Friday, September 5, 2014

Happy Birthday, Anna!

Before I post any photos, I want to share the thought that runs through my mind over and over this time of year. I thank God for our Anna's birthmother. When she found herself pregnant, she was a young, vulnerable woman. She lived in a culture screaming at her to abort the "inconvenience." Instead of doing that, she had the courage and selflessness to choose to give up much in order to give the child she was carrying life. Thank you, dear woman, for giving us the chance to parent your beautiful and precious baby. There are no words that could ever express our gratitude. You are a hero to us! We love you!


Twenty-four years ago today a daughter was born to a single girl several states away from us. In an act of great love, that young, hurting mother placed her child in our arms and made the baby girl our baby girl. That child has brought us unspeakable joy.

Anna has now been married for 3-1/2 years and lives several states away from us. I visit her and her family as often as possible ~ not just to see our grandchildren ~ but also to see Anna. She is one of my dearest friends!

Not long before I visited Anna this summer, I had done a maternity photo shoot of her sister, Alison. The two of us had a blast! As Alison and I were laughing together during her shoot, I knew that I wanted to share similar fun with Anna by doing a shoot with her on my next visit.

As I contemplated the idea I came upon the perfect inspiration, a stunning post by Sarah Bradshaw of Sarah Bradshaw Photography. After seeing the artwork of this Washington D.C. photographer, I was on a hunt for the right tools, so to speak, to attempt to capture something somewhat similar. I stumbled upon a lace dress at a vintage store in Lawrence, Kansas and felt like I'd found treasure. I called Anna from the shop to see if she was willing to don "play clothes" again like she did as a little girl, and she said she was game.

On Anna's birthday, I want to share these photos with the world and proclaim how good our God is. He took a severely infertile couple and made us parents through her adoption. Happy birthday, my beloved daughter!

Here is the story of our shoot:

While Anna's sister, Christina, babysat Anna's little girls, we left the house just after sunrise. We started our photography adventure at the grocery store. There we purchased a bouquet of flowers. I knew I just had to incorporate flowers. Anyone who knows Anna well knows that she adores them. We then went to a local park for our first attempt at a mother-daughter photo shoot.

After we'd played around a bit with our first "prop", the flowers, we moved on to a second one ~ a deep purple silk scarf that I had picked up at the same vintage shop where I found Anna's black dress for this shoot.

Anna immediately wrapped the beautiful fabric around herself. As she did, I couldn't help noticing how the early morning light played up her rich brown eyes.

I then asked Anna to play with the scarf in the light breeze.

As the light, luscious fabric wafted in the wind, Anna was inspired to pull it in front of her face like a veil.

We were both tickled with the result.

We then moved to another part of the park which has a stone arch. 

Next I moved my daughter to a short stone wall. We pulled one flower out of the bouquet for the last few photos. The gerber daisy is Anna's favorite type of flower.

Our mother-daughter photo shoot was a great success in my mind. Anna and I laughed together and enjoyed every minute of our special morning.

I'll finish this post with a close-up of Anna Mackenzie that makes this mother's heart sing.

Happy 24th, my beloved Anna! You are a gift from God!

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