I often say the best part of my job is sharing the joy and excitement with my clients during their biggest life moments. This rang true on Tuesday, March 20th when I photographed the Miller Family’s Rhode Island adoption story. They adopted their little girl, E, after fostering her for over two years.
E’s mom K had contacted me to see if I could photograph the adoption ceremony and subsequent party at their home and I jumped on the chance to be there for a special reason: my mum was adopted by her foster parents and it had a profound impact on her. She had a wonderful upbringing, much better than she would have had with her birth family, and knowing how much love it takes to both foster and adopt, I absolutely wanted to capture this moment for K’s family.
I met K and her family at the family courthouse bright and early first thing Tuesday morning. When I say I met her family, I mean I met her entire family! There were so many people who had turned up to support this family as they formally adopted little E. One of the courthouse employees said it was the largest number of people she had ever seen turn up for one adoption proceeding.
Everyone was excited, but no one was quite as excited as E. She was, as her dad put it, “in rare form”. She’s just about the same age as my daughter Hannah so I understood this wild excitement. She was the center of attention in the hallway as we waited to be called before the judge. She opened a few gifts from friends and family, including this little wooden statue that she thought was a statue of her. It was so cute. She also got a Minnie Mouse toy.
The family’s lawyer arrived and soon after, it was time for everyone to file into the courtroom for the actual adoption ceremony. The judge came in and sat down, and kindly asked the adoptive parents a few questions and then signed some paperwork. Soon, everything was official and E was theirs! E’s mom and dad had tears in their eyes and everyone clapped and hugged them. Even the cousins hugged each other tightly with joy on their faces.
It was time to head back to their home for a big brunch to celebrate the morning’s events. E lead the way. She was so happy!
The family had a lovely spread out for their guests and everyone helped themselves. E opened more gifts, the majority of which were mysteriously Disney related. Hmmm, was a bigger surprise coming up soon? (Hint: yes it was!)
E’s mom had made a slideshow of some of her favourite images of E as she was growing up. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house, myself included. It was so vividly clear that this little girl is adored and loved and wanted, and will have an amazing life with her family.
E’s mom said, “Hey, E! Did the mail come today? Oh yes, and there’s a package for you!”
E excitedly opened it with some help from the grownups.
Inside were Disney wristbands! E’s parents revealed that they were leaving for Disney World first thing in the morning with her to go visit Minnie Mouse at her house! They even had mouse ears for everyone to wear. Everyone was so excited, but again, no one was more excited than E herself!
The rest of my time there was spent photographing a few family portraits, and some sweet moments between E and her dad. Then we gathered everyone out on the front porch and took a big group photograph so they could remember this exciting day and everyone who was there to celebrate with them.
Congratulations to E and her family, and thank you for asking me to be there to capture your Rhode Island adoption story!