“She’s not the same girl you met in the summer, is she?” Mary Leigh posted to me. Indeed she is not. Nell has come forward in leaps and bounds. She is energetic, loving and full of personality. Watching her current family session vicariously through family instagram posts, I was extremely envious of their photographer. Nell was as open and active as her brothers, and that’s saying something! Part of me wishes I was there to capture that part of their story as well, but Nell is a cool 11,151km away with her new family.
Our own short session here in Seoul took quite a bit more convincing to get Nell involved. Her word of the day was kaja, and did not want to leave the safety of Mary Leigh’s arms. It was two days before her birthday, and continuing family tradition, we had set out to capture some photographs of her in this place at this time. We managed a frame or two in between moving from location to location as Nell pointed them out to us.
Sweets, milk, and all the things that Nell usually loved could not bring her back. Even the photo of her that I printed on the spot only got a short smile before we were back on our kaja adventure. In the end we found that she liked to throw a ball and managed a solid 3 minutes in one location with Nell opening up to us a little.
We had a difficult time that day, and it was understandable. Nell was adjusting to her new situation, and that can’t have been easy for her. Knowing that we were possibly pushing her a little too much, and that more importantly she may simply need some time to process, we called the session short and Mary Leigh took Nell home. She went to sleep in the 5 minute taxi ride home, obviously exhausted and in need of some down time.
To see her now, you wouldn’t know this girl, or how difficult this time must have been for her. She has made a wonderful transition to her new family and is finding herself anew. The bombardment of smiles and short videos of her progress that keep coming my way keep me acutely aware of what a wonderful thing adoptive families are doing, and how lucky I am to be a part of these stories.
Cannot wait for the chance to see the Browns again! Thanks and all the best to Nell, Brodie, Bates, Nick and Mary Leigh. See y’all soon!