This week, on November 12, the adoption of my daughter Amelia Irwyn Rose Brooks was recognized by the state of New York. But her true adoption—as I like to think of it—happened on a special day in May 2012 when she was delivered into our arms and hearts.
After 1,367 days in foster care, Amelia is now “officially” a permanent, and legal, member of our family. With the adoption finalized, I can’t even begin to describe the overwhelming sense of joy and relief our entire family feels. Her adoption was a long time coming.
It’s been 367 days since I wrote a post about Amelia’s 1,000 days in foster care. Many many months ago. But of all the months to have this happen, the timing couldn’t be more perfect. November is the month for family and for gratitude. I can say without a doubt that our Thanksgiving came early this year.
This week has been full of emotion. As her adoption approached, I thought back to the beginning. I had often joked to friends who were unfamiliar with New York City, that you could have “ANYTHING” delivered in NYC. It’s true! A black car “delivered” a 3-month old baby with the bluest eyes and rosiest cheeks I had ever seen right to my door. When my biological daughter Asher was born, I thought my heart was filled to capacity. But, as we all know, the human heart has no limits. I loved Amelia immediately and I haven’t looked back ever since.
We often hear in the foster care community of how lucky these children are to find loving homes but the honest truth of it is, it’s my family who are the lucky ones to have found Amelia. Her laughter, her smiles, her personality—she is so infectious and the joy she brings to those around her has made every single moment of uncertainty and frustration worth it. She has unleashed her unbridled spirit and unique personality on everyone.
Throughout the years, I have been fortunate to capture the growth of your families on camera. For those who have been in my photo shoots know that I am the one usually convincing clients to get the whole family in the shot. So imagine the irony of realizing with Amelia’s adoption day approaching that I could not find a family photo of us that was recent.
This jolt of realization was a reminder for me, that despite the craziness of schedules, work, and activities for the kids, it was important to remember to set aside time to celebrate my family. This week Pete brought the girls in for a wonderful family photo.
At a glance, photographs are just visual documentation of a moment. But it’s more than that. For Amelia and our family, we’ll look back at this photo years down the road and remember, this was when we became her forever family.
Photographs are moments in time that holds your family’s memories and stories. Here at Big Apple Portraits, you have granted us that privilege and I can’t thank you enough. You share your moments with me, and I hope to continue to share mine.
Now it’s time to celebrate Amelia with our family and the extended family at Big Apple Portraits. Thank you to everyone who’s been a part of this process—your advice, support, and friendship made this event possible and I can’t thank you enough from the bottom of my heart. It has to meant to us over the years.
For anyone who knows how much I love and cherish Amelia and her “super strength”, just remember, “Superman was adopted.” Now Amelia has been too.
Click here to see some of my favorite photos during Amelia’s 1367 days.