In the past few weeks I had the incredible experience to capture part of the Welliver family’s adoption story. They have been on the journey to adopt a child for the past three years. About a year and a half ago they matched with Hope, a now 6 year old little girl from India, and immediately knew she was to be their daughter. Two weeks ago, the family boarded a plane for India to bring Hope back to her new home in the U.S. I was able to tag along as the family left for their exciting journey, and meet them as they brought Hope home for the first time.
Leaving the airport was an exciting but quick shoot, and it was only a taste of what was to come. The anticipation was palpable as the Wellivers spent their last hours as a family of four, ready to meet their newest family member, and to return in a few days as a family of five. I had never met the Welliver family, except for a few texts and phone calls, but when I met them that morning at the airport I was welcomed so warmly as if I had known them for years.
A week late, and another early morning, we met again at the airport. I first met up with Michelle’s parents and the videographer, Jeff, and headed to the International Arrivals area. I couldn’t have imagined a better place for this reunion to occur, the area was bright and sunny even though outside the weather was gray and foggy – the perfect location for this happy occasion. More friends and family arrived at the airport with signs, balloons, and gifts, and we waited in anticipation for what seemed like forever until we got the text that they had landed. Everyone lined up excitedly waving their signs and balloons and watching for the family to come through the doors.
Finally we saw them walking down the hall and through the doors with the cutest 6 year old you’ve ever seen. Cheers exploded as the extended family members met their new relative for the first time. There was no shortage of love and open arms. Hope had a huge smile on her face the whole time, hugging and waving to everyone she met, she seemed to already be such a natural fit with the Welliver family. All of the friends and family that had come to the airport to meet Hope gathered around her to give her hugs and let her know how welcome and loved she is. It was incredible to see and despite only being introduced to the family and learning their story a few days prior, I definitely felt my eyes welling up with tears of joy at this amazing culmination to the Welliver’s three year journey.
We stuck around the airport for a few hours while everyone got a chance to meet Hope and spend some time with her and shower her with gifts. All in all it was an amazing morning and I feel so honored to have been able to play even a small part in this deserving family’s story and in Hope’s life.
To check out more of their story, please check our their website at: www.togetherhope.com