He’s my Son. She’s my Mom.
The Heart Gallery is a traveling photographic and audio exhibit created to find forever families for children in foster care. I discovered the Heart Gallery LA booth at a photography event in Pasadena. I added my email address to the list of "interested photographers.” Little did I know how important this work would become – I have created portraits for Heart Gallery LA once or twice a year since 2013. Getting to know the kids on “picture day” and trying to connect in a short time is sometimes easy – sometimes a bit more challenging. It’s my job to capture their true personality in the hopes future adoptive parents will see the portrait and want to meet them.
Friday, August 3, 2018 was a little bit different. I volunteered to document an adoption finalization day. Pretty much the end-all-be-all of days for Heart Gallery LA and everyone involved. And there were a lot of everyones! That saying, “It takes a village...” is not an understatement. I’d like to introduce you to Joseph. He is 8 years old and as you can see by the back of his shirt, he has spent most of his life in foster care. Two years ago a woman named Estrellita was browsing the Heart Gallery LA photo gallery and happened on Joseph’s portrait. She said she knew in that moment she had to meet the boy. And today, here we are at the Edmund D. Edelman Children's Courthouse in Monterey Park, finalizing the adoption.
And... I can finally share some images since I have Mom’s blessing! There were 176 adoption finalizations that day which meant lots of waiting. Lots of selfies, lots of videos and lots of time to get to know each other. I even let Joseph take a few shots of me with my big camera. He is the king of funny faces so we had a funny-face-off. I found if you give an 8 year old your camera you will get honest pictures in return. Now give me my camera back, kid. 😂
It was an honor to document this joyful day and I wish Mom and Son a lifetime of happiness.
❤️ ❤️ ❤️
Photographer friends, Heart Gallery of America has chapters in many states if you would like to get involved. I consider this work the gift photography has given to me.