drop their questions in tell us again what types of questions yeah so hicks I have a lot of a tiger for the one question I get the most outside of photography is about adoption in fact, about ten years ago we put a drop down menu on our inquiry form the first thing you see if you clicked on what are you enquiring about his adoption just cause I think it's alphabetical maybe they moved portrait court thing up to sell more but eso adoption right there because we get so many questions a lot of the questions are, you know, kind of where do I get started? What's the difference between international and domestic adoption what is what is the process cost? How on can I expect to be overseas what's the transition like after children come home all that sort of thing I can tell you for us it varied a lot just like vicki said there's no kind of I've never heard of this one set story and one of the concerns I have as it relates to adoption being out there is everybody knows this one person has this one story and they kind of feel like that's the whole story about adoption do you know I mean there's always liked that one story of like my one cousin had this you know, etcetera onda although vicky's correct that it's not all easy neither was childbirth that all and there's a lot of mirroring there in terms of those two processes for me, you know, being pregnant there's the physical pain of it there's thie you know, you look at the to me that translated to the paperwork the amount of paperwork you have to do with adoption there's actually a strong difficulty in that and the actual experience of giving birth and meeting your child for the first time it's he's both out of the world. Incredibly insane emotional experiences. And you've had that experience too, with your son, right? I have a son who joined our family through adoption at age two from haiti. He's now six and biological daughter who's, almost four. So but they joined our family within six months of each other. So wow, I didn't know that was a little crazy. Yes. Yeah, a little crazy. It was crazy. I went from zero to a crazy two year old toddler who was a stranger to me and a newborn. So but I would not have done any other way. They're absolutely best friends. Oh, and, um, I mean, it's, just great. It's. Just, you know, the way our family was built, and I feel like it's no different than however, you know, any other family was built, but I did wanna ask you guys how you feel about, you know, a new brother joining the family sometime soon. Okay, you go first. Uh, I realized I don't have one. I mean, I love my sisters and all think sisters are great to have, but I want a brother for a very long time. You got your dog for chris, wait, was that was kind of by but um so I didn't think I thought that the brother thing was kind of a joke like I didn't think we were actually ever gonna add another child to the family but the men were in ethiopia were kind of thinking about it and I think it's just pre feels like a dream to actually be witnessing an adoption of a brother I think it's astronomical what's so cool about teo I've been asking for one yeah and what is your experience like watching this adoption happened for the last year but the process has been like for you spent a lot of emotions it's been pretty hard like if um something big happens because you've been a big no and like it would be a huge celebration in my in my mind and sometimes I'd show it and something's not showing for months which it was for a very long time um just be pretty upsetting so the ups and downs of it yeah yeah you know what one of the things that steve and I talked about a lot was how much you want to share the detail of all this with our children? How much do we want to protect them from the fact that there's so much unknown and we talked a lot about this because the impulse is to just protect and not share anything one of these killed mentioned a big no while we were in ethiopia the very first thing we heard was that that we could not adopt him because he and three other boys were did not have the paperwork they needed to be considered entities, so they, you know, for all intensive purposes didn't exist, so couldn't be adopted. I'm summarizing, but they couldn't be adopted. And so the first thing they said was no and literally, quote was talking about these five, four and five year old boys it's too late for them and that's a jarring thing to hear on dh it's, not how we felt about it, so but when we left, we had been at we asked for two full days what we need to do, how we could circumvent it, how we could make this happen just because they hadn't come in as newborns with the paper work that was needed in terms of the process to come in, they we knew that they were they needed families, we knew they didn't have families, but we need to get to point where there's approval letter sign that saying, five years ago, because this wasn't done, you can still do this now on dh we've spent the last year hiring an advocate to help us get us to that last signature on dh it's been a pretty dramatic siri's of non events and then a lot of events in the non events but in the end we decided that we wanted teo have everybody know what's going on so we could all put enough hopeful energy and prayer into this to make a difference our emotions either are pretty all out there so you know and if I remember the night we met him way talked about it and we said you know what we can either and I think tomorrow touching this we had overwhelming you know, flood of love is what that emotion once and it was just you weren't expecting it came out which is great right? And but they were like all of a sudden do we need thio protect the kids from that and we knew we couldn't for one so let's let's just embrace it which was powerful and within twelve hours the next day we got a very matter of fact no so you know the kids were devastated we were all everybody was crying that including the the drivers and great people everyone so yeah what is it honey sure go ahead you can say their names cherry doesn't drive very help area and now friends but yes, I mean I think that that our approaches that way really felt that if we put the energy out there versus protecting ourselves from it the positive is that way think that'll influenced the outcome you know the negative is that you have to be prepared to deal with that let down, you know, on but just I think we collectively choose the high of believing versus the constant protection, you know, we didn't think a little little stronger to deal with it if it doesn't work out from now and again, but so we went crazy and put up a big canvas peace in our home with him were like, you know, we're just in we're in for the long haul and and we're hoping that enough, but but sincerely, one of the other ships we had wass about a month ago, we were like, gosh, we're just stalling out that things happen. We had hoped to be traveling the summer to get him on dh we had no word, and they said, we're going to go anyway, we're going to do our first project for a beautiful together, we're going to spend time with him, another little boy we met there, too, who we also like. We're just going to spend time there and be with them on dh. Maybe it'll send the universal message, and within four days we got are phone call that things were actually happening, that we're moving forward, we're getting good verbal response. We need this signature but we've got this move etcetera we all went out together and celebrated and got all excited and it felt like there is it's kind of you just do things will show its kind of the experience you had well, we have some questions coming in this one is for caleb again first of all, people think you're very well spoken for your age so great job way knew that about you but the question is from sweet valentine photography how did you feel when you did go back to ethiopia? Your your birth country um have been kind of my choice to go back and we kind of shy when I was ten and go back um I mean, I just really want to go there and there are places sometimes I don't know any other people feel this, but when I go to a certain place sometimes I feel like it reminds me a whole lot of my home if I have that kind of connection with ethiopia and I really did and that just felt good. So I think that's why thank you and sofia question had come in for you from kate jackson. What was it like for you meeting both of your siblings for the first time and how do you feel now? I wrote both of them my mom told you about when I met him and that at my sister uh, before we even know who she wass kind of we were walking through the orphanage to get to the area. We were going to meet her but met all these little kids. They're so sweet. And then we were sat down waiting for a half hour for her to come out, and she came out with, like, super short hair, kind of like dora, and I didn't know it was her until no, she looked just like her, and I didn't know it was her until I'm here, in case that they gave her giant hug and I was like, oh, my gosh, is my sister that was so sweet. She was so cute. Although very shy, very jack and lisa was crazy nervous, we matter. She was very much not who she is all the time now that you're a little shy right now love it, but normally she's dancing and singing and run around and totally at ease. But the day we met her, probably for about eight hours, she could barely speak or lift her head. It was very you were very, very nervous and shy and and was soon as we broke out of that, I have a photograph of the very first time I like, lifted her in the air and it's in her room now yeah that's picture e new yeah, you know it but she grabbed my hand and she kept walking me through the orphanage and telling everybody mommy mommy mommy mommy on dh that was the full extent of the spanish I knew so that was perfect. I know what she's saying and which brings us to another point which is a lot of times with international adoption, especially with older child adoption there is there's often a language barrier if you are adopting outside of the u s um I did I wouldn't just by cold your hand and walk out and save me mommy mommy would also um when other children were long just that, um go to move her yeah and everybody everybody kind of comes in a little differently, but annalise so wouldn't let anybody everybody touch me go near me including my other two children, probably a week and a half that's about right on dh you guys had some pretty incredible patients around that that was amazing. I wouldn't have that now. Yes, I don't know how I did it way have three very very affectionate children too, so that was actually more pronounced I think for us that she was literally we were we that was our job, we're like that we just adopt a cat thank you this's an interesting question from shiven fitzsimmons when in the process are the children in the orphanage told that they are going to be adopted and if so, what was that like for them do you remember any of that I I told my mom I wanted I was asking when he's really going to like give him like a book of who we are like we did with italy show or she see that he's actually being adopted that show that like they don't get hurt like emotionally at a very young age they probably senate really late into the adoption like in the middle of it traffic it shut down they don't feel heart broken I think that's true with anna lisa we're ready pretty far in the process when we got the go ahead that we go ahead and send her a book and so she and she used to have it carried around on foot through today what we sent her an album basically this is your family this is your home this is gonna be your dog this is going to be your cat on dh er this is where you fit into our family photo and wait and then when we actually went tio we will get keanu one oh good because I want that now and then when we went into the room therefore cribs in the room and she was she'd been into create crib is thirteen hours of air fourteen hours a day that the children spent in those cribs at three and a half, and they're so therefore cribs in one kind of open bare room, and right behind her crib was a drawing of a family of five with pointing to it that this is mom and this is daddy and it's, this theoretical idea family on dh they were being taught after they knew that would be adopted. They're being taught what mommy is and what a daddy is and what a brother is. Our sister is learning it like you learn math or english. Uh, thank you for sharing. We have another question from natalie buchanan for for the two of you, or maybe for all of you, how did you deal with the barrier with anna? Lisa? Yes, all four of us, I was the best one it's spanish that's true for excluding you, but I remember one time it was probably the most prominent time you're out to lunch, and I was the only one who knew how to order a case idea for the family, and they didn't know I was only thing I knew I order, and I am not sure if you even wanted that it was only in order to be guarded like five of them for all of us only came who actually this hot spanish since I wasn't talking it was surprisingly fluent actually she's less now she's surprisingly good at the time that comes a little brain being in country you picked it up so quickly so I'm actually something really was a benefit and it wasn't necessary, casey I think you remember like the case idea but you would order more complicated meals when we want to make substitution since death you knew how to communicate it and we didn't on dh with with annalise says she spoke only spanish not open not a word of english and she spoke very rapidly so what we did is we learned about honestly twenty five words words like you're very cute you're very sweet I love you I love you forever you will always be with us you will always be our daughter I will always be your mommy I will always be your daddy we learned those phrases the one we most wanted her to get and we're just repeated them and looking back it was actually I think really good I think it really aided bonding because I have a lot of anxiety of not being a to communicate with her, but the truth is if you can boil it down to the simplest, most impactful words and say them again and again and again we probably better of efficiency, you know? And so I don't remember it being a difficult or at all and if we needed teo understand things if she was very upset and trying to communicate something we were spending two months in ecuador and that was very helpful while we were learning our spanish more and she was learning english, there were people around us that could help communicate with each other on our experience with gabriel last summer s open you remember the gabriel like learning his english and practicing with us yeah, they had these rhymes that we're learning like the months and stuff janu way but we spent tio really full days and honestly don't I feel like everything was communicating so much at that age is nonverbal anyway, I really felt like so much was well communicated I think think think you getting trickier areas when you when you have to talk about complex emotional uh topics and you know if you need to have those conversations there's usually someone in country that can help you translate, you know and with an elisa remember, you know, we got really adept that, you know, three year old spanish way we could do that, but the funny thing is when she got out she didn't I want to speak spanish at all and usedto it and also mocked us for our that's not mark making fun of us try to speak spanish you way take a whole sentence direction like you guys she say like you make make you know she might say now the posa mer opposes member poza you're you but that's you know that's one of the things we did it we did it on a video andi I'm glad we did because it was such a different dynamic for awhile yeah so tamara have one really great final question perhaps for for the kids first of all thank you so much for sharing everyone is really appreciating your maturity as well as your honesty so the question comes from defrost regular in our chat rooms once you know if any of the kids want to grow up to be photographers or what do you want to be when you grow up the question being really what we're talking about here is about the importance of belonging the importance of family and via the family that you have have you seen and having a mom who is a professional photographer do you see that is something where you can help people create that those memories of their families or if yeah go ahead all right you go first okay let me think it alright so I were like the first seven years of my life I did want a photographer now eight eight years of my life because I'm a four day my mom got me this like heavy duty cannon camera what you no longer uses she's a nikon chairman say that okay unbranded camera way I was like the head it wasn't even a point shooters like when a heavy duty one super dslr and I had and I I didn't know how to use it I think I lost it like the year after but I remember I wanted the photographer because you were one for like a while they started lifting off that because you're already one we don't need another one and now now she's gonna be a pop star not know what we're going to know I don't know you know all right now a performer you will wait sofia alias your turn e I want to be well ames what do you want to be a photographer? Yeah. Oh, you do ok. You want to tell someone? Well, because it's not a fun and you also get teo ex merriment withthe um but they came like some people don't know he's a camera and there's other things you could do with this uh and you get to know lots of people when you take pictures of them and and I feel happy when I make friends all right e e I don't really want to be a photographer, but I I am inspired that my mom is also public speaker and a writer and I want to grow up to be an author look, I'm already decided that I carry a sort of write books it was little ones really good one and for school and stuff but once my mom came into our school to give like, uh thing for job day that career day and on the other class came into and this year in the yearbook I read some of the fifth graders notes on who they want to be in the group and a bunch of photographer after they'd seen what my mom had talked about they really liked your presentation so she inspired a lot of people baby great answers all of you and I think way have a photo of all of you oh yeah from the last time you were here to bring up but my final final I said it was a final question but I have one more question and three years ago by far the final question is when you are when the three of you are say your parents age if you can imagine that being that often what do you think looking at that family of that family photo will mean for you so when your your parents age what do you think it will mean for you to have some images of you with your family as kids scream now? Hey the person I thought the filter in the program but in terms of meeting of that toe have a photograph of all of us around this age of that age it's important to have because do you even, like always look back on them? And I kind of compare how you've grown at a family and individually and it's also kind of something to model family you're growing off of? I like that one could answer following kicking up next well, I have seen old family photos from my parents um when they were kids and there's a lot of them, but since my mom's photographer and she tries to get photos of privilege every moment which I'm glad of now what? But the camera don't um I just can't imagine this right now, but we're probably gonna have ten times the amount of photos and that's pretty crazy chief, she doesn't, but I can't wear my brother were in new york we're in new york about two weeks ago a week ago and were probably a crosswalk and like in new york crazy drivers then she stops in the middle of the grass all to take a photo of a great shot you guys have done that. Oh, and I'm like mom and I'm pulling carriages like you're taking a photo blurry you want to use your hand? What will it mean? Ito have the photographs later what would it mean to you to have photographs of us is a family when you're older than me um it feels like you get teo you get to feel um, like if if I live alone with my children but no one, none of myself wings are my dad or my mom, I will feel like that was a good memory. And I I remember when my brother was young, my sister was young and my parents and I would feel like it would be really special to me to see the picture of me, young um and you can feel like you're in it, like you're in the picture when you see yourself and a picture, a lady he's a weak and could I ask them as we come to a close? But their thoughts are beautiful together? Yeah, because you guys have been watching us just and this is I have no idea what I want you right now, I just have to give you a heads up. This is so it's, obviously this whole thing's unscripted, but I'm a little, but you know, you've been watching daddy and I I kind of get the website at things together, get the funding. What are your thoughts on what beautiful together is and what it does? Okay, let's, do it. We'll go, we'll take turns ready, so you're going, you're going to have had little spurts of ideas, like throughout really last two years. Revolving around stuff like this I remember once I wanted open like a farm sanctuary with the vegan restaurant and another they wanted to do something like foundation except I think it was towards veganism our animal sanctuary it was again with love and animal station and they can't with this and I thought it was a great idea but I do it over again because they they have focused a lot of their, uh companies and stuff and when they said that they had, like, open a website I was like, wow and then they got the humanitarian that humanitarian award we they both got the humanitarian award from at rama at around o w p b s e t I and, um day I was like, oh my god, this is actually something and then he started getting I was actually doing something I remember we said wait donations gave it and then you had a website on the web site look professional just a little yeah, it was all so I was excited because I like actually gonna do something and it's going teo difference as could be so cool and I'm excited for that thank you. We're going to make you play like you did last year but you have to do it in thirty seconds or less use you're beautiful um well when when my parents told me about beautiful together I felt I felt like this was going to be actually going to come true and actually rose and started um and I really felt really happy because I felt like other children need home and I feel like it would be it would be um peple instead of living in an orphanage and coming I think eighteen an age limit on my mangled just streets but I would feel really bad for them because I know they want a home and they want to siblings and stuff being in an orphanage with other kids but not their family factory and I felt and I think that children I would also appreciate a mother and father because a mother and father gives you care love in auto often but like they weren't they would focus on you and yourself ling is a lot of children and you feel like you can be some more cared for and more loved than being just like that hey baby it's just like sophie said kind of alicia I mean not necessarily put in the way that sophie said it but yeah like uh just like was gave you I kept asking for her brother and it always really you're just gonna be you know, like kind of a little joke god you with dolls and it's a boy say brother, you have you ever had and like the spark is there but sometimes it just doesn't happen to you that was beautiful together I think it's I think it's really growing I think it's really cool how um I'm not I'm not going to say something actually happened but something extra happened like the spark became a big thing so I was glad beautiful together has been a really big idea expand to other people thank you so much you guys wantto stand up and please help me give them a round on behalf of everyone at home think you so much for joining us and sharing your experiences and tamara beautiful together dot work on if you wantto say anything final about that but we'll let you guys go and it's timeto close out the day so thank you yeah I just want to say that I am so proud of you guys thank you very much I love you what a beautiful family I love them waken tell yeah how beautifully spoken how to play spoken which is not beautiful yeah I know you had a rounded out we would love for you guys teo check out beautiful together dot org's check out our campaign campaign to really make a difference in this one specific area for children in terms of having a clean and healthy and safe bathroom to be able teo get through their life in that orphanage and if you are interested at all in being aware of future projects of doing any sort of the video profiles we talked to about talked about for children who are in foster care and are legally free and available for adoption and want to be adopted. If you're able to do some work like that, in association with the heart gallery is the direction we're taking this. Please go to people together, that organ. You scroll down to the bottom right now where we're going. Change that later, but you'll see the newsletter just to join our newsletter on dh we will be sure to reach out to you as these projects develop income. Come aboard. Thank you, thank you so much.