Sunday, September 30, 2012

Our first Party-Of-Five Photo Shoot

We are still alive! I knew I'd taken a break from blogging...but I hadn't really realized that my last post was TWO months ago! Hopefully now that school (including our home school kindergarten) is underway I will be back to normal, blog-wise. I have so many blog posts written in my head, I'd love to get them actually posted. And I just moved over THREE HUNDRED pictures off my iPhone. So you know, I'll be sharing some of those.

But for now, I have MUCH better pictures to share.

During our year of adoption waiting I was able to make a lovely blog/facebook friend named Mandie Joy. Mandie and her also-lovely friend Rachel were in Uganda last year, and through a God-ordained set of crazy events, ended up being foster Mommies to a beautiful group of children (all of whom are home with their forever families now, praise the Lord.)  I love Mandie's heart, honesty, and willingness to trust the Lord, and I enjoyed following her foster-mommy adventures. I was thrilled to run into her in real life in Kampala, and even more thrilled to be stuck in the embassy waiting room with her. It sounds so heroic to love children as your own until their forever mommies can get there - and I know that Rachel and Mandie gladly handed their babies (and big girl) over, knowing for sure it was the Lord's plan. But I also know they loved unreservedly, and I know that following God's will doesn't exempt us from pain. And y'all know I'm not that great at surface-y. So I was happy the embassy gave me a chance to ask my hopefully-not-too-nosy questions about how her heart was doing.

Mandie spent part of her childhood in Nebraska, and has family in Omaha, so in addition to sharing a love for Uganda, she shares my love for the Nebraska sky (and loves seeing my little Ugandan Husker). She is back in the states now, and in addition to many other things, has been able to further develop her already stunning photography skills. She has MAD skills, I love her photography. Imagine my joy when in response to a joking comment on one of her photo shoots ("Hey, if you're ever in Nebraska, I'll let you take our picture!"), I found out she was going to be in Omaha in August and was willing to do a photo shoot with us. What a gift!! It was super fun to see her again (in real life), again hear the real deal of how she was doing, AND get some really stunning pictures of our family - the first as a family of 5. Check it out:


I really love these pictures. I think what I like best about Mandie as a photographer is that she seems to have a gift for seeing people - for capturing their personalities. I saw it in pictures she has taken of people I don't even know, so imagine how much I love it in my very own people? So some of the less formal pictures she took are my favorites.

 She got a lot of really adorable shots of Micah. I mean, he's a cute kid, so it's hard to go wrong. But these next three pictures? Priceless:
 And these peek-a-boo (or as he calls it, "pook-a-loo") pictures make me smile:

Micah has started to notice the number of pictures of the other boys, and pictures of us as a family that he's not in. So I'm super thankful to have so many good ones of him to scatter about. You can never have too many pictures, right?

However... some of my favorites are not really print-and-frame worthy. If you are facebook friends with me, you may have heard this story: When we were getting shots of me with the boys, Mandie tried to get one of me holding Micah, with the older two kissing me.
 Micah was having NONE of that. We didn't even get close to getting a good picture of that because he wanted to kiss me too. And then he wanted to have a turn kissing me all by himself. My favorite picture is of him trying to push the other two away so he could get me to himself.
 So then we let him have a kissing picture all to himself. How cute is that?

We got some fun feet pictures, which I love (I don't know what my thing is with feet pics, I think it comes from seeing the cute pictures on my friend Amy's blog, which is called "Feet to our Faith." Love it.


 That's probably plenty to share, but I can't stop. We had so much fun.

Thankful for every one of these beautiful pictures, and that the kids had the stamina to enjoy it almost right up until the end. We did the feet pictures last, which is probably good. Because by the time we were finishing, and talking to Mandie and her awesome aunt and cousin, this is what Tobin looked like:
Finished. In case you're wondering, that expression is called, "Mom, will you PLEASE stop talking and take me to Sonic for a slushie like you promised?"

You really should check out Mandie Joy's blog, it is GORGEOUS. Just like her heart.