Words fail when I try and describe the honor that it is to be invited by someone to bring my camera into some of their most personal and intimate moments, whether that’s a wedding, newborn portraits, or in this case, an adoption finalization. You might remember the very first adoption finalization that I got to be a part of, capturing a dear family as they finally, officially became Samuel’s parents after years of waiting and yearning. That session is actually how the Pereira’s found me, as they were preparing to make the trek from the Midwest down to Tampa Bay for their own adoption finalization hearing in Clearwater!
Six months ago, three of the four Pereiras (mom, dad, and one of the soon-to-be older brothers) were here in Florida for almost a month, praying through a birth mama’s labor, meeting their sweet little girl for the first time, and waiting for all the legalities to be wrapped up so they could drive together back to their home.
But six months ago isn’t when their adoption story begins. In fact, Claudia and Cristiano testified in court during the finalization that they have had hearts for adoption since they’ve been together, and specifically for Claudia, since she was a child. She shared how, as a little girl growing up in Brazil, she was a part of events that her mother organized at the local orphanage, and she remembers being so sad and heavy-hearted to see so many parentless children around her. She recalls thinking even then, that when she grew up, adoption and rescue would be a part of her story! When she met Cristiano years later, she shared that desire with him, and as he tells it, it became his heart for their life together too, that one day, they would complete their family through adoption.
And last Thursday, January 18, 2018, that desire was finally fulfilled in Courtroom #14!!!