"Watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you, because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely of places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it." - Roald Dahl
Last week I came over to the Grays for a family session. They were running behind schedule (like pretty much every family with four kids, I'm sure!) so the outfits that had been planned for the photo shoot didn't get put on. Left over spider man face paint didn't get washed off. And then the boys started making mud pies and got mud everywhere. And then Henley ate some.
A mothers worst nightmare, right?
Maybe. But it was real! And absolutely wonderful. This is what the Gray family looks like, and they are beautiful. I believe with all my heart that perfect photos are not about pretty perfect people who have it all together. No, I believe it's about capturing the love and emotion and excitement and the personalities in the photo! Mud and all!
There is something magical about photographing new parents. It brings me back to when I became a mother, and those early days that were so exciting and terrifying and sleep deprived. Marissa and Arek are going to be champion parents though, and one day they're going to blink and Hunter will be a bonafide kid riding his bike and playing baseball and going to school. And when that happens, Marissa and Arek will have these photos to look back and remember their beautiful fresh newborn.
On my birthday, I got to photograph my first birth story, and it was amazing. And also the most terrifying thing I've ever photographed!
Sarah had a home birth, and in between contractions, she would play with her two kids and joke around about being able to have some wine and sushi for dinner. As labor progressed, her children would come in and talk to her, make her pretend soup, caress her arms gently. Sarah wasn't pestered or bothered by their presence, but actually seemed comforted by it! Never once were they frightened, and even though the method is not the usual way of labor, it seemed totally natural. I, however, was not as calm as the kids. There was a whole hour where I was in over my head and regretted being there. Sarah's one of my dearest friends, and we share a lot of bonds, but this was taboo. Seeing someone in a state of pure agony seemed at the very least like a violation of personal space. My heart was wrenched.
And then it stopped, and Sarah cried, "My baby! by baby!" as she pulled her out of the water surrounded by her whole family. Watching the relief and elation on everyones faces, seeing the kids meet their new sibling, being present at such a miraculous moment was a privilege. And because Sarah let me in on her most intimate , vulnerable moments, I can share their amazing story with you. I hope it blesses you and brings you as much joy as it does me!
"It is important to realize we adopt not because we are rescuers. No. We adopt because we are rescued." - David Platt
I got to come along and document Little A get officially adopted at the courthouse. She came home to this family straight from the hospital, but this week it was made official. She is the third child adopted by this family, and going to Crepeville to celebrate afterwards is a tradition. I was so lucky to be apart of this important day.