Joey and Shaina are great friends of mine with huge hearts. After the birth of their son they knew their family wasn’t complete but felt pulled to adoption to help complete it. They didn’t just want to adopt a baby, they wanted to adopt a child who was really in need of a loving home, so they began their journey as foster parents. They helped a few children but they were never available for adoption and I saw how that really tugged at Shaina’s heart knowing she couldn’t keep them under her wing forever. Then came Michael. Sweet, silly, precious Michael. What began as a temporary “maybe a week” thing soon became long term. Last month I got the honor of watching it become permanent. I’ve photographed so many special times in peoples’ lives, but never an adoption, so I asked my local group of photographers what to expect. The overwhelming consensus was to be prepared to be totally overtaken by emotion because it would for sure be one of the most unexpectedly powerful things that I’ve witnessed, much less photographed. One friend even said “thank goodness for autofocus, because you won’t be able to see through your tears”. Y’all, I didn’t even cry at the births of my own children! But once the judge came out and we began hearing testimony from Joey, and Shaina, and the dedicated CPS workers that had been with them every step of this journey, I was done for. I had full on raccoon eyes by the time it was over with and had never been so thankful to be behind a camera and not in front of it.
Joey & Shaina – You’re good people. I’m so thankful to call you friends and to have been able to document all of the most precious times in your lives together so far!