The longer I’ve been in business, the more I’ve come to realize that it’s not necessarily what I’m photographing, but the stories behind who and what I’m pointing my camera at that often determine how connected I am. For anyone who’s ever asked me about family sessions, my standard answer is that I don’t photograph them. Like EVER. I just don’t have that gift required to photograph kids, so I choose to leave families to photographers who are really passionate about family photography!
But then I receive an email from Ann. An email explaining that she and her husband were in the process of adopting a little girl from China, Ruthie, and that Ruthie also happened to have Down Syndrome. Because of China’s “one child” policy, baby girls are often left at orphanages due to a preference for baby boys in order to carry on the family name. My parents were planning to take our family to China to be missionaries, and so I knew how great the need is families looking to adopting Chinese girls, especially Chinese girls with special needs.
I stumbled upon Daniel & Ann’s blog documenting their journey to finding Ruthie, and after reading their story, I knew this was a portrait session I had to shoot. God’s love shines SO clearly through this family’s journey! A couple with a burden for the orphaned, the fatherless, the ones in need of a home, and thousands of miles away, a precious Chinese girl with special needs in need of a family who would love her for the treasure that she is. And she is SUCH a jewel- this little one’s zeal for life, her insatiable desire to explore, her joy at learning something new. She is such a source of joy! Ruthie’s only been in the US for about two months now, but it’s so clear that she knows she’s home now.
Daniel, Ann & Ruthie- how can I ever thank you for such an amazing afternoon? Your family is so, so sweet, and it was my honor and privilege to document you all together. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. A week later and I’m still floating from my time with your darling daughter!