The Simcox Family + Adoption Story // Kalamazoo Family Photographer

WARNING: This post has a lot of reading, but I promise it’s worth it :)

I had been looking forward to the Simcox family shoot for a while. They just adopted two little girls from Ethiopia and they are ADORABLE!

The whole family was just joyful and happy and it made what we did not feel like work at all. I love families who are good at expressing their love for each other outwardly.

I absolutely loved the way Brent talked to the girls and just his overall attitude. I’m sure he is an awesome dad. I’ve said it before and I’ll never stop saying it, but I’ve got a weak spot for fathers who are crazy about their daughters. I just think it’s one of the greatest and sweetest bonds you can ever have.

Angela really seems like she has it all together. I bet she might laugh when she reads this because none of us really feel like we have it all that together but from the outside, she looks and seems super organized! To go from having one daughter to having 2 additional small girls is quite the change in routine and a lot to take on as a mother so I really applaud her and brent for taking such a responsibility on. Those girls are extremely lucky to be a part of their family.

I asked them to write out their adoption story since I think it really adds a lot to the images. It’s wonderfully written and such a powerful story of how our life and plans are not our own but with faith, things turn out just as they were meant to be.

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For some- life’s mission becomes crystal clear.  That is Angela’s story.  From early on in her teen years she knew her calling was to be a Mom.  Angela dreamed and desired of a home filled with children that she could nurture and love. It wasn’t long into our second year of marriage that we desired to have our first child.   Our home was filled with excitement thinking any month we would celebrate the news that we were pregnant.  We did the typical thing soon to be parent’s do- we tossed around baby names, talked about room themes, and thought about what he or she would look like.  As the first months went by without conceiving we had little alarm or worry as to when we would conceive, we just assumed it would be the next month.  We took that position through the entire first year or two of our trying.  How quickly the months that followed turned into years.  We never dreamed we would be a couple that would struggle with infertility.  As the months and years went by we often questioned why God would not fulfill the desire we both had to bring children into the world and raise them to bring delight to Him.  We shed lots of tears during those years.  Often Angela would think about her desires and wonder if God was leading her to care for children through adoption.  The decision to adopt didn’t make it pass the thought stage as after five years of trying- God gave us Haley. She was everything we dreamed of.  Every thing was perfect!  She brought such great Joy into our life and taught us that miracles do happen.

We had heard stories of and from friends who struggled with conceiving until they had their first and then just looking at each other would seem to lead to additional pregnancies.  That was our hope.  A year after Haley was born we began trying for more children.  The years to follow would be some of the most difficult trials a marriage could face.  Sorrow, anger, and anxiety filled our lives.  We felt like we had failed, somehow we missed our calling.    Little did we know the reason we did not biologically have more children would be unfolded in the years to come.

Ten years after Haley was born Angela’s heart was once again pulled toward adoption.  She had been praying and was feeling this was Gods plan for our family’s expansion.  I would say that early on in our discussions I was not on board as I wasn’t sure if I could love a child that was not my own.  Angela convinced me to take the next step of attending an informational adoption meeting.  It is hard to describe the peace and sense of direction that overcame both of us that night.  As stories unfolded from both those who had adopted as well as those whom had been adopted, we both knew God had made his plan for us crystal clear.  We were going to adopt!

So began our journey.  Not long into the adoption process we met our friend’s daughter- whom they had just brought home from Ethiopia.  We knew beyond a shadow of a doubt this was were we would be adopting from.  We hired an agency and began fulfilling the requirements for legalizing an adoption from Ethiopia.  We had finished our home study and were working on the next step of completing our dossier when we learned of potential issues between the Ethiopian government and our agency.  December 9, 2010 we received a call from our agency that the pace of adoptions in Ethiopia has slowed drastically and we were potentially looking at another year or more before our adoption would be possible.  We felt as if the wind had been kicked right out of us.  Did God bring us down this path just to have us wait more?

December 12, 2010 everything came together like a God formed plan with a late evening phone call.  My buddy had reached out to me as he knew we were in the adoption journey.  He had just come back from visiting friends who had adopted two girls from Ethiopia and were putting them up for re-adoption.  He had thought we might have interest in pursuing.  We ended the phone call with “If you’re interested I can facilitate the introduction with the other family”.  I remember trying to catch my breath so I could share the opportunity with Angela.  After sharing what details I had we knew we would not be sleeping unless we had more information.  Within an hour we were on the phone with the other parent sharing stories together of both our journeys.  God’s marvelous touch was all over the conversation- we developed an immediate connection.  Our night ended with our first glimpse of Mabrae and Mekdez through emailed photos.  I remember sitting and crying with Angela as we knew Gods plan was unfolding more beautifully than we could ever imagine.

Every waiting day, every hurt, every tear all made sense in this one moment.  God held off our conceiving because he knew these two special girls would need to become part of our family.

April 29, 2011 Mabrae and Mekdez legally became Mabrae and Mekdez Simcox.

Thank you God for loving us enough to gift us these two girls who we Love more than words could ever say.

Brent & Angela Simcox

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I knew I wanted to take clips throughout the session because movement is just so different than photos and they both hold a lot of value. Kids grow up too fast and looking back at something like this, well, I know that if it were me, I’d love it. :) I’m really happy with how it turned out. I just wanted to show how happy everyone is and how much they love each other and I think it does just that.

This is what it takes to prepare 5 people for photos…haha
Turns out, random things that look like mini apples do NOT taste like mini apples. Lesson learned. 
Everybody with Everybody…this one got a little confusing… :)
I just adore their personalities. I sort of expected them to be a little more shy but no….definitely not shy. 
One of my favorite shots! I don’t know where Dezi ended up. Perhaps on top of me haha. 

I am so glad we were able to make this shoot happen. You guys were amazing and frankly I’d like spend the rest of my life photographing joyful people like you all.
October 24, 2011 - 8:08 am

Lauren | Lauren Nicole Photography - Oh my goodness, Holly. That video. Tears and laughter. Beautiful family & story – you did a wonderful job with this family. So moved!!!

Hope for major blessings on this family. :)

October 24, 2011 - 8:25 am

Dave - Thanks for making me cry at work! Hahaha simply amazing!

October 25, 2011 - 6:44 am

katie - holy cow! what a beautiful family. and such an amazing story. holly, you did a great job capturing this family!

October 28, 2011 - 1:02 pm

Sandy - Oh, my gosh. This is absolutely amazing – you are SO talented and have SUCH a gift at capturing love and emotion! Love, love, love!!!

November 3, 2011 - 9:32 pm

Nathan - Beautiful photos. As an adoption social worker, I am touched by the kindness and love exploding from each and every picture.

November 8, 2011 - 10:39 am

Brooke Summer Photography - Wow what an amazing story! And a beautiful family, excellent work. :)

December 15, 2011 - 6:13 am

Haley simcox - woow even though those r my sisters i still cry

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