I have been overwhelmed by the response to my participation with Operation: Love ReUnited. Overwhelmed in a good way (I love giving back to these families who give so much to our country!) and overwhelmed in a not-so-good way (Because I just can't take them all!). I am totally booked with Pre-Deployment Sessions and Homecomings until well into August! But, I have been chatting with a couple other OpLove photographers in the area and hope to be able to refer anyone that I am unable to help to someone else so that their special moments are captured, too.
This family captured my heart when the mother first contacted me. She told me that their first child was born while Daddy was deployed and she's currently pregnant with her second baby -- and her husband has never seen her "this pregnant"! Baby #2 is due in a few weeks (I know, she looks AMAZING, doesn't she?) and Daddy will be there for his/her delivery, which is so special for them!
We met right inside the parking garage at Norfolk International Airport and one of my first photos is of this window decal that she had specially made:
Then, the waiting began! It was great that they allowed the families to go through security (with special passes, of course) so that they could wait at the gate for the plane to arrive. As it taxied toward the gate, I could feel the atmosphere change. Everyone's nerves began to show and all of the families started to get WAY excited!
Finally, it was the moment they'd all been waiting for. As the guys started to file out, things got very crowded and very noisy! I couldn't help but get a bit teary-eyed myself as all the Daddies hugged their children and wives again. Those who were meeting their itty bitty babies for the first time EVER especially got me a bit choked up. As a photographer, these images may not be my best work (some are slightly out-of-focus, the lighting was tough, etc.) but as a person - a woman, a wife, a mother - they are absolute perfection.
I am so glad I was able to be there to capture this special moment for you, Sara and Geoff. Enjoy each other and I can't wait to meet that new baby!