Posted in adoption
welcome home Elijah | Arlington Virginia Adoption Homecoming Photographer
January 20th, 2014

For over a year, Elijah’s parents anxiously awaited word that they would be able to bring him home from Ethiopia. Born with hydrocephalus, he hasn’t been able to get the treatment that he needs, which made the lengthy process even more difficult for the family. In one of the first days of the new year, I arrived at the airport full of anticipation, as I would be photographing Elijah’s long-awaited and joyous arrival. And, arrive he did.┬áHis father, who stayed behind to care for the family’s two young daughters, immediately grabbed him and held him tightly. It was a beautiful moment.

It’s difficult to put into words what I witnessed that morning. An outpouring of love and commitment and hope – yes, I witnessed that. I felt that. And, it felt large and powerful. But, as I worked with the images I captured that morning, I was reminded of what I saw that made me feel that way. Sisters waiting in quiet anticipation, a father in constant communication with loved ones, a family physically brought together for the first time, a moment between friends as they parted ways after a long and emotional journey, a sister reaching up to gently touch the foot of her brother when no one is watching, a tickle, an apprehensive but joyful expression, laughter – these details should not be forgotten.

I feel blessed to have captured another homecoming and am so grateful that my journey as a photographer has led me here. Thank you K family for trusting me and allowing me to be a part of your story.

Welcome home Elijah.

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Are you interested in having a part of your adoption story documented? Contact me at crystal@crystalhardin.com. I would love to speak with you.