It looks like we are able to cross a task off our bucket list in an unexpected way again.
Number 8– Have Professional Family Photos Taken.
Pathways to Family Wellness is going to be a special magazine for our family for a number of reasons. The relationships we built with everyone working on that issue (the staff at Pathways, and also the people brought in specifically for that issue, like Lori Dorman) have been real and meaningful.
Lori came to our house in June to take photos for the Pathways to Family Wellness next issue. She stayed in our home for four hours and in that short time hit it off. By the end of the session she had agreed to come to Ethiopia with us in August.
We didn’t realize how meaningful the family photos would be, though.
Lori’s presence on our trip was helpful in so many ways. Having insight as an adult adoptee, she really looked for shots on this trip that would be meaningful to Samuel in the future. This was the first time his mothers would be meeting, something big for all of us, but really important for him to have documented in the future.
When I met Samuel’s birth mother, I brought her some snapshots and showed her family photos and videos from my phone. She was so excited to see Samuel. We discovered the internet at the Children’s Center was working and Lori suggested we go online and show her the family photos she took for Pathways to Family Wellness.
When Samuel’s birth mother saw our family photos she was overwhelmed with emotion. She kept saying in Amharic, “Thank you, my God. He looks so happy!” Over and over. She was happy before, but she got to see our family at home and Lori kept assuring her it doesn’t just look this way in the pictures, he really is happy. She kept praising God and then kissed me over and over. Those photos gave her comfort and reassurance, and it was Pathways to Family Wellness and the chain of events that followed that allowed this mother to connect and see her child, and know he was thriving.
As much as I love that Pathways revealed the normalcy of breastfeeding and attachment parenting, they did so much more for our family than furthering a single message. The people who are associated are practicing what they preach, and it is revealed in the ripple effect of their message and work.