This little beauty let me share her one week birthday with her! I absolutely adored photographing her! When I picked her up the first time I felt like I was holding a feather – she was only just over 5 1/2 pounds! Because she came 3 weeks early her parent’s weren’t able to make their busy schedules work to be in the photographs, so Etta, her grandmother and I spent 2 amazing hours together documenting this amazing new life.
Two days after Etta was born Hailey was released from the hosptial. Sarah from Touch of Life birth films came to document the event. Both of Etta’s moms dressed and fed her and we took some group photos for Etta and both families to have.
Technically the placement of a baby in an adoption involves a lot of paperwork, so I am using this term loosely to describe the time when the biological mother says her goodbyes and gives the baby to the adoptive parents to take home and raise. In this case, Kristi, Steve, and Hailey have arranged and open adoption so this is not the last time Hailey will see Etta. It is, nevertheless, a hard moment.
As Hailey and her parents watched Steve, Kristi, and Etta drive away she said something along the lines of, “These are tears of joy. It is hard, but I feel at peace.” At that point Sarah and I couldn’t hold back our tears either. I was so glad she was at peace. It made the story complete.
I feel so honored to have been given the opportunity to be a small part of this child’s story. I hope that these images are part of the healing process for Hailey and her family and that as Etta grows she will look back at these photographs and now that she was loved by both of her mothers.
Want more? See the whole adoption story at this link.
Know someone adopting who would like photographs of the birth or placement of their child? Contact Abby Alger for more information at email@example.com.
This is not a traditional birth story. It is much more than that. This is the story of a child who has two mothers who love her- one who gave her life and another who is raising her. This is the story of an adoption.
Adoption is near and dear to my heart for many reasons. I have several friends who are adopties, birth mothers, or adoptive parents. To me, this adoption story is a story the represents how many people can come together for the love of one child.
The first mother (also known as the birth or biological mother), Hailey, decided to show how much she loved her baby girl by placing her with a family that could offer her more than she could at this time. I cannot even express how much I respect her for this decision. Is it the right decision for every woman in her situation? No. However, for this mother and child it was the best choice.
Kristi and Steve are the ones adopting Etta. They are the type of couple that you know are going to make the most amazing parents, but for reasons beyond their control are unable to have children biologically. Steve said the most striking thing the day he took Etta home from the hospital - he said that Hailey was Christlike for placing Etta with them. I thought more about this for days and realized how right he was. Christ sacrificed and did the very thing that we could not do ourselves. Hailey selflessly sacrificed to provide Kristi and Steve something they are unable to do by themselves – start a family. That really touched me. Adoption can be such a beautiful thing.
Ok. enough talk. Let’s get to the photographs! Hailey was so kind to not only allow Kristi and Steve into the birth room, but myself to photograph and Sarah from Touch of Life birth films to film.
Kristi (the adoptive mom) and Hailey’s mom were her labor supports, which I thought was so very sweet. It was so beautiful to see both of Etta’s moms holding hands and supporting one another. Hailey was amazing and only needed three pushes to get Etta into the world. Yes, three. Not three hours like my son’s birth – three pushes TOTAL. Lucky woman! She looks gorgeous after giving birth from the inside out. She was just glowing with joy!
Hailey let Steve cut the cord. How awesome is that!? Etta was having a few minor respiratory challenges so the nurses took her to the warmer. Hailey’s dad immediately stepped in to help support his daughter. It was so sweet.
Then there were lots of hugs. Kristi and Steve were so grateful that Hailey allowed them to be so involved with their daughter’s birth.
After Etta was checked out by the nurses Hailey was able to hold her for the first time. It was a beautiful moment.
Both of the mom’s admiring her adorableness (is that a word…?).
Steve expressed his desire for Hailey and her family to hold Etta as much as possible in the hosptial. He said it was their time with Etta; they got her for eternity so he wanted them to hold her as much as they could her first copule days of life. Hailey was very kind and did give them a chance to hold her for the first time shortly after she was born, and it was a wonderful moment. You could feel the beautiful emotion of a mother’s love from both of Etta’s mothers.
I want to end with my favorite photograph from this amazing birth. This photograph sums up this adoption in one image. Kristi and Steve have waited 6 years for the moment their first child would be placed in their arms, and it had finally arrived. Hailey is looking over smiling at them. It is beautiful. It is perfect. Etta is one loved baby, and I hope that these photographs help her as she grows understand that she was not placed for adoption because she was unwanted or unloved, but quite the opposite. She was placed because she was loved, and she has two mothers and two families who love her. In my opinion, no child can ever have too much love.
Want to see more? See the full gallery of Etta’s birth here.
Be sure to check back tomorrow for the photographs of Etta leaving the hospital with her parents.
Remember how I used to blog…? Ya know, before I had a baby and I had time to type on the computer without a little one banging on the keyboard “helping” me??? hahaha
I promise that I am going to catch up soon! I am already working on putting together the blog post of the AMAZING adoption birth story I had the honor of documenting last week. It will make you tear up. So stayed tuned for that, and be sure to bring tissues when you check back next!Read More
Sam and Julie wanted colorful engagements in March, a tall order when in Utah. The snow was melting, however the grass underneath was brown and nothing is in bloom yet. Lucky for us we found some amazing graffiti and colorful walls in Salt Lake City that fit perfectly with their fun and bright personalities!
Cool side note: It was Sam’s birthday when we took their engagements. Happy (now belated) Birthday Sam!
I LOVED this graffiti!
This is a crazy awesome loading dock that I haven’t used in a while! I was so happy to see it was stil there and as cool as always!
Want more? See the amazing whole gallery here!Read More
Jessie & Mark were one of the lucky winners of a free engagement session that I gave away at the Provo Bridal Fair! This was the first professional session I have done since having my baby and it was great to get back into it! I couldn’t have asked for a better couple to start off my year with. They were so much fun to work with! We went to Utah Lake and froze our little buns off for some great photographs! They were so willing to do anything for a good image including stomp around in the mud and slush to get a good angle or background. Jessie was smart and brought boots so that helped as well!
We started off with this tree. Why? Because its AMAZING! Seriously, I saw it and just new we had to get a shot with it.
Gorgeous snow covered mountain ranges? Yes, please!
Jessie’s friends came to help with lighting and one of them suggested using these reeds for a shot. Great idea I think! They turned out so great! Some of my favorites from the session, actually!
Then sunset began. Oh, how I had missed photographing sunsets! Throughout my maternity leave I had seen gorgeous sunsets and wished I was photographing them!
Their true personalities came out.
While I was doing close up shots of Jessie’s ring in the snow, Mark saw a better place to photograph it! I ended up LOVING this photograph more than the one I thought of. I believe some of the best art is a collaboration of minds and talents, so thanks for the great idea Mark!
Stephanie of Patchwork Photography did an AMAZING job on Asher’s newborn portraits! I couldn’t have asked for a more professional and fun experience with her! He was 5 days old when they were taken. She also has excellent taste as her own son is named Asher. ;D Check out her awesome work at www.patchworkphoto.com.
A good friend of mine made this hat and shoes for Asher. How cute are they!?
Me and my litte man!
My two favorite boys in the whole world! I love them so much!