The Henderson Family

On July 3rd of this year, the Hendersons celebrated Gotcha Day. For JT and Natalie, this meant the first day of life in Louisville with their son, Tedi.  For Mr. Tedi, it meant his first day this side of the pond, away from his birth home of Ethiopia.  It was also his first day as a Henderson and part of Natalie's first week of residency at Kosair's. Totally blows my mind that their sweet family can pack so much goodness into their lives.  And they blog about it all.  Like really commit and blog more than I ever could think about doing. My most favorite thing about Natalie & JT's blog is the transparency with which they share.  If there's anything I've learned about adoption it's that the road is long and tiring, and for families to be able to look at others' blogs and listen to one another's stories is such an encouragement.  So many of the Henderson's posts end with their emails.  They welcome questions and comments and people needing encouragement.  I love that they are so accessible and connected in the adoption community.  And they tackle lots of topics that would toe the line of awkward - adoption etiquette (of course you throw them a shower - they're having a new baby, too!), fundraising and lots of heartbreaking stats on orphans.  It's totally worth your time to sit down and read.  Your mind might explode from the sweetness of their images.

Some of you folks I have talked with about my adoption project.  It is documentary in style like Carothers' Cause and Baby Girl, but it's much different in that it wasn't assigned to me in school or focusing on one family.  It's more of a continual series of photo essays that tell the stories of adopting families, specifically those who blog about it.  The community that so many adoption blogs create is magnificent and I want to create one place full of encouraging stories and links to those blogs.  So more on this later, but know that everytime I photograph a Celebrating Adoption session it just fuels my fire to create more images and more stories.

Back on task.  Meet the Hendersons.  Meet sweet Tedi who is hilariously sweet and kind.  He pointed to my WKU license plate and yelled Go Tops! when we met (his parents are Hilltoppers), he's obsessed with his necktie ("Daddy necktie, Tedi necktie, Mommy no necktie") and he is sure to bring joy into your life just from his sweet little face - but let me tell you, if you meet this fellah, that joy will expand 100X over.  Just ask JT + Natalie.  Enjoy!

FamiliesElizabeth