Several weeks ago, I had the incredible opportunity to photograph the court hearing for an adoption. My job takes me to some pretty interesting places and events, but this may have been one of the sweetest days on the job in a long time.
Their adoption journey was not something they had planned. 4 years ago, they were planning their wedding and dreaming of starting a biological family. But when they began learning the statics surrounding children in foster care, they couldn't help but take action.
"WE DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT THE MASSIVE NUMBERS OF KIDS IN NEED OF A FAMILY. THERE ARE NEARLY 500,000 CHILDREN IN FOSTER CARE IN THE UNITE STATES ALONE. THOSE 500,000 CHILDREN WOULD FILL TWO ENTIRE FOOTBALL STADIUMS! THE STATISTICS LEFT US WONDERING IF WERE WERE SUPPOSED TO BE A PART OF THIS WHOLE FOSTER CARE THING. WE HAD WATCHED FRIENDS AND FAMILY GO THROUGH THIS PROCESS. WE KNEW IT WAS MESSY. AFTER SEEING MY SISTER AND HER HUSBAND GO THROUGH A REALLY TOUGH DAY IN THEIR PROCESS TO ADOPT THROUGH THE FOSTER CARE SYSTEM, I TOLD TIM, 'THERE IS NO WAY WE CAN DO THAT!' HE RESPONDED BY TELLING ME THAT IF THIS IS WHAT GOD HAD FOR US, WE COULD DO IT.'"
As Tim and Laura continued talking about beginning to foster, Tim began to feel very strongly about taking in a child with an autism diagnosis. Tim and Laura had both worked at a school for children with severe autism. They were trained and well equipped for the task at hand, but the idea of bringing a child into their home who was diagnosed autistic was slightly daunting. They continued to process what this would mean for them, and pray about what steps to take next.
Laura's sister was in the process of adopting two children, and while their social worker observed their extended family all together, she instantly knew that Tim and Laura would be the perfect parents for Donnie, a beautiful blonde haired, blue - eyed boy with a pretty significant autism diagnosis. She approached them with this and after taking about a week to think through what this would mean for them, they told her they were interested in moving forward. She emailed them a picture of Donnie, and they instantly fell in love with his amazing, infectious smile.