“I was sitting at the desk in my hotel room in downtown Chicago finishing a bit of editing while enjoying a beautiful view overlooking Michigan Avenue. My phone rang and a voice on the other end of the phone asked if I would be comfortable creating portraits of an unusual family, a lesbian couple with adopted African American two-year-old twins. There was no hesitation at all as I answered a resounding YES as quickly as it was humanly possible to get the word out of my mouth. I explained that as an adoptive parent myself with a multi-cultural family this would be both an honor and a pleasure for me. I find adoptive families to be extraordinarily beautiful and I assured her I could represent her family appropriately.
The day of our portrait session I was literally stunned to see these gorgeous, very gregarious and energetic, twins arrive on location. I’m not sure what I expected but I was certainly blown away by the beauty and cohesiveness of this charming family unit. The parents were a bit worried about the behavior of their extremely bouncy twins along with worrying about my ability to capture any portraits successfully – this is often the case with families of little ones, it feels like absolute chaos when it’s all happening- but then they are thrilled and surprised with all the beauty that we create together.
From Susan and Nilla (the parents of the twins):
‘Sadly, the times make it hard for many people like us to feel comfortable just going to anyone for things like portrait sessions, etc. There is a lot of judgment in the world and I had to tell you about our family dynamics to make sure we would be safe with you. You definitely made us feel that way and more.’
‘We are foster parents and the children were placed with us at 9.5 months. We knew from the moment we met it felt like a forever bond. Sadly, reunification was not possible and we never gave it a second thought. We knew they were ours and a birth angel made it all possible. We look forward to when the kids are ready to talk more about her and we can share how much she loved them. Today they are 2.5 years old. Smart, adventurous, kind, beautiful little souls and we feel so honored to be Versanna and Geneppe’s moms.’
Adoption is certainly not for the faint of heart and everyone has a unique story, but the one thing in common with every adoption journey is that it always begins with a loss. Beautiful families are built and bound together by love, not DNA.
November was just National Adoption Month and as an adoptive mom myself I’m honored to share this gorgeous family in celebration. My own adoption journey is documented here.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Marla Michele Must, MPP, Master Portrait Artist. You can follow Marla on Instagram, Facebook, and her website. Submit your story here, and be sure to subscribe to our best love stories here.
Read more stories from Marla here:
Read more stories like this here:
‘The adoption lawyer said, ‘See you in a couple years!’ We both said, ‘No!! This is it!’ Our family of 6 was complete, or so we thought.’: Couple adopt daughter’s sister from foster care, ‘She is the piece we didn’t know we were missing’
‘The nurse came in and said, ‘Her new parents are ready for her.’ Only 15, I kissed her soft baby cheek, and placed her into the arms of her mama.’: Teen mom embarks on ‘beautiful’ open adoption journey, ‘I couldn’t have picked better parents’
Do you know someone who could benefit from this story? SHARE this story on Facebook to let others know a community of support is available.