"Family: it's one of the most foundational relationships we can have in the world. However, there are hundreds of thousands of children in foster care in the United States who do not have a permanent family. This is a sad fact but God allows us to turn it into something beautiful through the gift of adoption. We were blessed to adopt our foster daughter and become a forever family. Her adoption finalization was the beginning of a new chapter." -- Vontrice Roberts
Pretty beautiful, right? Let me tell you, it was. Witnessing such a momentous and life-changing event was truly special. And this new official family is seriously just -- amazing.
Anthony and Von have been Tatianya's foster parents for some time now, and on March 28th at 3:33p, it became official. They became her parents, and she - their daughter.
Watching Tia up there in the judges seat, robe and all, swearing in her soon-to-be parents and asking them if they would love her and care for her was...well, there almost aren't even words for it. So I won't try. I think you get the vibe? The emotion? It was such a intentional act of choosing. All three of them. Choosing each other. Choosing together.
It was certainly something to celebrate, and we spent a good while after the court hearing to do just that. Tatianya's sister, Ariel, flew in to surprise her for this special day and to help celebrate her little sister being adopted. Ariel's precious little baby girl, Eliana -- Tia's niece -- also came along to coo and gurgle her congratulations too. Watching the sisterly love was just beautiful. They hadn't seen each other in a quite a while -- so we made sure to capture the joyous reunion!
Also - there was a swarm of warm social workers that were there to celebrate and finally close the chapter of finding parents for Tia for good. "It's been a long road", they said. There were tears in their eyes and they brought her gifts to commemorate the occasion. What a tribe. what a work they do. I was in awe.
If you can't tell from the photos, let me just say how absolutely sweet and genuine this 12 year old girl is. Tia is a diamond in the rough. And Anthony and Von saw that from the start -- mined out that diamond, and have taken her home for good. For forever. I have goosebumps as I type this just thinking about the forever-ness of it all, and again, the choosing together-ness that they did that day.
As mentioned, the judge had Tia wear her robe and say all the of the proceedings - whispering in her ear so she could repeat everything word-for-word. She asked Tia, "Do you want to be a part of leading your adoption today?" How incredibly cool is that? The court room was filled with stuffed and animals and toys too. After it was announced that the adoption was complete, the judge had Tatianya pick out a stuffed animal to keep and two books (usually it's just one, but the judge remarked what an extremely fluent reader Tia was, so she could get two ;). And so, she picked the cutest little stuffed rabbit. And when I asked what her name was, she said, "Rebekah". I said, "What?! You know, that's my name.." And Tia replied, "I know." See what I mean? Preciously amazing girl. She also then proceeded to ask if she could take MY picture since I was taking pictures of everyone else... (sniff-sniff)
And I haven't even gotten to the two amazing humans who made all this happen: Anthony and Vontrice. Well...I seriously could go on forever and ever about how incredible these two are, so I'll let you just enjoy getting to know them through these photos. They embody so much love, selfless-ness, light-hearted spirits, fun, silly, profound, wise, kind, generous and the BEST parents any kid could ask for!
Here's to you, Roberts family! I love celebrating you. I love that I got to be a part of this and capture it all. You're amazing. Can't wait for another family shoot!
(PS: The agencies that Anthony and Vontrice went through to make adoption Tatianya possible are -- Colorado Adoption Options https://adoption-options.com/ and Adoption Exchange https://www.adoptex.org/ Check them out!!)
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