Guess whose photo was featured in the November online issue of Adoptive Families Magazine? I am thrilled and honored to share my photo, one of eight winners chosen out of ~1000 entries, for their 2016 Cover Photo Contest!
I discovered Adoptive Families magazine when we first started our adoption journey. I was so happy to find a magazine for “my tribe.” Each month was filled with articles, many written by adoptive parents, on all kinds of things adoption-related such as establishing healthy interactions with birth families, integrating a new child into your home, navigating transracial issues, bonding with your child, country information for international adoption or how to survive the wait. A treasure trove of resources and networks!
The magazine often features photo contests for Mother’s and Father’s Day, kids and pet, seasonal holidays. This year I decided to enter. My photo, of our daughter spinning in her yellow dress is not one of my crispest images, the light is blown-out in places and the background certainly isn’t as dreamy as other shots I’ve taken. But, to me, this photo speaks volumes to who my daughter is–always a girl in motion, a girl who finds great joy in a “fancy” dress.
This particular dress comes with a great story that I’d like to share. My daughter received the dress as a gift when we visited the yard sale of a friend. I’d heard about the sale the week prior and thought it might be a fun distraction on a rainy Saturday morning. After we got there, we poked around on the table outside, laden with all sorts of trinkets and finds. But it was rainy, cold and windy so it wasn’t long before we went inside to see what they had there.
Almost immediately my daughter found her first gem, and ecstatically held up a pair of red clip-on earrings from the 1960s: Can I have these Mama? I said yes and she put them on. They were her first pair of dress-up earrings and she paraded around the living room of their house, showing them off to any and everyone whose attention she could capture.
That’s when Suzanne, whose home we were visiting, asked if she could take my daughter back to their bedroom to show her something. Soon after, my child appeared–a vision in yellow tulle. The dress had been Suzanne’s, made for her by her mother about 50 years ago. It fit my daughter to a t, and she was over the moon. We brought it home and she got dressed up in her earrings, her lovely yellow dress and sparkly red shoes. We put on some music and she spun around in circles, because this yellow dress is also a fabulous “spinny dress.” In that moment my daughter was in her own little world. She felt happy–and special–this dress was chosen for her.
Since that day, the yellow dress has taken the top spot when a fancy dress is required…or even when it’s not (like when her much beloved babysitter comes over). My heart warms whenever I see her in it. Not many little girls get to wear handmade dresses these days, and certainly not a dress as divine as this one.
It’s all about the journey,
Interested in domestic or international adoption? Are you an adoptive family? You can read more great articles in Adoptive Families Magazine by subscribing here.