When I asked Bethlehem if she was excited for her two older children, ages 3 and 6, to come in and meet her hours-old newborn, she said she was thrilled.  Her children were getting ready to meet their new lifelong best friend, she said.

There was something so beautiful and simple about the way the children interacted with each other.  They seemed completely relaxed, happy to be there, and happy to be near their new sister.  They wanted to be near the baby, to touch her, to feel the texture of her hair, and softness of her arms and legs.  They were gentle and cautious, but also confident.  This new person is their person. To hold and love and adore.

It’s one of the mysteries and beauties of family.  An additional person doesn’t subtract, only adds: love, affection, joy.

I arrived at the Atlanta Birth Center just after this beautiful baby came into the world.  There was a palpable buzz in the room, and the parents couldn’t quite believe she was here.  She’d finally come earthside.

The midwives and nurses weighed and footprinted her, they measured her head and her length, they gently and lovingly examined her until they confirmed their suspicions: yes, she’s perfect.

Then it was time just to hold her.  To rest her against her mom’s beating heart.  The baby was so calm, and so delighted, she was almost purring.

The more time I spend going to visit families just after birth, the more I feel it’s just where I’m meant to be.  The energy is quiet and electric at once.  A whole new person has entered into the world, and that’s almost hard to process.  These parents, these families, have been immeasurably changed, and being one of the first witnesses to the process is fascinating and beautiful.  There is a kind of relief in the air that speaks to something beyond the end of the physical pain of childbirth.  It’s a relief to finally know this person who is meant to change and form your family forever.  This person you’re so ready to love.

A few concepts just kept recurring through Jeff and Jannine’s wedding.  Kindness, generosity, love.  These two were brought together after each having been married and divorced.  They both bring children into the marriage, and their life is a kind of puzzle of activities and work schedules and road trips.  Jeff lived in Tennessee when they met, and yet they’ve made it all work so perfectly.  The friends and loved ones that gathered at their celebration couldn’t stop gushing about what wonderful people these two are, and how beautifully they fit together.

It’s humbling to be invited to document a wedding of individuals who genuinely, truly, completely love each other.  And what a celebration it was!  The ceremony at the Bahai Unity Center was touching and lovely, and the reception at the Solarium featured delicious food, amazing live music, and so much dancing.

M o r e   i n f o