Welcome Home, Jack

This past Thursday was one of the most special photographic assignments I can recall being a part of. Much the same way that I am overcome with feels during a newborn portrait session (and weddings, and bat mitzvahs, and well, really any special occasion where people are celebrating something big), witnessing a newly adopted child being welcomed home with open arms and open hearts by his new family is one of the most profoundly beautiful things I've ever been blessed enough to photograph. 

Jack and his parents had been traveling all day (literally) to get back to Wisconsin, following the finalization of his adoption in his birth country of China, and after a long (very long) wait in customs at the Chicago airport, I got the text that they were on there way, and was able to get there in time to capture the first moments of Jack meeting his brother and sister and grandparents for the first time. 

Now had the weather cooperated, we would have most likely been outdoors for this very special first meeting, but the sky was dumping out rain as only April skies can, and so the meeting took place indoors, which turned out to be lovely and equally as intimate  a setting, if not more so, than outdoors might have been. 

The kids were fast friends, and it was amazing how excited the two bigger kids were to meet their new brother, and to share all sorts of toys and stories and books with him. 

To be honest, I was expecting more crying, and not so much because of the situation, but more because when you get three young children in a room together for pictures, it's a pretty sure bet someone is going to start crying at some point, even if it's just the parents, but not a single tear was shed, and miracle of miracles, there was even a picture of the whole family, all looking at the camera, without a single blink or sideways glance in another direction! We even had enough time for a silly face picture, which are some of my personal favorites and go over well with the kiddos (which is probably why I like them so much). 

I snapped a few more just before packing up, as the kiddos were starting to rub their eyes, which made me smile to look at later, and made me want to immediately hug my family as well. You could see all the love pouring out of everyone in the house. Excited about their family, excited about Jack being a part of it, and excited about this new adventure they're all in together. It was super sweet, and super wonderful, and I feel so blessed to get to witness it that my heart just melts thinking about it.