A brother's love is never ending and these two are pure joy. Although different, as night & day, where one is, you'll find the other. Matthew, small, handsome and full of energy had to see his picture after every shot. Michael, however the beautiful charmer, portrayed the professional model and would wait until I posed him for a different shot, and then would ask if he looked ok. I loved the traditional white crisp oxford shirts against the natural background. And those beautiful blue eyes, grins and dimples speak for themselves...
Michael the professional...
Matthew the heartbreaker.....
I LOVE this shot. Both boys kind of just fell in place for me. My favorite aspect of this photo is the crisp detail of the blades of the grass.
Elise was such a beauty. Behind those beautiful blues is one determined young lady, who you can already tell knows what she wants in life. From the bouncing curls, to the twinkling gaze she gives you, you know she will be turning heads and breaking hearts in the future.
Less than a year after Michael and Matthew came into our lives, life threw us another unexpected, yet blessed surprise, when we received a phone call on Feb 2nd, 2007 about a 3 month old baby girl who had been abused. Her name was Genesis.... her name could not have been any more perfect. February 7th, we drove to pick our baby girl up five days later, and as I turned the corner there she was. Dressed in a little valentines sleeper and a little hooded coat with little ears on the hood, she was so beautiful, and tiny and looked exactly like Matthew. I sat there jumping out of my skin wanting to hold her, while trying not to act too presumptuous around her birth family. As soon as the social worker handed her to me, she snuggled in as a perfect fit. My hands were shaking so nervously while I put her into the car seat. I think I was excited and scared that the birth family was going to change their minds at the same time. I just wanted to get her in the car, and drive far far away. At 3 months, Gigi (as we now call her) weighed 9 lbs and looked just like a newborn. She was such a good baby and loved to coo and talk. I remember holding her and just crying every night for two weeks straight, thinking about the photos the social workers had taken of her after she had been taken into custody, and thinking about what I would do or how I would ever be able to give her up and let her go back to that.
I had it all planned out.... Gray, the boys, and I would take our baby girl and flee to Mexico. Gray could get a day job and the kids and I would braid hair on the beach for money... Whatever we had to do... I was going to do it. I would resort to anything to keep our precious angel from ever being hurt again. As we all know God answers prayers, and although we are still unworthy of all his blessed gifts. He answered ours, and justice prevailed. Her adoption was finalized this February 2008. It is my honor to introduce to you our angel, our new beginning, our baby girl, Genesis Mae Senter.
On the other side of my love for photography, is my pride and joy, my blessings from above.... my little family. Gray and I knew from the beginning that we wanted to have a family, so when we began trying, it was disappointing to learn that the odds were not in our favor of conceiving our own child naturally. We tried some fertility treatments, and when those were unsuccessful it seemed only natural to adopt. We only wanted a family and it didn't matter to us what our angels' birth plans originally were.
And they came two by two...... June 13th, 2006 we received a call from our Social Worker asking if we could put a rush on foster certification because there were two little boys (brothers), ages 2 & 3 who needed a loving home and there would be a good chance of adoption. Without hesitation I screamed YES ! We're interested. It's a good thing Gray felt the same way... because I screamed this before I talked with him. When I spoke to him... he had even less hesitation in his voice and said... "When can we get them?"
Two weeks later... with bated breathe and anxious excitement we met our boys. All of these thoughts and emotions ran thru me.... "Will they like me.... will they accept me ?" "Will we fall deeply in love with them, only to be ripped away once again ?" So we pulled up to the house, held our breathes and watched our boys run onto the front porch to greet us. They looked up at us as if to say... "You're here, I've been waiting for you." One look.... and it was over. I was in love. These were my boys, now & forever. I have to say that their Aunt, Uncle and cousins who was caring for them at the time took excellent care of them and loved them so deeply that they chose to give them their own family. For that,,, we will always be eternally grateful. As now, I could never see myself without them. Just know as you see the images below, these are more "mommy" shots.
Don't worry.... this has a happy ending. A year later, almost to the date of when met our M&Ms.... our adoption was legally finalized. Let me introduce you to our boys, Michael Shane and Matthew Gray Senter.