I’d photographed Lissa + Jeremy’s wedding a couple of years back, and when I received a new email from them I was intrigued. They were in the final stages of adopting their son Graysen and asked if I would be interested in photographing the happy occasion.
As with many things in life you don’t often get to choose the events you witness. Given the opportunity to document the final legal stage of Lissa + Jeremy’s journey in extending their family I happily accepted the challenge.
I arrived at the Springfield Courthouse as early as I could since I knew the guards would want to X-Ray and inspect the gear I was bringing in. Photography inside the courthouse is strictly prohibited, and there are signs everywhere reminding people of that, so having secured permission in advance was important.
Having successfully passed through the security checkpoint it was a short wait until the family arrived. We made our way to the 4th floor to await the judge who would be signing the adoption documents. Their attorney (who coincidentally turned out to be an old family friend) explained to the judge of my role in the day’s proceedings and she was fine with my presence. I photographed everything using only ambient light and no flash, as I did the entirety of the day, so as to minimize my impact on the goings-on.
The judge seemed pleased to be presiding over a happy event such as this and, with family present both in the courtroom and via FaceTime, signed Graysen’s adoption papers.
Lissa, Jeremy, Graysen, the attorney, and I made our way down the hall to file the freshly signed papers with the Court Clerk’s office. To my surprise they allowed me behind the counter so I could photograph everyone from the angle I wanted.
The clerks’s office staff sure loved Graysen! It seemed like everyone came by to coo over him and watch him smile.
After we finished up at the courthouse we made out way back to Lissa + Jeremy’s home where we made some portraits of them with the family in their beautifully landscaped back yard. Gifts were exchanged and we all made our way to Sylvester’s in Northampton for a celebratory Welcome to the Family meal.
After the meal we said our goodbyes and Lissa, Jeremy, and Graysen all went home.