‘Twas a blustery February night when we received a text from my (KC’s) cousin, asking to hop on a quick FaceTime call. Now, this wasn’t completely unsuspected but we honestly were not even the slightest prepared for the news Eric and Dana were about to tell us.
Exhausted from a day’s work, Aaron and I climbed into the bed. As the familiar ring of the FaceTime ceased, Eric’s face popped up on the phone with a big grin spread across his face. He held the phone peculiarly close to his face, almost like when you’re teaching your grandparents how to use FaceTime. But all that would make sense after he told us, “So… We’ve got a little something to share with you.”
Panning the camera to a wider angle, a beautiful baby boy was snuggled tight in Eric’s arms. An audible gasp leapt from my throat and joyful tears began to well in my eyes. Immediately, I started rambling congratulations and how adorable this baby was.
Then, as if it was possible for an even wider grin to spread across Eric’s face, he said, “Now hang on a minute! There’s more…” Shifting the camera over a little more brought Dana, Eric’s husband, into view. In his arms, rested a beautiful, peacefully sleeping baby girl.
Now if you’ve kept up with blogs or know us personally, you know we’re one for all the dramatic over here! So when I tell you that I screamed louder than I have ever screamed before, I mean it. I mean, I screamed so loud that our kids, who we had just put to bed like an hour before this, came bounding in the room to make sure everything was okay. It was just such a heartwarming experience that we physically couldn’t contain our excitement!
With a sore throat from screaming so loud and puffy eyes from crying so hard, thus began this amazing journey of shooting an absolutely stunning adopted newborn twins session!
Although our experience with this amazing family started with an exciting (and loud) FaceTime call, Eric and Dana’s adoption journey started long before this. After being married for a few years, Eric and Dana decided that they were ready to have their dream of becoming dads come to fruition.
Their adoption journey officially began in 2020 but like many things in that whirlwind of a year, Eric and Dana’s process was slowed down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It wasn’t until late 2020 that Eric and Dana found their agency, Adoption Minnesota, and began the process of getting approved to welcome a baby (or what turned out to babIES).
From the moment that we found out Eric and Dana were planning to adopt, we knew how important it was to share our support and love with them. Aaron and I remember talking with Eric and Dana at family functions in 2021 and 2022 about their adoption journey. They expressed to us their trials and tribulations but above all, their individual and combined love that they were so ready to share with their future kids.
That’s what made hearing about Eric and Dana experiencing two unsuccessful matches so hard to hear. We cannot even begin to imagine the heartache this must cause for two people who are filled with so much love that are willing to drop everything to become parents. But in the midst of darkness, Eric and Dana remained their optimistic selves and knew that their journey was going to lead them right where the universe needed them to be.
In January of 2022, they received the first text from a mother of twins. In one fell swoop, their world was drastically changed. Wary of getting scammed since twins are so rarely adopted together, it soon became clear that this was legitimate and Eric and Dana were soon to become fathers of twins.
With a whirlwind of emotions in tow, Eric and Dana literally dropped everything and hopped on the soonest flights to North Carolina. As all of the logistics were settled and phone calls were made to their parents, the adoption process took the form of a dash across the country.
It was a few days after Eric and Dana officially became parents to Lila and Levi that, with tired eyes and the comedown from a whirlwind journey fresh in their mind, they called to tell us the news! And not only did they call with news that would result in hearing damage from my screaming, Eric and Dana expressed to us that they wanted Aaron and I to shoot their newborn twins session.
Prior to this amazing opportunity to shoot with Eric and Dana, we had longed to shoot with them for quite a while. So when they asked us to take their newborn twins photos, we were completely swept off our feet. Not only did we get to shoot with this amazing couple and their two children but we get to play a role in telling this amazing story with our photography! Being newborn photographers has never been a “job” to us; it’s always been an honor to document this chapter for so many families.
Once the date for Lila and Levi’s newborn session was settled, reality truly set in. As the day grew closer and closer, our excitement to meet these new additions grew larger and larger. By the morning of the session, we were so stinkin’ excited that we had to stop ourselves from leaving the house too early out of eagerness!
Although we felt an insurmountable excitement for this session, we did have some anxieties as we prepared for these newborn twins photos. First, we really wanted these photos to do justice for Eric and Dana’s family. This whole experience was just so amazing to hear about and we wanted the magic of this moment to come through as authentically as possible. Secondly, we had never shot with twins before! As good as it felt to know that we were going to expand our skill set by shooting with twins, we worried about how to respond if the twins got fussy or what the best way to pose them would be. As you can probably assume, these anxieties were nothing to worry about in retrospect.
When we say that this was one of the most transformative, heartwarming newborn sessions we have ever shot, you can take our word on that! The love that these two have for each other and Lila and Levi, even in the short period of time they’ve spent together, is absolutely remarkable!
Now, I may be biased because Eric is my cousin but I have never caught myself welling up with tears so many times during a session! From the beautiful nursery that Eric and Dana had put together to holding Lila and Levi for the first time, both Aaron and I can say with utmost confidence that this whole experience has rightfully earned its spot in our list of coolest experiences of all time!
Words truly can’t even to begin to describe how amazing this session was. We’re going to let the photos tell that story (see below for more photos!). But we will say that we were able to capture a magical moment with Eric, Dana, Lila, Levi, and their two fur babies for a big ol’ family picture. These kinds of pictures don’t always turn out so looking at this family photo gives us all the warm feels right back to us from this twin newborn session.
The most fulfilling part of this whole experience was witnessing Eric and Dana know that they didn’t want just anyone to shoot their family. For some parents, newborn photos can feel like requirement and tend to be taken for granted. Eric and Dana completely flipped that narrative with this session, using it as not only a way to keep Lila and Levi little forever (even if it is just in a photo) but to commemorate their journey to get to this point. Trusting us with telling that story is so meaningful to us and really sets into perspective the purpose of the work we do.
To Eric and Dana, we are eternally grateful to you for allowing us to be a part of this story! This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for us and we will never forget this moment! We are so happy that you have these photos to remember this very special moment in your family’s lives. The congratulations are never-ending and we are so happy that Lila and Levi have found their forever home with you two!
If you want to keep up with Eric, Dana, Lila, and Levi, you can follow along through their social media! You can find their Facebook HERE and their Instagram HERE!
Looking for some queer-family-friendly photographers? You’re in the right place! We know that love knows no bounds and value being able to capture couples and families in any way we can! We’re the kind of photographers who do it all: engagements, weddings, family sessions, maternity sessions, newborn sessions (even newborn twins photos), and everything in between! You can inquire for a session HERE! We’d love to tell your story with our photos!
We hope this story can give you all those warm feels you need as we finish off our Minnesota winter and head into spring! Stay beautiful, friends! xoxo