It was such a joy and pleasure to photograph this beautiful couple again... and for this session to be a family one was even more meaningful! J & L have asked me not to publish any photographs of their little girl's face hence why I'm only posting these very few photographs. However, this blog post isn't so much about the photographs themselves. It is so much more about sharing their journey that will hopefully give some of you hope.
When I talk about the miracle of our little family, I often start by saying I just can't believe how much like us she is and how well she has settled in and just fits with our family. Then I correct myself and say "I don’t know why I am surprised", we prayed about it from the beginning so of course God has put it all together.
I found a poem shortly after we brought our baby home and I just thought: yes, this is it!
Not flesh of my flesh, Nor bone of my bone, but still miraculously my own. Never forget for a single minute; You didn't grow under my heart but in it.
I always wanted to be a mum, and loved children when I still was a child! When I hit 31 and was still single I pretty much gave up on ever becoming a mum, but 12 months later I was counting down the days to my wedding (17 of them)! Just over 2 years after that I gave up again when we were told by the NHS our chance of having children was less than 1% and we couldn’t have IVF. So we started praying: should we pay for IVF or pursue adoption? We were offered help to fund IVF if we wanted to go down that route, but there were a few boulders in our path that we just couldn’t ignore. One was a bible verse (James 1:27) which says “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world” - if we pursued IVF, then are we looking after people like God wants? The other was that I couldn’t get past that there were children out there that needed loving homes, how could I justify spending thousands of pounds trying to make a baby? So in May 2017 we decided to adopt. 11 LONG, hard months later we were approved!
That same day we were given a profile of a baby girl. We were asked if we wanted more info and we didn’t know what to say. It was all so overwhelming. We asked for more info and onto the rollercoaster we jumped. To cut a long story short, 3 months later we brought her home!
Flo photographed our wedding 4 years ago, so I really wanted her to take photos of this next bit of our journey. She asked us what the hardest part of our marriage had been so far and we both agreed it was the adoption process. I went into adoption eyes wide open. I have friends who are social workers - so knew it was a soul searching process - but I could not have prepared myself for the complete emotional exhaustion it caused. I felt like I had been emptied out. It forced my husband and I to have lots of conversations that we might not have had otherwise, hard conversations about past and future, about what ifs. But I can definitely say that our little mad hatter was worth every moment!