June was an interesting month for me when it comes to photography. I have never taken so many pictures. Sadly, many of them had to be destroyed and deleted. I was a photographer for a camp for foster children this month. It was amazing and painful and beautiful all at once. All pictures that can identify the child cannot be shown to the public. We had them printed and made scrapbooks for the children, but then all the files had to be deleted. All photos that were not used in a scrapbook had to be shredded. The photos that I could keep and that the camp will use for promotional purposes are photos that you can not identify the children.
Of those, these two are my favorite. We had a therapy dog at the camp. He was so sweet to all the kids. They quickly fell in love with him.
We also had a big birthday party for all the children. There were cupcakes with their names on them, balloons, party games, a big bubble pit, and presents. It was fun to see so much joy happen all night long. I was so happy when one little boy came out of the bubbles and I was able to catch it. The bubbles cover his face just enough that the camp will be able to use it in the future. However, I can still see his little eye and I know who he is. It makes my heart happy.
I came home spent and tired. I also felt hopeless about all that I had seen. How were there so many children in the foster care system and I didn’t know? That next day Andy and I had a job scheduled. It was to capture a celebration party for a Gotcha Day for two sweet twin girls. It healed my heart. I was nice to see that some stories end perfectly and beautifully.
At one moment at the party, I stood by their peach tree and cried. I knew I had to do something. I didn’t know what it was, but it something needed to be done. I took a picture of the tree to remind me of my promise.
I have found a program that will train and equip me to be an advocate for on child in the foster care system. It is a small thing… but it is something we all can do. For more information on how to serve in your state, you can find the link here.
My last photo is of my baby. When I was twenty, I found myself pregnant with her. At first, I was going to put her up for adoption. I was young and unmarried…. and scared. I made quilts that I hoped could go with her. One day, early in my pregnancy, I had some complications and needed to go into the hospital. They did an ultrasound and I saw her little heartbeat.
That moment…. she was mine. I knew I wasn’t going to be the greatest mom nor was I going to be able to give her everything she deserved…. but damn it, she was mine. It was one of the most selfish things I have ever done. She turns 21 this year. We took a few photos of her for her party invite. I love her and am so thankful she is mine.
I am honored to be doing this blog roll with some amazing photographers. Head on over to Vanessa’s beautiful blog next, then continue on through.
Always love how you speak straight from the heart, and honestly.
thank you! xx
i love that there is a “gotcha day” is that when a family adopts and everything is final? you are a beautiful, giving mother, who knows by instinct how to love unconditionally. i love that you shared your girl’s photo and shared this, happy soon to be 21 to you both! you amaze me daily. xoxoxo
Yes, that is when it is all finalized. Thank you for your kind words! xx
oh wow, Staci, just wow. You are amazing. 🙂 xoxo
Thank you, friend! xx
Staci, you’re just about the best that there is. As always, love both your words and images.
thank you xx
You, beautiful, amazing, inspiring, genuine you.