Category Archives: Adoption Sunday

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Sergio {adoption sunday – boston children’s photographer}

Ready for another Adoption Sunday session?

Sergio brought his parents out to meet us in Boston this summer, and the story they tell of his adoption is captivating. Grab a tissue!

“Our son is our life. We come from Greek and Italian heritages and big family celebrations are important to us. He Is our only child, the only grandchild on both sides of the family, and the only nephew to his uncle. He is a blessing to everyone in our families. We had been married several years before we started the adoption process and we brought him home just shy of 9 months old.

When we were in Guatemala, we struggled with many mixed emotions. We were so grateful and happy to finally have our baby, but we also felt like we were taking him away from his birth country. We hoped it was the right thing. Our wish is that one day he will fully understand how much he is loved and wanted by so many people.

We are first time parents and we try to fill his days with wonderful memories as much as we can, keeping a journal so he has all our feelings and thoughts to read when he gets older. We are a loving family…hugging, kissing, and saying “I love you” all the time. Being new parents and waiting so long for a child has made us realize that valuing each moment together is the most important thing to us.

Each night, we tell him a special story about coming from Guatemala to be a part of our family. And each morning, we are reminded that everyday with him is a gift.”



Maribel, Emma, Erik, Abbi + Izzi (and expecting…Lauren Marie) {adoption sunday-boston childrens’ photographer}

Our Adoption Sunday Boston area sessions are still rolling out!

Meet Maribel, et al. Surrounded by siblings, she lives with her family on a gorgeous, multi-acre property outside of Boston. There are ponies, goats, dogs, and ducks. Sadly, on that day there were two FEWER ducks thanks to the record heat, and even sadlier (yes, I just made up a word, work with me) both kicked the bucket DURING our shoot. There’s nothing quite as challenging as keeping a shoot going when it’s THAT hot, and as the call of “another one just died, Dad” echoes across the yard. IJS.

Can you say ‘center of the family’? (and obviously LOVING it)

An absolutely beautiful family, inside and out.  Even more special? The news that they are expecting! Lauren Marie’s referral from Ghana had just gone through when we met them, and we were able to snag a few very meaningful images at the end of the family holding her referral photo. Because of orphanage guidelines, we can’t share her photo here…but the story of how they came to find Lauren Marie gave me tears and goosebumps, and that I *can* share here. I hope it does the same for you (as told to Mandy Mulliez):

“We got into the car one afternoon after leaving my cousin’s house, floored by the news that friends of theirs had adopted four children from Romania that were now on the verge of adulthood…and all are HIV+. Why would they do that? Wasn’t it dangerous to bring a sick child into their household? We have five healthy, active kids – four biological kids in five years from our twenties – and one sweet girl through private adoption. We were young with our biological children and the decision to essentially start a second family as older parents was one we carefully considered. Having a baby in the house again brings a special joy and light that we had missed and our littlest is adored by her big sisters and brother.
The idea of adopting an HIV positive child was one we couldn’t shake after hearing our friend’s news. After extensive research, we learned that there has never been a case of transmittal between family members with normal everyday household contact. With the development of the drug cocktails now available in the U.S., most people with HIV have a normal life expectancy. The idea that this was in our family’s future stuck.
We now stare at a picture every day. It is a heartbreaking glimpse of our three year old Lauren Marie who waits in Ghana. Her eyes show pain and fear. But she is the lucky one in her family – she is being cared for by nurses and we will soon be able to care for her, while the rest of her siblings have been sold into slavery. It is sadly the reality of many children around the world, orphaned by parents who have lost their lives to HIV, but we are lucky enough to soon have her be a part of our family. And she will be loved.”



Meg {adoption sunday – boston childrens photographer}

I am woefully behind in posting recent Adoption Sunday sessions, and this upcoming batch of families is near and dear to my heart. We met during my first trip to the Boston area in July (during a record-breaking heatwave that I think I accidentally brought with me from Texas). They were all so kind as to not only still be willing to participate in this project, but even let me drag them outdoors.

Of course, I came out winning on all sides. Not only did I get to play with beautiful kids in gorgeous surroundings, but their parents told the most amazing stories (as happens when the topic of adoption comes up during something as intimate as a photo session).  Meg’s story left us in tears, and as part of the project we asked her to share a little bit of how she first met Meg with us…and also with all of you.

Meet Meg, and her mother Holly:


(as told by her mother to Mandy Mulliez:

“I walked into the hospital, 36 hours after getting the call that a baby girl had been born and needed me. “Hello, Mom” the nurse greeted me. “No, no, just foster mom” I said. In my years of being a foster parent, I had never imagined that my forever family would begin with a newborn, seeing myself rather with an older sibling group – sisters – a ready made complete family. “You are ‘Mom’, the nurse told me with a glance, “so what’s this baby’s name?” She was being called Baby Girl, the nurse told me, and she needed a name. In an instant, I spoke the name that had grown in my heart for as many years as I had waited to be a mother – the name I knew would be my daughter’s – Margaret Susan, after my grandmother and mother. I crossed the room to carefully pick her up and cradle her for the first time. She was a preemie, barely 5 pounds, sensitive to touch and sensation as her tiny body began to recover from what it had been exposed to during pregnancy. This was the first time she had been held in the days since her birth. I whispered my first words to her in Spanish “Hello mi angelita”…little angel. Only later did I find out that her first mother had come back to the hospital briefly in the days following her delivery to give her daughter the name she hoped she would carry with her…Angel.

And so she is Margaret Susan Angel. She has a giggle that bubbles from deep inside her. She loves to garden and swing as high as she can. She asks me where her brown skin comes from and we talk, honestly and openly, about her first mother who could not care for her, for whom life had not been easy, and from whom she has many of the wonderful qualities that make her the daughter I had dreamed of. Together…we are a family.”

(admit it. you’re teary)

Holly and Meg, thank you for opening your home and your hearts and sharing your story. xo, Jen and Mandy


Lydia + Naomi {adoption sunday – Dallas Childrens Photography}

Know what love looks like?

It looks an awful lot like the expressions on the parents of this dynamic duo from Ethiopia.  It also looks like adoration, happiness, and let’s just go there, patience. (Hey, they’re 3…’nuff said).

This sweet family was kind enough to let us capture them for another gorgeous Adoption Sunday session (even though it wasn’t really Sunday ;) ).  We had a ball, and obviously had a dynamic location to shoot in, their friends’ gorgeous playroom. I was a happy, happy photographer :)



Adoption Sunday

Three years ago our Adoption Sunday sessions were born while I waited for the arrival and placement of my youngest.  She arrived, and while baby and toddler juggling made way to navigating life as a single parent, it has waited patiently for resurrection.

We have photographed families from every type of adoption, from domestic to international, open, closed and semi-open, same sex families, single parents and foster-to-adopt along with special needs.  We’ve tried to cover every country, and our sessions have taken place on the West Coast, here in Dallas, and in two weeks we’ll be in Boston. It’s been a huge project, and we’re excited to be nearing completion.

But first, we need a little help.

We need families that have adopted from the countries listed below. If you know of anyone that fits, PLEASE forward this blog post and spread the word!


We’ll be shooting in Boston July 22-24 to give those living on the East Coast a chance to participate.  Of course, Dallas sessions for these families can occur anytime, so don’t be shy!

If you’d like to participate, please drop us an email at

These sessions are at no cost to these adoptive families.  Through these, we hope to celebrate the beauty of every type of adoption and the love that creates a family.