Our "Maternity" Photos

A few months ago, my dear friend, Kaitlin, walked into my classroom and told me she had a gift for me. "I bought you guys two photo sessions. One for before the baby comes and one when the baby is home." I was so excited and thought it was one of the nicest gifts someone could give us. It showed us that she truly understood our heart with this adoption.

Since Kaitlin gave us the gift, I have told many people, posted about it on Facebook and now have posted a few of the photos from the preview shots that the photographer posted the day of the shoot. Many people have asked us if this was something required for the adoption and why we were having to do these photos.

Yes, the government of Ethiopia and the United States have required us to send in pictures that included photos of us with friends and family, photos of our house and more, but this was not another thing to check off the giant adoption process checklist. We are not sending these photos to Ethiopia.

The purpose of these photos are to capture our excitement and anticipation for the arrival of our precious baby. These photos are to document that this baby was so loved and wanted and thought about way before his/her mommy and daddy ever brought him/her home. Just like a maternity photo shoot that beautifully captures an expectant mommy and daddy that are so ready to meet their baby, we wanted to do the very same.

We want baby Woodson to realize that this was not a second option, this was not just something we randomly decided to do. We want baby Woodson to realize that mommy and daddy prayed about him/her before he/she was ever born and that we truly feel that this is how we are supposed to start our family. Just as if mommy and daddy were going to get pregnant (which we plan to do one day) and we would want some to capture the baby growing in mommy's womb, we want to be able to tell baby Woodson, "As you were physically growing somewhere else, you were growing in our hearts here."

When I started to really think about maternity photos, I started to think about how you don't take a maternity photo when you just find out that you are expecting. No, you take a maternity photo when most of the time you are extremely uncomfortable, you are so ready for this baby to come, and you when you can see the end in sight. Though I may not look it, and it is harder for you to see this baby growing in my heart than in my belly, I am uncomfortable; I am so ready. I too have nights where I wake up and want this baby to so be here. Though I may not feel the same kind of labor pains, I assure you I am still having them. I hurt when I think about not being there for my baby when he/she is scared, hungry, or just needing held. Although I have peace knowing that I serve a God who is watching over my baby, I still long to be there. Yes, we probably did take these photos early if you look at the current wait time that is being projected, but we thought that sometimes images and photos can say more than words, and we want our friends and family to share this excitement with us. We want you to open your hearts and minds to the idea that there is a very little baby (or will be sometime very soon) in a place that is very far away that has totally invaded our hearts and our minds. We know that sometimes it is easier to connect with a baby that is growing inside a mommy's belly, but we pray that these photos will speak to you about who is missing in our home.

*The photos below are just a very small portion of the photos we took yesterday. We will be posting more when they are finished. We want to thank KW Photography for enduring the cold weather and shooting her first adoption shoot which we think was amazing. We also want to again thank Kaitlin for purchasing this photo session and photos for us since we would have no way financially been able to do this. 



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