god bless the broken road

i am a huge [that’s an understatement] proponent of adoption. its a ministry i feel many are called to [not everyone, but many] and that everyone [yes, everyone] should support in some way. when i hear stories of adoption, my heart melts. within the past couple of years, i have been able to see friends adopt children of all ages. its such an distinguished type of love that just moves me. and i have learned by having adoptive friends, it is not all butterflies + roses. perhaps that’s why it is a type of love that stands out to me in so many ways.

this past sunday, i was able to see that type of love play out once again. i knew beforehand that the groom, jared, was adopted but i did not know the specifics of the adoption. as his father gave his toast, the guests and myself learned that he had an open adoption with his birth mom. for those of you who don’t know that term, it means that the adoptive parents allow the birth parent[s] the opportunity to play a role [of varying degree] in the child’s life [see full definition here]. in my humble [and outside] opinion, i believe it is a beautiful relationship that takes trust and sacrifice on both ends of the relationship. anyway, back to the reception… after the toasts, it was time for jared to have the mother-son dance with his mom, julie. the two laughed and held one another close to an amazing country song [which i am forgetting right now]. as i watched them embrace this moment, i couldn’t help but wonder how his birth mom was feeling. was that even fair for me to think? i am not sure. i am just human and that’s where my mind went. before i could let my mind wander anymore, the moment concluded. and as i stood there photographing thinking, the dj announced that jared wanted to honor another special woman in his life with a mother-son dance. his birth mom.

full of joy, jared’s mom julie went into the crowd and brought jared’s birth mom to jared. such a raw, loving and incredible moment of pure joy was written all over her face. they danced cheek-to-cheek to “god bless this broken road” by the rascal flatts.

there was not a dry eye around.

the thing is that i was told beforehand that this was going to happen. i knew this moment would take place and i was prepared to photograph it. but it was a moment that, honestly, i was still blown away by. and this blog does not do justice. nor do the photos. it is just a moment where i felt that true love was evident between jared and his mom, his mom and his birth mom. and of course, jared and his birth mom. this intricate and sensitive situation can play out in so many ways in the adoption world. perhaps that is why i was so taken back on how beautiful a moment it was.

basically, i was honored to have been a witness. so thank you lunsfords for letting me witness such love.

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[above is jared’s sister and mom, julie]