angelina: an adoption story.

what it means to be a family.

angelina’s big day!

it was almost 3 years ago that i returned from months of traveling through south america and (much to my own surprise) embarked on impromtu career in photography. with no experience and no plan, i traded a pen for a camera, and thus began the transition from working as a writer to a photographer. i was, and still am, incredibly passionate about telling stories and the importance of preserving memories. initially, i found great satisfaction doing both of those things with a combination of words and images. however, i began to learn that it was only with a photograph that i was able to truly capture the fleeting moments and emotions, and that i could tell powerful and immediate stories without words. it was my passion for people – their stories, their love, their lives – that truly made me passionate about photography.

over the last few years i have been incredibly lucky to document so many different stories, those of love + joy, of family + tradition, of struggle + sorrow, of all the emotions and moments that make up the crazy and unbelievable story that is life. regardless of how many times i document a certain type of event it is always a unique experience because of the emotion and personal connection i feel for everyone that i photograph. for me, the camera is like a perfect window into people’s lives – allowing me not only the ability to watch what is happening, but also to connect and experience it in a very intimate way. this is precisely why i feel so lucky and so honored to be a photographer. i am able to turn moments into something tangible, and it is so rewarding each and every time. however, there is something particularly wonderful about documenting something completely new, something i have never experienced – like an adoption. it was an amazing privilege to witness and photograph the wonderfully emotional adoption of angelina this week.

angelina is a beautiful, happy 2-year-old little girl who found her way to her family through foster care when she was just 12 weeks old. her mother, megghan, told me it was love at first sight when she and wes met angelina. within a year, megghan + wes’ family grew exponentially – while fostering angelina, megghan gave birth to baby charlie, and also began fostering angelina’s biological brother jeremiah, who was born just weeks apart from charlie! the “twins” as they call them, charlie + jeremiah are now both a year old, making for one very busy household! megghan and wes radiate love and goodness – you know instantly that they are the most wonderful, loving parents and you see it in the smiles on their children’s faces.

angelina’s adoption has been a long and difficult process for the family, and wednesday was a very emotional and happy day for everyone. i was so excited to meet megghan + wes and the kids, and i felt very privileged to sit in on the proceedings and document the morning’s events. everyone at the courthouse was simply wonderful, and the judge was amazing – she reflected on their journey and commented on the sanctity and power of family. at the end of the proceedings she read a touching poem, to an adopted, as she announced that angelina was now legally megghan + wes’ daughter.

i can’t explain what it means to me to be able to witness the most important moments of someone’s life, to be welcomed into celebrations as if i am family, and to be given the opportunity to document the entire experience. i am forever changed by the people i meet and the moments i capture, and so grateful for everything i have learned. experiences like being present at angelina’s adoption are absolutely life changing for me. i can say with certainty that this will forever stand out as one of the most incredible lessons about the power of love, the rewards of perseverance, and the importance of what it means to be a family.

when her dad asked her what time it was angelina said, “adoption time!”

happiest angelina!

little brother jeremiah!

little brother charlie!

the judge read the poem “to an adopted.”

a very happy family!



Filed under children, family, photography

15 responses to “angelina: an adoption story.

  1. Love! Powerful words, powerful post. Congrats to this family!! All of the children are beautiful!

  2. Laurie Hershey

    WOW Jaime that was an awesome post! I love children and for that reason I became a kindergarten teacher. Every child deserves to be loved and cared for. They are the most precious resource we have! I thank this family for offering such a loving home to their three children!! And I thank you Jaime for sharing this amazing story with us. You are one amazing person and I was so fortunate to have you capture my memories!!! You ROCK!!!

  3. Charlotte's Mama

    That gave me chills. What a beautiful family.

  4. Beautiful Jaime. So wonderful.

  5. This made me cry! So wonderful. :)

  6. GwenniePie

    So touching, Jamie! Thanks for sharing. I love this family story!

  7. lian yuen

    it touches my heart to still see goodness in a world where it’s becoming scarce. jaime, you capture so many great moments in people’s lives with your gifts and talents. megghan & wes are truly lucky (as are the yuens) to have you become such an imporant part of their lives. i’m sure people will agree: we hope you never stop! :-)

  8. What a lovely story!

    Seeing as my older brothers are adopted, I like to know that people are still willing to adopt even in this day and age of IVF and surrogate mothers, particularly when they do it simply because they want to do so. It’s unfortunate that it’s such a difficult process now. My parents had my brothers at 6wks and 6days respectively. Good for them for sticking to it!

  9. eva

    So so powerful.You truly understand the beauty, responsibility and incredible privilege of what we, as photojournalists, do. Congratulations to you for doing what you love and being so wonderful at it. And congratulations to this beautiful family, their story is an inspiration.

  10. kas

    oh himay, this is so awesome. you made me cry a little. and these babies are all so precious.

  11. Lindsey L.

    This literally brought me to tears. Jaime – not only is your work beautiful, but you capture some of life’s most precious moments and document it in such a touching way. Well done!! Congratulations to the parents!

  12. Wow. This is amazing. My husband and I are seriously considering fostering/adoption in the next year or two and stories like this bring me the biggest of warm fuzzies. Thank you.

  13. What a beautiful story and images. Really enjoying reading your blog! You are very talented.

  14. i’m tearing up over here…what a touching and amazing story. beautiful shots and words.

  15. I love it! Adoption is so special and forever changes so many lives. Great capture! You are definitely a gifted writer too!

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