Just a few weeks ago Selah and I boarded a plane to go to Phoenix. I’ve travelled before for work but this time it was different.
Three of my loves were about to be combined.
Friends + Adoption + Photography
At the end of the flight my heart was pounding out of my chest. You see, this introvert , had never actually met the family I was about to photograph . And I was about to crash in their guest room for a few days. Who does that? Certainly not this shy and quiet girl. But you seriously couldn’t have kept me away!
Even still tons of thoughts raced through my head….
“Will she like me? ”
“Is this going to be super awkward? ”
“What if I bomb the photo session ?”
“Am I crazy?”
I had never met her, but I felt like I’ve known her all my life. Last April, just a week before Selah was born, this beautiful Mama reached out to me. Over the next few days and months we chatted online about adoption and EVERYTHING else you can possibly think of. We have so so so much in common. Right down to our obsession with Chipotle. Even our husbands share the same name, and our Big’s the same nickname. These days it has become a good natured joke among my kids when they see me with my phone in hand…
” So Mom? How is Kira today?” Followed by the roll of their eyes.
Hush kids. Even Mamas need good friends.
I am so so thankful to have my own tribe of people that have encouraged and supported us throughout this journey. I’ve learned that in life , no matter what season you are in , we desperately need people to surround us, and love on us. Adoption by no means is easy. But I believe that “our tribe” , helped soften some of the hardness. I’ll forever be grateful for the company, encouragement and practical help during our wait. Could not have brought Selah home without you all.
Kira’s first message to me came at a time in our adoption journey when I was especially nervous, overwhelmed and lonely. We were approaching the end of our wait and it seemed as if the whole world kept moving, and mine had literally stopped in a standstill. But.
She was there.
She was there the morning of “S”‘s last doc appointment. Sending me a doughnut to celebrate the day.
She was there when we waited nervously for Selah’s birth mama to give birth to her. The hours dragged on and on , and as Michael and I were aimlessly wandering the city, her messages kept popping in with encouragement and laughter.
She was there during our NICU stay. Being a NICU mama herself, she was so encouraging reminding us to go eat and sleep as much as we could. She reassured me when I had to leave her to go eat, and helped ease the guilt that so easily comes as a NICU mama when you can’t be in two places at once. She loved on me while I was sobbing over my newborn daughter, my heart breaking that I couldn’t be at home with my oldest daughter who also really needed me to be with her.
She was there.
She was there while we waited to go home with sweet Selah. And rejoiced with me when our release came much earlier than expected.
She was there as I awkwardly relearned how to take care of a newborn and adjusted to being a mama of four.
She cried with me. Encouraged me. Celebrated with me. And loved me.
She was there. And has been there. And is still there.
There are no words to describe how thankful I am for her friendship, and how grateful I was for the timing. Impeccable. Almost as if God knew I needed her, right then.
I was so blessed to have found a beautiful new friend and was so honored when she invited me on her adoption journey. It was a joy to wait with her for new situations to come in. To pray for their family as they poured over each one. To love on her when they heard too many “no”s for one family. To encourage her to breathe. To celebrate with her when they were matched with Mama “L” . To freak out with her when they got the call to go to the hospital. To pray for her as Mama “L” was laboring. To rejoicing with her when she sent me her BK’s first picture….
To see God’s story being written in her life, her family’s life, in Mama L’s life and in BK’s life ? It was one of the most beautiful and most touching experiences ever. To actually fly to Arizona to meet her and her family ? Incredible.
Within minutes of officially meeting, I felt at home. She even handed me my favorite Starbucks drink. It was almost as if we have been friends for years. Right away we jumped into life together, literally. Her sweet little Brooklyn was hungry, so on the way home I squeezed into the backseat with both of our babies and was able to feed her daughter. Seeing our two babies together? No words. Holding this baby whom I have prayed for , for months? It was an undoing of the most beautiful kind.
I was literally blinking away tears as I photographed their sweet family of four. The emotion in that house was overwhelming. The love that they all have for each other is real, tangible, as if you could reach out and grasp it.
Kira is as every bit of beautiful in real life as she is online. The weekend flew by way too fast and before I knew it , it was time to go back home. Editing their session these past few weeks was so much fun, I laughed and I cried.
I was continually reminded of how thankful I am that she is part of my tribe. My family. My life.
Que the tears ( again ).
Thank you Kira.
You are bravery unfolding.
I love you. I love your family.
Thank you for letting me be a part of it all.