Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A Love Story

I see many beautiful children and loving families in my work - it’s one of the great rewards of being a portrait photographer. In 2004 I met a very special pair, Ellen and her daughter Marisa. They had just returned from Guatemala where Marisa was born and Ellen had traveled to pick up her new adopted daughter. Everything was new for both of them, but the bond of love and care had already entwined their hearts and was so evident in the portrait we took only two weeks after Marisa’s homecoming.
I have photographed Ellen and Marisa regularly and they have always had that special spark of joy in their togetherness. Marisa is now a happy, curious and loving five year old and I look forward to seeing her grow over the years.

Ellen’s story
"I always knew I wanted to be a mother, and from a very young age believed adoption would be part of how I made my family. As a single woman in my late thirties, tired of waiting for a great husband and father to come along, I finally set out to become a mother on my own. After quietly doing research, I set up an informational meeting at The Lund Family Center where Adoption Director Wanda Audette reassured me that I was not crazy and that I could, in fact, do this on my own. During that meeting she explained my options, helped me decide on the birth country of my child and told me what to expect. Over the next 15 months Wanda guided me through piles of paperwork, made phone calls on my behalf and kept me strong and sane. When my daughter and I finally arrived together in Burlington, everyone could see that we were always meant to be a family. Finding my daughter and building a life together has been the single most transformative thing in my life. No matter what I do to help spread the word about the Lund Family Center, it will never be enough to thank them for what they have done for me."
The Women Adopting Project Family is holding a fundraiser and auction to help others begin their new families - information is listed below. I’ll be there and I hope you’ll join us. A donation of only $15 is your key to a wonderful evening at Shelburne Vineyard’s new winery:

June 11th, 5:30-7:30 PM
Women Adopting Project Family
Shelburne Vineyard
Join us at Shelburne Vineyard for a wine tasting, reception and lively auction event. All proceeds will benefit Project Family, a joint program of the Lund Family Center and the Vermont Department of Children and Families (DCF) dedicated to finding forever families for Vermont children in need, and helping parents and children access the support and services they need after adoption. Contact Leslie Dunn at 802-864-7467.

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