Over the years I’ve received inquiries to shoot all types of jobs, some corporate, food and website related, weddings and engagements, the list goes on and on. When I got an email back in March from Lydia and Mark they brought about a very new request to me. They were putting together an adoption profile and wanted documentary style photos to help make them stand out. I had never really understood what went into an adoption profile and maybe you don’t either so here’s what they explained to me.
They wanted to adopt a child and opted for an open adoption. There are agencies that help you through the process and give you recommendations on building your online profile which perspective moms would look through while they try and imagine their child growing up in your home. They shared with me a multi page document centered around just what to include for photos. I can’t imagine how much this was for them to take in and process as I was only thinking about how to shoot this and feeling quite overwhelmed. How will I shoot their life and do them justice? What if I don’t do a good job and no one chooses them? If I was thinking all of these things Mark and Lydia must have been feeling more than one’s heart can take.
When we shot their “day” there were outfit changes, gardening, playing with family and walking the dog all to get across a sense of their lives and love that they not only have for one another but for their family and furry friends as well. There were moments of laughter and a very real sense about them as they shared their story and thoughts with me about what they loved to do and how they wanted any mom seeing the profile to feel that through their words and pictures. It was moving!
Fast forward to August, yes this past August! A mere 4 months after they submitted their adoption profile Lydia sent me a message, they were going to Texas to meet their baby! I don’t know if 4 months is unprecedented but it definitely is much sooner than anyone had prepared for. They had been told it normally takes about a year to be chosen but life had other plans for Lydia and Mark and a young mother who felt they were the perfect choice for her soon to be newborn baby. So off they flew to Texas where Mariella was born on 8/21/2017. They stayed for a time with their new baby girl until the day they were told, you can go home!
Their lives together are immediately bonded and the love that everyone feels for Mariella is obvious to all of us who meet her. The beautiful decision Mariella’s birth mom made in an effort to give her daughter a life she knew she couldn’t, will always be the gift that Mark and Lydia were looking for. I cried during their adoption profile shoot and cried again when I met Mariella. I’m tearing up now thinking about how blessed I was to play even the smallest role in their journey. These shoots were deeply meaningful to me and not that other ones aren’t filled with emotion, this was new and something completely different and I hope there are more opportunities like this down the road. Being a part of someone’s special moment, seeing people at their happiest or most vulnerable is never lost on me and I feel it to my core. This is why I do what I do and love it more than words can say!
Congratulation to Mark, Lydia and baby Mariella!