‘The phone rang. ‘Would you be comfortable creating portraits of an unusual family?’: Stunning photos of LGBT, transracial family prove ‘beautiful families are bound by love, not DNA’

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“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.

adoptive moms with their twins in the woods
Courtesy of Marla Michele Must

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.’

twins in white hugging each other close smiling
Courtesy of Marla Michele Must
both twins trying to share one chair in the sun
Courtesy of Marla Michele Must
adoptive twins sitting on leaves for a photo shoot
Courtesy of Marla Michele Must

‘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.”

adoptive parents with their twins holding hands
Courtesy of Marla Michele Must

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Marla Michele Must, MPP, Master Portrait Artist. You can follow Marla on InstagramFacebook, and her website. Submit your story here, and be sure to subscribe to our best love stories here.

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Married For Half A Century: An Interview About Everlasting Love With Jane And Bob

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‘You need to place our child for adoption.’ How could he ask me to do that? I was totally alone.’: Birth mom becomes part of son’s adoptive family, ‘The moments we share are priceless’

‘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’

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