I had the absolute pleasure of attending and capturing the most beautiful event today.  It was special to me not only because I know the mother well, but because of how breathtakingly beautiful the moments were.  Adoptions are special moments for all parties involved, and this one was one that I was blessed to be a part of.  

I have known Alicia for a few years now because of my brother getting to know her through work.  From the Penn State tailgates to the get togethers at others houses, I have always had a great time with her.  It was no surprise to me that she decided to foster boys and invite them lovingly into her home.  Last summer I got to photograph Alicia and her boys but because of all of the privacy I could not post these photos anywhere.  During this session it was clear to me that Alicia loved being a mother to these boys and that it was something special to them all.  

One of the boys went back into another home, but Brian and Alicia continued to bond and become their own little family.  What I witnessed today was the creation of a family not by blood, but by the love of a caring individual that puts Brian above herself and has a knack for parenting.  

As the court proceeding went on, it was apparent to everyone present that Alicia cares for Brian unlike any other.  The thing that sticks with me from the hearing the most is that when they asked Alicia on the stand how her and Brian get along, she said, “He is my son.  That is really it.  I have always felt that way about him, he is just my son.”  Tears of joy and happiness were shed and the judge was amazing.  He allowed Brian to have the pen after he signed the adoption papers and took pictures with him.  

The photos that followed were candid hugs and posed memories to be remembered in the years that will pass ever so quickly.  I am not an overly emotional person.  In fact I have been called heartless because I didn’t cry at the movie The Notebook.  I don’t cry at the drop of a hat because of happiness or cuteness, and I don’t see that as a weakness.  However, if I did cry, today would have been the day.  What I witnessed was absolutely beautiful, and it reminded me that there are so many kids out there that just want and need someone to love them for who they are and take them into their homes and show them what real love is.  You do not have to birth a child to be a mom.  You have to show a child unconditional love and the fact that it is okay to have mess ups here and there, but you take them anyway and brush them off.  

I am so blessed to have been raised by parents that showed me this kind of love.  I am blessed to know that I am accepted for everything that I do and that I am reminded all the time how proud my parents are of me.  It is refreshing to be loved and to feel that love.  This is not the case for everyone, but it should be.  You should feel loved by your parents but it does not always happen that way.  Adoption is the way to get that love and for mothers to be able to show that love to a child that may not have known it before.  I know that what I witnessed today is the start of a beautiful thing and that it is only the beginning.  

What a better way to spend my last day of summer vacation than experiencing something that beautiful and feeling refreshed and ready to tackle another school year?  I can’t think of anything I would have rather done than capture these moments.  Stay tuned for a back to school update…