The Graham family was one of my first family shoots, three years ago when I began my business. I was introduced to them by my sister and instantly fell in love with their kids. Matt and Wanda have adopted all five of their children.
I love adoption. Some of you may know the heartbreak my family went through years ago when our family decided to adopt a child that we had been fostering for years. God had a different plan and he and his brother were blessed to have been adopted, together, in their home country of Mexico.
Because of that experience, I have seen first hand how someone who is not blood-related can come into a family and become part of it, so much so that without them it doesn’t feel like a complete family at all.
That is why, when Wanda came to me about Parker’s adoption shoot, I knew it had to be something special.
I struggled with how to articulate, through images, this idea of unique, one-of-a-kind individuals, blending together to create something so powerful as a family.
I ended up landing on an idea and couldn’t wait to see how it all played out! The six Grahams dressed in all white. They were then given a color of powder to represent their individuality. It was interesting to capture how what they did with their color of choice revealed their personality.
Once everyone was covered with their colors, we brought in Parker. Little two-year-old Parker was dressed in an already tye-dyed jumpsuit and his blonde hair was spiked. Everyone threw their color on him, in a symbolic representation of a family becoming one. The little one couldn’t have been a better canvas. His blonde hair instantly turned into a vibrant rainbow and the brim of his glasses caught the dust.
We continued the evening by letting the kids have full control of their color. The images below show the final results!
I asked Wanda to give me a first hand account of her experience with adoption and more personally Parker’s upcoming one:
“Parker, small and mighty, is the perfect description of our little man. Later this month, after 15 months with our family, he will be officially adopted. A lovely day in May 2012, as a beautiful 3 month old, he was placed in my (Wanda) arms. His eyes were scared, his heart was sad, my love for him was instant! The world he knew had just changed in an instant. His life forever changed.
His brokeness slowly healed as we whispered our love for him. His eyes began to brighten and his spirit lifted. The transformation was slow and we are truly honored to have been part of it!
His big adoption day is just around the corner. There will be so much joy, and at the same time heavy hearts. A momma, who I have come to love, feels the loss of our families gain. Adoption is more than our family growing in numbers, it’s more than a calling, it’s what Jesus did for us!”
I’m lucky to have a job that brings me, so often, in contact with amazing families like this!
I heard rumors Wanda may be starting a blog herself, so stay tuned for a link to that!