what it means to be a family.
angelina’s big day!
it was almost 3 years ago that i returned from months of traveling through south america and (much to my own surprise) embarked on impromtu career in photography. with no experience and no plan, i traded a pen for a camera, and thus began the transition from working as a writer to a photographer. i was, and still am, incredibly passionate about telling stories and the importance of preserving memories. initially, i found great satisfaction doing both of those things with a combination of words and images. however, i began to learn that it was only with a photograph that i was able to truly capture the fleeting moments and emotions, and that i could tell powerful and immediate stories without words. it was my passion for people – their stories, their love, their lives – that truly made me passionate about photography.
over the last few years i have been incredibly lucky to document so many different stories, those of love + joy, of family + tradition, of struggle + sorrow, of all the emotions and moments that make up the crazy and unbelievable story that is life. regardless of how many times i document a certain type of event it is always a unique experience because of the emotion and personal connection i feel for everyone that i photograph. for me, the camera is like a perfect window into people’s lives – allowing me not only the ability to watch what is happening, but also to connect and experience it in a very intimate way. this is precisely why i feel so lucky and so honored to be a photographer. i am able to turn moments into something tangible, and it is so rewarding each and every time. however, there is something particularly wonderful about documenting something completely new, something i have never experienced – like an adoption. it was an amazing privilege to witness and photograph the wonderfully emotional adoption of angelina this week.
angelina is a beautiful, happy 2-year-old little girl who found her way to her family through foster care when she was just 12 weeks old. her mother, megghan, told me it was love at first sight when she and wes met angelina. within a year, megghan + wes’ family grew exponentially – while fostering angelina, megghan gave birth to baby charlie, and also began fostering angelina’s biological brother jeremiah, who was born just weeks apart from charlie! the “twins” as they call them, charlie + jeremiah are now both a year old, making for one very busy household! megghan and wes radiate love and goodness – you know instantly that they are the most wonderful, loving parents and you see it in the smiles on their children’s faces.
angelina’s adoption has been a long and difficult process for the family, and wednesday was a very emotional and happy day for everyone. i was so excited to meet megghan + wes and the kids, and i felt very privileged to sit in on the proceedings and document the morning’s events. everyone at the courthouse was simply wonderful, and the judge was amazing – she reflected on their journey and commented on the sanctity and power of family. at the end of the proceedings she read a touching poem, to an adopted, as she announced that angelina was now legally megghan + wes’ daughter.
i can’t explain what it means to me to be able to witness the most important moments of someone’s life, to be welcomed into celebrations as if i am family, and to be given the opportunity to document the entire experience. i am forever changed by the people i meet and the moments i capture, and so grateful for everything i have learned. experiences like being present at angelina’s adoption are absolutely life changing for me. i can say with certainty that this will forever stand out as one of the most incredible lessons about the power of love, the rewards of perseverance, and the importance of what it means to be a family.
when her dad asked her what time it was angelina said, “adoption time!”
little brother jeremiah!
little brother charlie!
the judge read the poem “to an adopted.”
a very happy family!