I want to talk about a day that means a lot to me.  I want to talk about a day that I will always remember.  That was the day Trey was born.  Maybe it's 3 months late, but I don't really care.  It was one of my favorite days of my entire life, and I want to remember everything before I forget my favorite details completely.

((Warning // This happens to be an extremely long post :P ))

The morning we found out he was coming, I was asleep.  I'm pretty sure it was 8am.  We made bets about when he was coming.  It was quite an exciting moment in our home.  Anyways, at 8am, my mother came frantically barging into my bedroom, turning on the lights, and yelled something to the extent of, "I WON THE BET!  EMMA!  GET UP!  I WON THE BET!"  I knew what this meant.  I wouldn't recommend talking to me about important things the moment I first wake up, but I knew what this meant.  He was coming.  I literally bounced out of my bed and jumped in the shower while I waited for my dad to come get me.  My dad happened to be coaching one of my brother's baseball game at the unholy hour of 8:30am, so after many phone calls, he was finally able to come home, pick me up, and drive 30 minutes to the hospital.

The next ten hours were a huge blur.  We waited in the waiting room for the first six hours.  We took a lunch break, went back into the room to check on what was happening, and went back out and waited some more.  I read, checked Facebook on my iPod, texted people, and watched the news on the hospital waiting room TV. Then, the Doctor came out.  This wasn't the ordinary doctor.  He told us about his girls' adoption in China and asked us to pray with him.  We stood holding hands in a circle, right there in the middle of that hospital waiting room, and prayed.  It's one of those moments I'll probably never forget.  I grabbed some snacks downstairs (I was getting pretty good at navigating in that huge hospital) and went and hung out in the room.  I ended up staying in the room for the delivery, and that's another experience I'll never forget.  To be in the room when your brother is born is a crazy experience.  I loved every minute.  

And then he came.  He came and he had a full head of hair and his skin had a slight purple tint.  He was kind of swollen and was screaming.  

And then he was placed in our arms.  That's another thing I loved about this adoption - he was placed in our arms at the very beginning.  The feeling I felt when he was placed in our arms is one I will carry until I die.  Unexplainable.  He just was.  And that was all that mattered.  

me, amidst the hospital chaos 5 minutes after he was born

And then we got to meet him for the first time.  From that point on, our lives were never the same.  You can never really explain to someone how it feels to add another sibling to your family.  To be honest, this was the first time I actually remembered it.  For the others, I was too young to remember what it felt like before they were there.  It's a lot of feelings combined into one, really.  But people say it all the time, and it's so true.... you don't remember what it's like before.  Life with the new sibling is so exciting.  Pure bliss.  Pure joy.  It may be a challenge, but it's not a big deal.  It's really not.  It doesn't take any big adjustments.  He just comes into your home and stays there forever.  You don't have to adjust to anything.  You forget how it was before.  So this moment was one of my favorites to capture.

(missing my last photo of my 3rd brother...not sure where it went)

And then he came home.  He got to come home unofficially ours for 24 hours.  My mom wanted me to have a photo shoot with him.  I didn't want to.  What if he didn't become ours and I would be stuck with 200 photos of a baby that isn't my brother?  It was too scary.  But I did it anyway.  And now I love them.

Tuesday finally came.  I didn't exactly know what to think.  It all just sort of happened.  I was scared, excited, nervous, and all around just bipolar that day.  It was a really nerve-racking day.  Finally, we got the call.  He was ours.  He was ours forever.  There had never been a happier moment in my life.  I posted it on Facebook and got more likes than I had on my entire Photography album on there.  Yeah, it was a big deal.  It really showed me how much people prayed for him.  How many people truly prayed his way home.  And now he was home, forever.  

first smile

showing off his jamaican heritage!

And today, he is the happiest baby alive.  You can usually find him smiling.  His face lights up any room.  I love how he smiles.  I love the little dimples he gets when he smiles really big.  I love the way his eyes and his eyebrows smile too.  I love the way he sticks his tongue out when he sees you do the same.  I love his crazy weird pinky toe that moves by itself.  I love the way he laughs when you say "Sir Anthony Rattle" in a British accent.  I love that when you turn around in the front seat of the car you see his toes moving and know he's awake.  I love how happy he gets when Call Me Maybe comes on.  I love how he watches TV with me and smiles when he sees himself in a mirror.  I just love him.  He was waited for, prayed for, and today, he is loved, adored, and cherished.  Adoption is absolutely 100% beautiful.  I am so grateful I got to experience every moment so closely with my parents.  This journey changed my life completely.  So many moments I will take all the way to the day I die.  

So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God's Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, "Abba, Father." // Romans 8:15


It will never cease to amaze me...how God makes bringing an adopted sibling into your family no different than a biological sibling.  No difference, really.  At times...maybe you wonder, "Will I really feel like he is my brother when I look at him?" But really, there is no difference.  I look at his face and see my brother.  Not my adopted brother.  Just my brother.  Because that's what he is.  My brother.  Plain and simple.  There is no difference between adopted and bio.  We are all the same to God.

I've said it before and I'll say it again... DNA doesn't make up a family.  God does.

Soooooo blessed by what adoption has done in my life.  Oh my goodness.

Psalms 68:5-6


This place has a lot of meaning to me.  It's one of my favorite places to be in the world.  All of my childhood Summer memories come from this place.  The cabin.  It sits on a golf course, with a good amount of woods surrounding it.  As soon as we drive into the driveway of our friends' cabin that I've been going to since I was 6 months old, I feel at home.  The smells, the greenery of the golf course, and the way the thunder rolls whenever we get a good storm.  It's looked the same all fifteen years I've been there.  We spend our evenings on the golf course, our mornings sleeping in, and our afternoons reading, taking in the rain, or driving the golf cart.  It will always be my favorite place to be.


Taking a mini blog break until Sunday... enjoying my time in the mountains.


The cutest thing...the boys and their neighbor best friend (who is like family)...watching the storm roll in.  One of those moments that I love capturing.  Real life.  Love. 


The heat of the Arizona Summer almost always calls for a new haircut for the boys in my household.


in between

and after


\\ "Adoption is about forming forever families—it shouldn’t be about “saving” children." //

Someone put this as their Facebook status recently and it really got me thinking.  

Does the world really think of adoption as "saving" children?  Because it's not.  We don't do it because "Oh, there are millions of orphans, and why not save one of them?"  It doesn't work like that.  It can't be like that, or your whole heart won't be in it.  

Then the question really remains; what is adoption about then?  Forming forever families - yes.  There are so many waiting children that are waiting for forever families.  Not to be saved.  To have a family.  In the website I talked about in this post, there are 18-year-olds that just want a forever family.  Just so they can have someone to love them when no one else cares.  It's not about finding their savior.  It's not about them waiting for a family to come pick them up and save them from their future of being unloved.  It's not like that.  And it can't be like that.  If it was, there wouldn't be a true heart for the orphan or for adoption. 

So next time you watch someone adopt, don't tell them they are so great because they "saved" that child.  They didn't save them.  They just gave that child a forever family.  



about the color in our skin;

family is family, no matter how they are brought together,

and no matter how you think a family should be formed.

If the Lord calls a family to adopt a child with a different skin color,

so be it.  For God chooses the way family is formed.  Not DNA.

Galatians 3:28 // There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male or female, for you are all one in Jesus Christ. 



from our shoot

100% model worthy.  Taylor has something about her that makes the photographs I take 10x better.  Lovelove this girl.  Lovelove this shoot.  Miss her... & these two super warm nights in the desert doing shoots.  It was so worth it though...after these results.  Makes me love this job even more.  

And.....after a scare thinking my 50mm was broken... makes me appreciate owning a camera and the gift of being able to take photographs.  


Everyday is a gift.  Adoption is amazing.


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