Adoption has a special place in my heart. I have an adopted nephew, and my best friend of over 20 years just recently brought her son home from Korea. I watched the ups and downs, the struggles, and the victories as the process unfolded. One thing that was consistent in both families... they were totally invested, and totally in love with their children. I can't imagine having MY child thousands of miles away, wondering what he or she is doing, if they are hurt, happy, afraid. Yet this is precisely what these adoptive families experience, day in, day out, over what can become years as they wait for that ultimate day... the journey home.
A few months ago I blogged about a sweet local family that is right this moment, doing everything they can to bring their son home. It takes a lot of support, emotionally, financially, and spiritually. They are happily very close to that ultimate day, and I can't wait! I wanted to invite them to tell us a little bit about their journey.
"We began thinking about adoption about 2 years ago but we didn't feel like we could afford international adoption. We loved the idea of adoption and Africa pulled at both mine and my husband's hearts, but we were so fearful of that big number. $40,000 is a huge amount of money. We talked about it several times that year, but in Aug of 2014, I attended a woman's fellowship night. The topic was about being brave enough to do what God has called you to do, and that sometimes we have to get out of our comfort zone to do what God has asked of us.
To keep it short, I will just say that God was speaking directly to me through that speaker. When I left that service, I knew that no matter how scared we were about adoption, that it was God's plan for our family. However, I couldn't commit our family to this if everyone wasn't on board, so I began to pray and ask God to ready my family's hearts. Well, ask and you shall receive. The very next church service we went to could have been written specifically for my husband. The preacher addressed almost word for word some of the fears my husband had voiced. As we walked out of church that day I looked at my husband and said that one was for you. He just smiled and said yeah I know. We decided that day to pursue adoption and signed an agreement with an agency the next week.
When we signed our agreement, we only had $1000 in our savings account, and weren't sure how in the world we were going to come up with even the agency fees you have to pay when you sign a contract with them. We did a t-shirt fundraiser, and raised enough to cover that first payment. We have cut our spending, and through fundraising, and cutting expenses, we have always had enough to pay each payment along the way. God has always provided. We are so humbled everyday at the way God has moved along our journey. We are living first hand the saying "God doesn't call the equipped, he equips the called". We still need about $12,000 to be fully funded, but we are doing a Both Hands fundraiser this weekend and we are praying that fundraiser will put a huge dent in that number!"
WOW! What an amazing story! This story isn't over, if you would like to be part of their journey, please consider supporting them in this fundraiser!! You can do that here: Both Hands
Let's work together to bring their little man home!
Adoption. If ever a word meant love, that word is adoption. To take a child you didn't bear, and make them part of your family. It's a beautiful thing. It is my honor to help this awesome family express that excitement and anticipation, as they go through the process of adopting a child from Uganda. What a lucky kiddo he or she will be!
Mr. Zachary came to see me one cold and misty morning! He was such a character, so much fun to work with! We laughed, and joked, and before we knew it, we were all done! I can't wait to get together with this little guy again! :)
Busy schedules and families with teenage boys! This mom wanted updated family portraits, and she wanted to commemorate her oldest son's senior year, but she knew that trying to get her 4 guys to agree to not one, but TWO sessions wasn't going to happen! We booked enough time with them to capture some family images for their walls, and to celebrate her son's senior year as well. To make things more challenging, the day of the session was cold, misty, and dreary. After a little discussion, we all agreed to press on, and I'm pretty stoked with what we got! I can honestly say that I have never done both sessions back to back before, but we moved quickly and I'm hoping that it wasn't too painful for the men in the family. :) Big congrats to her soon to be grad!
Skyla was a little fireball! So spunky and full of energy, it was a challenge to keep up! :) We checked out the ducks, looked for fish, spotted squirrels, and just had a general good time. LOL Isn't she a cutie?!
A couple of weeks back I had the honor of photographing a homecoming for one of our military families. It was an editing day for me, and I was checking Facebook when I got tagged to a post from someone looking for a photographer. It was a short notice request. Her husband was coming home a week early and the photographer she'd hired for the event was booked that night. As a veteran, and a military wife as well, I understand how important these events are. I could make it happen, so I offered my services. We got plans ironed out, and I had my gear ready to go.
I didn't want to show up in my "editing day" outfit (old t-shirt and shorts or *gasp* pajama pants), so I headed upstairs to get dressed. My door was locked. My keys were IN. MY. ROOM. Noooo! Panic set in as I realized that I had no way to get into my room, or transportation to the airport. I called my neighbor to see if she could give me a ride. Worse case scenario I'd just look... um... eccentric when I showed up. She didn't answer; I was running out of time. My husband was across town at work, also not answering.
By now I was envisioning my client standing in the terminal waiting for me to show up. She didn't have a cell phone, so I couldn't let her know what was going on. I could just feel her growing concern, and how she'd feel when she realized nobody was coming. Suddenly, I heard a big CRASH! upstairs. My 13-yr-old son had been trying to get my door open, and finally just put all his weight into it. The doorjamb was a little messed up, but not seriously. I rushed in, dressed, and dashed out the door.
I was so thankful that my son was able to come to my rescue, so I could go and capture this hero's return to his family. :)
Lost Maples was totally worth the drive. Even though we weren't able to plan our session during their "peak color", it was beautiful! Jason agrees that Ava is growing up too fast, so we had to capture her right now. She was so much fun, giggling, scaling rocks, and climbing trees... there was no limit to her energy! We ended up with a great mix of daddy's girl and wild child that Jason will cherish for years to come!
I am an artist at heart and have been ever since I can remember. I have been blessed with four beautiful children and an amazing husband. One of my favorite things to do is help others capture beautiful memories that will last a lifetime.