In 2010, I started going to Seattle’s Mamas with Cameras meetings. The mamas share a love of photography, and the group’s goal is to help those who attend develop the ability to take great digital photos to document family moments and milestones. Each month, there is a meeting with a speaker. And, each month, there is also an assignment based on something we learned the previous month.
Once a year there is a special assignment. Mamas pair up and swap a photo shoot with another mama in the group. For mamas (and anyone!) who spends a lot of time behind the camera, it’s rare to have pictures of yourself, much less yourself with your child.
There was only one hitch. I didn’t have a child. I was the only “mama” attending the group who didn’t.
But when we got the assignment, Big Papa and I had already met the baby girl we hoped to adopt, the baby girl we thought would be our daughter. So, I decided “Why not?” I’d shoot photos for Wenmei and her two little sweeties and take a rain check on the swap. Once we we brought our daughter home, I’d “cash it in.”
It was an excellent plan. Except that our adoption fell through at the last minute.
Another year passed. I attended meeting after meeting. I would stay until the speaker finished and then leave before mamas shared photos they’d taken for the assignment of the month. It was too painful for me to see pictures of children and not have any of my own, particularly following the emotional devastation from our failed adoption.
And then, finally–after years of waiting–Baby Bird arrived. I was a MOM!
At the next meeting I attended, I shared the news. Wenmei graciously offered to come to our home this week and photograph the two of us–together.
When I received the email from Wenmei, with a link to our photos, I got a bit teary. On this Mother’s Day weekend, my first as a Mama after years of heartbreak and longing, these photographs symbolize so much: the bond between women–friends, sisters, mothers and daughters; the joy of photography; and, the importance of always holding on to my dreams.
Check out more of Wenmei Hill’s awesome photography at: http://wenmeihill.com/
And, if you want to see more baby-licioius photos? Click on over to Delicious Baby Photo Friday!