It’s all about the kids.

As many of you know I am a photographer. The direction I took my photography professionally, started out very personal. There I was wanting to get out and shoot something that nobody else is, and provide a way for people to see that subject differently. It all started with Wheelchair basketball. Over the last few years I have donated my time to a wheelchair organization called BlazeSports here in Atlanta. I have followed their tournaments and shot many of their big tournaments, and a local event they host every year (including track, field, swimming, etc). I provide the company with marketing materials to use in fundraising and recruiting.

Today, I shoot Boy and Girls Youth Lacrosse. While I have turned it into a money making opportunity, for me it is way more than that. Just like the Blaze deal is, it is all about the kids. What I do is allow parents to watch games, and not have to worry about taking pictures. I allow parents to support their kids during their sporting events so they can stay connected.

As I shoot each game, I see parents handling their kids with love, and the kids respecting them back. Sports does that for kids. It teaches them gamesmanship, respect, teamwork, skill, and hard work. It rewards you with wins. Some of the nicest family’s that I know are from Blaze and Lacrosse.

As we wait for our adoption, I watch parents with kids more and more under a microscope. What would I do in that situation? Did they handle that the same way I would want to? Is that kid having fun? I have seen these kids take nasty hits and not get up right away. I’m not going to lie, I get choked up watching it. But then I see his dad, or a coach come get him off the field and all is well in the world again. Just a hand to pick him up off the ground, brush him off and prepare him for his next adventure. That is parenting. That is being a kid. That is weekend sports. I cannot wait to see if our kids get involved in sports.

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March 2015 Support Group – Red Flags/ Risks

Last week Andy and I attended the monthly support group for our adoption agency like we usually do. It was a fairly large group with a lot of new faces (at least to us). When we started going around the room introducing ourselves and where we were at in the adoption process we quickly realized that we were the longest waiting family in the room. There are plenty of people that have been waiting longer than us (some are good friends) and while we know there are many just starting out on their journey it was a little depressing to be the longest wait in the room. Only one other couple in the room was already live and the rest were working on paperwork or profiles.

We had also already attended a group session on this or a similar topic so we weren’t sure what new information we would be getting. We do love to go to support group though just to be around other people that know the pain and frustration that the process can bring. At this point of 2 years into the wait we have attended almost every topic session that the agency offers but we still go and meet new people and hopefully get some new perspective or information.

This month we had a checklist of different characteristics or background information that we might potentially be faced with in an expectant mom looking at placing her child for adoption. A majority of the risk factors seemed fairly straight forward to both of us though with a couple things that we hadn’t really thought too much about. For instance if she is due around the holidays, if she comes to the adoption center later in her pregnancy, or her age. While an expectant mom might have certain risk factors it doesn’t mean she still won’t place (if it is the right decision for her) but it does give us an idea of some things to think about if we see or hear any of the risks in a potential expectant mom we are talking to.

It was a pretty good night though and we got to meet a bunch of new people that are going through the adoption process so that is always fun. Maybe our next social gathering outside of group session will have a couple new faces!

Update on Life in General

So it has been a little while since we have written a blog post, it has been a little crazy around here for us though. I started my new job a couple weeks ago and have been busy going through training. I have a couple more weeks left of training until I become certified though. Andy too has started one of his busy seasons. He has several potential things that he is working on in addition to the lacrosse photo schedule he already has over the next couple months.

On top of starting out a new job Andy and I have been hanging out with lots of friends and family for dinners. It has been great to eat some awesome food and catch up with some people that we don’t get to see often enough. We even got to meet Andy’s cousin’s newest daughter last month. Even though she slept 90% of the time we were together it was great to finally meet her and give them the baby gift we got them too. We really wish there was more time to see friends and family and hope that with me not traveling for work as often it might be easier in the future.

Our schedule is just going to get busier over the coming months though as we setup more and more things with friends and family. We are babysitting this whole weekend for some friends of ours (their daughter is adorable and awesome!), have friends visiting, going on a trip to Houston to visit my sister’s family, and making plans with some friends in Atlanta all over the next month or so from now.

Staying busy is helping us not stress too often over our upcoming 2 year anniversary of being a waiting family with our agency. At 2 years 80% of families have usually adopted with our agency so to not be one of those families is starting to become a reality and makes it hard to stay positive at times. We know that when the right situation is here it will be terrific but the not knowing the time line is stressful and we can’t wait for that to be over for us and to finally have a child in our family.

The next couple of posts should be coming pretty soon and hopefully we will have lots of pictures to share too!