An Adoption Story | Found Families

One of the most rewarding parts about being a photographer is witnessing the diverse spectrum of stories out there in the world. Seriously, people are SO interesting! I have always been drawn to biographies and documentary films (and even reality TV before it got too out of hand! I was an original “Real World” fan). I love that every person and every family is unique and everyone’s path is different. There is so much to be learned from each other if we pause, listen and talk to each other.

I volunteer for a couple of different organizations whose mission is to share the stories of remarkable families and to give back to these families through complimentary family photography sessions. One of these organizations, Found Families, provides sessions to families who have recently adopted a child. Last month, I was happy to be paired with a family in nearby Glen Cove, who have two adopted daughters. Their youngest, Sophia, joined the family earlier this year and when I met her, was just about to celebrate her first birthday.

Mom Kerri describes the whirlwind story of how their family came together:
”Our family is sort of a "phoenix rising". Matt and I met only 5 years ago. He was divorced and I was widowed. We bought our home together a few years later and I moved to Long Island from CT. I quickly bonded with Tess and our family was formed. Matt and I decided to adopt a few years ago. Both being in our forties, we were worried that it was going to take a few years or even worse-perhaps we would not match due to our age. Miraculously, Matt received a call from the adoption agency even before our paper work was completed. There was a birth mother and her specific requests regarding the adoptive family was only met by us. We met her a few weeks later, expedited our paperwork/homestudies and anxiously awaited the birth. Sophia came 2 weeks early and we were super excited. Initially when we went to pick her up, the paperwork was not completed and we went home with an empty car seat. Devastated, we waited another 2 weeks for everything to be completed and then we picked her up! Our hearts are full.”

I spent the morning with their family at home and then at a nearby beach where I captured some sweet moments of them together. I was struck by how compatible they were together. Four lives originating in four different places coming together. Serendipity! They were meant to be together.

If you or someone you know might be interested in a photography session with Found Families, you can find all the information to apply on their website here.


Francesca Russell is a documentary-style family photographer and filmmaker located in Garden City South, NY. If you'd like to see more of her recent documentary family photography, head over to her Facebook page or follow her everyday adventures on Instagram. If you are looking for a family photographer or lifestyle videographer on Long Island or in the New York City area to document your family, small business or event, please contact her for more information.