This day caught me by surprise. I met Lindsay and Kris Morris at a wedding they attended in the Dominican Republic for a most beautiful woman and incredible man inside and out, Brooke and Travis Tobaben. We did a mini shoot there on the beach and Punta Cana with Lindsay and Kris and almost a year later, I was parking my car, skinnying my way into a packed elevator up to the 246th District Court Downtown Houston to photograph Tati.

Her life changed this day. She legally took the last name Morris, being adopted by Kris who became her father, vowed to stand at her side, always protect her, love her, be there for her. The spirit of family exploded from the group in this photo below, all together, no matter the circumstance, to witness this day with Tati. I myself, come from an unorthodox family, being the middle between two boys. We all have different dads. I don’t have my dad’s last name, I barely know him. I don’t even know the man with my current last name.

What I didn’t realize is that, years after my childhood, I’d get to stand in front of this family, equipped with a skill set to document a day that will forever change the course of Tati’s life, for the better. I walked out mute, quiet, not realizing how much my heart felt this moment compared to most things that I photograph. It took me much longer to edit these photos. Every time I pulled them up, my eyes would fill with tears of joy and remembrance and an overwhelming sense of gratitude that this family showed me something six inches in front of my face that I haven’t seen my entire life. I wanted the photos to be perfect. I wanted to find peace in the ache of how close to home this hit for me. It was incredible to see it happen in the flesh. I heard the words, I saw the joy and I appreciate the instance when Kris said unwavering, how he would assume a staple position in Tati’s life and he was beyond elated to be able to do so. Kris and Lindsay showed me it’s possible, placing a forever kind of hope in my heart around the healing of families who believe in something beyond themselves. I can’t thank the Morris Family enough for giving me my own experience of a lifetime. I wish you the best this life has to offer.

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