Adoption has always been near and dear to my heart because my oldest nephew, Noah, is adopted. It was such a joy to watch my sister walk through that process and be there along the way. Last May, I did newborn photos for Jill and Dan and little Gus. At the time I couldn’t give many details because in the adoption process you have to be careful about the rights of the baby, the birth parents and everyone involved. If you want to walk down memory lane, you can see Gus’ newborn session here.
Fast forward to November when I got an email from Jill stating that Gus’ adoption hearing was going to be in December and she wanted to know if I could come and document it. I was beyond thrilled. What an honor! The date was finalized for December 27th.
As I arrived, I got to meet their wonderful friends and family who had come to support them. The whole room was full of excitement! Little Gus just wanted to be free to roam about the courtroom. This just might be one of my all-time favorite photos. So full of emotion and yet so simple. Other people agreed as this was my number one “liked” photo for all of 2019 on Instagram.
Once the hearing started I wasn’t able to take many photos out of respect for the court, the judge and the process. But the few that I was able to take were powerful.
The judge was so wonderful, understanding and obviously a lover of children. She really wanted to make sure that Gus was being well cared for and was touched by how much Jill and Dan love this little guy. Even though I wasn’t able to take many pictures or video during the hearing, I did take a voice recording of the proceedings so they would have a record of what was said. And I am so glad that I did! The judge asked the question “Why do you think it is in his best interest that I make this adoption final?”. And in the midst of great emotion and tears Jill said (with Gus babbling in the background) “Sorry…..I am crying. We have love to give and we have had so much fun falling in love with him. He is the little person we have been waiting for that we didn’t even know…for many years and were saving a place in our heart for him. He is our guy”. If you aren’t tearing up a little bit right now, you might need to check your heart!
If you weren’t crying before…..just wait. As we were walking out of the courtroom Jill proceeded to tell me that it was her Father-in-law’s birthday. We talked about how beautiful that was and then she dropped the bomb on me. She told me how significant this date was for multiple reasons. Last year on December 27, 2018 Dan donated a kidney to his dad (on his dad’s birthday). How cool is that?! So when the court called and said that the first available date for the adoption was December 27th, they knew it was fate. What a blessing all around!
The lobby of the Taj Mahal (which is what we call our local courthouse) was a perfect setting for some group photos.
I have a feeling these guys are going to be life-long friends. Aren’t they so cute (and their moms’ faces are even funnier).
After the hearing and the group photos were over, we headed into nearby Golden to grab a few milestone pictures.
This little guy is so happy and ADORABLE!!
There is NO doubt that these guys are head over heels for Gus.
What a joy to be a part of their special day.
Thanks for including me Jill and Dan. It was truly an honor to witness you becoming an “official” family.