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Category Archives: Red Thread Sessions

One More With His Family {Baltimore Adoption Photographer}

What a great morning we had on Saturday!  I love meeting new adoptive families and am always so thrilled to capture their first new family portraits.  This little guy completely stole my heart … I absolutely adore cleft kiddos anyway and well, he just smiled the whole time we were together!  At just shy of being home for a month, I was happily surprised to see him so relaxed and content, even in the new surroundings of the city garden AND with a new person carrying around a big camera.  Mom & Dad are so in love with their little man and boy-oh-boy I sure can see why!  What a little love he is!

Worth the wait {Maryland Adoption Photographer}

I can’t tell you how much celebrating adoption with other families through photography just fills me up!  I love using photography to give back to other families who have been down the arduous adoption road.  When I got the email that Miss Reagan was born AND in Mom & Dad’s arms, I rejoiced right along with her family.  They had quite a long and bumpy road to her, and I am so unbelievably thrilled to have the opportunity to welcome her into her new family also.  The love Mom & Dad share for their sweet daughter is clearly overwhelming … it’s easy to feel just by being in the room with them for a few minutes.  And I can certainly see why they are so smitten – at 4 weeks old, little Miss Reagan Mae was so good to me!  She slept like a 5-day-old newborn, had the most perfect skin and had such a sweet disposition.

Instead of paraphrasing Reagan’s adoption story in my own words, I thought it would be nicer to read it straight from her Mama’s heart … here is their adoption story:

“On May 14, 2012 Rob and I were at work carrying out our usual routines.  We had both reached a point of wondering if we were ever going to be parents.  Around 11:30am, I received a phone call from our adoption agency saying that a healthy baby girl had been born 2 days earlier in Dallas, Texas.  She was the sixth biological child born to a married couple who were unable to financially care for another child.  Their love for their baby girl led them to create an adoption plan and in turn made our 5-year dream of becoming parents come true!

Adoption is not about a birth mother’s rejection, but an unconditional love that inspires her to put herself last and do all she can for her baby.

We were told we had 24 hours to arrive in Texas.  We booked a flight for 6:15am the following morning.  We arrived in Dallas around 11:15am and drove to the hospital getting lost several times along the way.  We finally arrived at the hospital close to 1:00pm and still hadn’t heard if the birth family had signed the paperwork.  In Texas, once the birth parents sign, their decision is irrevocable.  I texted our adoption agency as we sat in our rental car outside the hospital.  Finally, around 1:30pm we received a text to go into the hospital and meet with the Texas social worker … but nothing saying the birth parents had signed.  We got out of the car and walked toward the hospital not knowing if we were parents or going to be told to get back on the airplane and head home.

As we walked through the hospital doors, we saw our social worker who said, “Hello Mommy and Daddy.”  The birth parents had signed and the baby girl waiting upstairs was our daughter.  We went up to the nursery and held her right away.  Finally!  We signed tons of paperwork and then were released from the hospital with our daughter.

We stayed in Texas 10 days waiting for clearance from Texas and Maryland to cross state lines.  On May 25th, we traveled back to Baltimore and welcomed Reagan home.

Reagan is a healthy and happy newborn and now weighs 9.28 pounds!  We have learned so much on our journey to become parents and as painful and heartbreaking as it was at times, our baby girl was definitely worth the wait!”

Please help me welcome baby Reagan home and congratulate her beautiful parents!  And if you want to read about more heartwarming adoption stories and see their family portraits, head on over to the Red Thread Sessions site.  Reagan Mae will be featured over there on Tuesday!

A new family of seven {Baltimore Adoption Photographer}

It was an absolute pleasure and a true honor to be able to document such a special time for this awesome family of seven!  Mom and I met as bloggy friends awhile back … actually it was so long ago I really can’t remember when!  They live not terribly far from me and their newest addition, pretty Miss T., is about the same age as my youngest daughter with the same special need.  I think it’s fair to say that our families will always share a unique bond.

The C. Family brought their newest treasure home from China in December – they arrived home right before Christmas just in time to celebrate with family.  Over the last few months, precious Miss T. has transitioned beautifully into her family and has even warriored through the first of many surgeries – her cleft palate repair.  I will let these portraits do the talking, but I think you’ll easily agree that the love in this special family is literally palpable!  I can’t get over how much the older children love and dote on their new baby sister, it is truly a site to see!  Miss T. is most definitely a beautiful blessing and a perfect addition to this family.  So without further adieu, I am so pleased to introduce the C. Family!  Please welcome home Miss T. with me!

Want to see more heartwarming adoption photography?  Head on over to Red Thread Sessions and browse through posts from photographers from all over the U.S. who have also had the privilege of documenting families forever changed by the beautiful miracle of adoption!

Introducing Red Thread Sessions

Several fellow photographers and I have been working tirelessly on a new organization that I am so super-proud to help “found” and be a part of.

Red Thread Sessions is a group of volunteer photographers that have graciously agreed to donate their time to offer complimentary photography sessions to adoptive families. The idea for RTS was born in 2011 by myself and a fellow photographer, Nicole Bradley. With both of us being adoptive mommas and photographers, we really felt the need in our communities to celebrate the beauty of adoption through photography. Over the past year, so many ideas, thoughts and emails have gone back and forth, and there have been countless hours worth of work involved. We brought on two more photographers to help as well – Jenna Stoll and Amy Vecchio, both also touched personally by adoption. We know the need to create new portraits for adoptive families is great, but we also all understand the importance of capturing the precious, happy, confusing, exciting, exhausting, traumatic, life-changing time that is so often brief and fleeting in the life of an adoptive family. And with so many fellow photographers expressing an interest in adoption photography, we are so thrilled to introduce Red Thread Sessions!

The name “Red Thread Sessions” comes from the commonly-used Ancient Chinese Proverb that is well-known in the adoption community. It symbolizes the bond that all adoptive children have with their adoptive parents, even before they meet. An invisible “red thread” connects them to the people they are destined to meet. Although this Proverb truly relates to all people, it has a particularly strong connection to adoptive families and seemed like the perfect name for our organization.

A Red Thread Session is a complimentary photography session held during an adoptive family’s homecoming or shortly after they have become an adoptive family. Participating photographers have agreed to celebrate adoption by completely waiving their session fee and offering edited proofs from these sessions at no cost to the families. Red Thread Session photographers offer three different types of sessions:

  1. a family portrait session within the first 3 months of a finalized adoption to capture family portraits of the new family,
  2. a homecoming session where the volunteering photographer meets the adoptive family at the airport upon arrival home to capture the first moments as a new family
  3. a birth photography session to capture the birth of the adoptive child in an open adoption

We are excited to offer so many options to adoptive families – adoption means different things to families and we wanted to make sure that all needs for photography are met! But, we need your help! Red Thread Sessions will only be successful if people know about it! We need as many photographers and adoptive families to hear about Red Thread Sessions as possible so that these adoption sessions can be offered and experienced in every city, all over the US. Will you please help by telling other photographers and families about our new organization? You can blog about RTS, grab our button (with the code at the bottom) to display on your blog, and Facebook about it by linking to our Facebook Page.

We are especially in need of volunteer photographers right now – there won’t be any Red Thread Sessions if we don’t have volunteer photographers! If you are an adoptive family looking to receive a Red Thread Session, please tell your local photographers about RTS and ask them to consider joining us! Or if you are a photographer, please head over to our website and find out if Red Thread Sessions might be a good fit for you. Photographers choose how many Red Thread Sessions they want to photograph each year and are only asked to waive their session fee and offer a set of proofs to adoptive families. Please visit our website for more details using the button at the bottom of this post.

Thank you for helping us spread the word about Red Thread Sessions – passing this information on to others will allow more photographers to use their gifts and talents to help new adoptive families celebrate through photography!

A sweet surprise {Maryland Adoption Photographer}

I had the honor of surprising our very dear friends, the Weldons, at the airport when they came home from China with their new baby girl on Wednesday. They didn’t know that their family would be there waiting for them, and of course didn’t know I would be there either! After just doing this myself, I knew how sweet the reunion would be, especially with their 2 sons. Lots of tears were shed. The utter joy and relief you feel after the journey of adoption and then traveling for over 24 hours … wow, there is just nothing like it … to finally be able to bring your new baby home … truly one of the most amazing moments in life. And for me, to be able to witness this reunion for their family, was absolutely priceless. I am definitely not an “event photographer” but I think the emotion in these images totally speak for themselves.
Their daughter, Emery Lin, was born just one day before our Sunshine, in the same province, and taken to the same orphanage. She was also born with the same special need as Sunshine – cleft lip & palate. To say these girls and our families are forever bonded is an understatement for sure … we have become each other’s extended families for life. I’d love it if you would join me in congratulating the Weldons! Please welcome home the newest American citizen – Emery Lin Weldon!

The images above are just a few (or a lot) of my favorites … please visit flickr for the whole set!
Weldon’s Homecoming, a set on Flickr.
This is also the perfect opportunity to tell you about a new organization that I am really proud to be helping to start – Red Thread Sessions! RTS is a non-profit group of volunteer photographers that donate their time & talent to offer adoption photography to new adoptive families. Adoption and photography are two things that are very close to my heart, and they just go hand-in-hand perfectly. Homecoming photography, like in the blog post, is just one of the types of photography available to adoptive families. RTS is still in its infancy, but please help me spread the word! We need volunteer photographers and also need the word to get out to adoptive families! I have linked the website below and please go “like” RTS on Facebook!