The "E" Family || Pacific Northwest Family Portraits

I had the honor of photographing this incredible family a few weeks ago. They are wonderful people inside and out and I love their story of how they have grown their family throughout the years. 

The adoption process is an amazing journey. It may not be easy, but it is amazing. I have had the privilege of being surrounded by awesome families like this one who have encouraged us as we continue our process. And I cling to the guidance and wisdom families like this one provides in preparing us to bring our little guy home.

It was a blessing to photograph this wonderful family!

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Hollis Turns ONE! || Pacific Northwest Portrait Photographer

Documenting a baby's first year is such a blast for me! To see them from itty-bitty babe's to sitting up and standing by their first year is just too much fun! It also reminds me of how FAST a year goes by!

This one year session was particularly fun for me because this sweet girl is one of four of whom I have photographed all of her brothers since they were peanuts in their mommy's tummy! Not to mention her mommy is CRAZY talented and made her birthday banner and had the BRILLIANT idea of doing her cake smash OUTSIDE! Ten years I have been a photographer and never once did I think to do a messy cake smash outside. Seriously, brilliant! LOL

Happy Birthday Sweet Hollis!!

Portrait Photography by Michelle Newell
Portrait Photography by Michelle Newell
Portrait Photography by Michelle Newell
Baby Portrait Photography by Michelle Newell
Portrait Photography by Michelle Newell

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Gender Reveal || Pacific Northwest Portrait Photographer

I just love this sweet couple!

I have known them prior to their engagement and have had the incredible opportunity of documenting their love grow from dating through marriage and now baby #2! To say being a photographer and documenting these incredible life moments is a privilege is a complete understatement. 

I could not be more thrilled for Courtney & Austin and their sweet baby boy who will be joining us in 2018!!! I can't wait to meet him! Here's a fun little sneak peek from their gender reveal session!

Gender Reveal by Michelle Newell Photography
Gender Reveal by Michelle Newell Photography
Gender Reveal Session by Michelle Newell Photography

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River Beauty || Pacific Northwest Maternity Photography

Oh summer, I love you.

From the warm weather, the warm air, the late evening light. I just love it! Especially when you add a beautiful mama expecting her sweet baby girl. Last night was magical!

I couldn't resist posting this teaser! More to come!

Snohomish WA Maternity Photographer
Pacific Northwest Maternity Photography by Michelle Newell

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Sweet Family || Pacific Northwest Family Portraits

What an absolutely sweet family! I had such a wonderful time meeting them and photographing their family portraits and also a special one year cake smash!! Here's a fun little sneak peek from their session!

Pacific Northwest Family Portraits by Michelle Newell
Pacific Northwest Family Portraits by Michelle Newell

Some days, the best place to be is in Mommy's arms...

Pacific Northwest Family Portraits by Michelle Newell
Pacific Northwest Family Portraits by Michelle Newell

Everything is better with cake!

Pacific Northwest Family Portraits by Michelle Newell

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Summer & Chickens || Pacific Northwest Portrait Photographer

I have always wanted chickens. They are funny little animals that I have always wanted walking around my backyard to greet in the morning and collect their fresh eggs... But sadly, that day hasn't come yet. Until then, I shall play with my friend's chickens. LOL

For over a year now I have been wanting to photograph my friend's little boy and their chickens. He is the cutest little dude and what goes better with a red chicken than a cute little man?!?! I mean really, can we say all together now, "ADORABLE?!" So last night, we were headed out the door to their house for dinner and I ran back inside and grabbed my camera. I couldn't resist spending 5 minutes with Silas and his chicken to capture these adorable images! 

Thanks little man for cooperating with a crazy woman and her camera! Hehe!

Summer Portraits by Michelle Newell Photography
Summer Portraits by Michelle Newell Photography
Seattle Portraits by Michelle Newell Photography
Outdoor Portraits by Michelle Newell Photography
Snohomish WA Portraits by Michelle Newell Photography
Snohomish Portraits by Michelle Newell Photography

Family Love || Pacific Northwest Portrait Photographer

I just love this sweet family and have sooooo enjoyed documenting their first year with their sweet little guy! Can't wait to share their entire gallery with them! Here's a little teaser!

Family Portraits by Michelle Newell Phototography

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Adoption Journey || UPDATE

Where do I begin?! I have been dying to give an update, but have also been waiting for a few items to get checked off the adoption road map list.

As many of you know, I announced our adoption journey at the end of May, which we began at the beginning of October 2016. It has been a CRAZY AMAZING God journey from the very beginning. And I HAVE to say, GOD IS GOOD and has opened so many doors, answered MANY prayers, and continues to blow my mind throughout this adoption process. My faith in Christ has grown leaps and bounds and I am so grateful for this experience because of that! And as much as that may make some people uncomfortable, I have to live this process out loud and not leave these specific and most critical details out for the sake of comfort; because God has made ALL of these things possible. I will share more specifically on those details once we have our legal letter of acceptance from China, but until then, here's a little update. 😃

Photo Credit by: Tea Collection

Photo Credit by: Tea Collection

At the end of May, when I first announced our adoption, we had just completed all of the documents for our dossier that had to be sent to China. A few weeks prior to that post, I didn't realize our lives would be forever changed by a little human.

I had been hoping/praying and had a deep down desire within my heart that we would be matched with our little one prior to our dossier arriving in China and receiving it's logged in date (LID for short). A logged in date is a pivotal moment within the adoption process and a BIG check mark off of the adoption "to do" list for paperwork. The LID is received after you have sent all of those critical pieces of paper that you have triple checked and have had notarized and state sealed, been authorized and approved by the Chinese Consulate in Washington D.C. and are on their way to China to be received by Chinese adoption officials who provide you with a date stating the paperwork has been entered and logged into their system. It is a HUGE sigh of relief when families receive this LID, which allows them to know that their documents are now safe and sound in China and in the system.

Prior to our dossier boarding a plane and flying across the world to China, God answered a deep desire and prayer. He introduced us to our son! (INSERT HAPPY DANCE!) The first time I saw his face, I said, "That's my kid." Little did I know that God would take us on a crazy FAITH journey for the next few weeks to follow and would BLOW - MY - MIND. I cannot wait to share these details because they truly are God designed and orchestrated.

So here we are, Tuesday June 20th. I woke this morning and immediately checked my phone to see if we had any updates and if our dossier had been logged in. Nope. Nothing at 6AM... I did my normal routine and then "ding," my phone notified me that I had received an email. There it was, a notification from our adoption agency. Our dossier had made it to China and we are FINALLY logged into their system! (Insert another happy dance).

So where does that leave us now that we are matched with our little guy and our paperwork is in China and in their system? Below is a Q&A to hopefully answer those questions I have been receiving.

What's next? Do you get to travel now? Not quite. But ALMOST! Below is our adoption road map that shows where we are currently at. Now that we have received our LID, we send in a letter of intent to adopt our little guy, which was sent today, 6/20. This letter gets presented to the Chinese officials who then approve our adoption of him and will mail a legal letter of acceptance (LOA) to our agency, This is THE letter that says he is legally our little guy to adopt. It will take approximately 6-8 weeks from today to receive that letter, which would put us at the beginning of August, at the soonest to receive that LOA.

Once you have the LOA (letter of acceptance) THEN do you get to travel? Almost! Once we receive our LOA we begin working on a plethora of immigration paperwork. I just read the process and got a slight headache... Once those steps are completed and sent to the China Center for Children's Welfare and Adoption (CCCWA) we wait for our travel invitation.

So how long will that process take until you travel? From LOA to Travel, the time frame is approximately 12 weeks.

When are you hoping and think you will be able to travel? My prayer is that we will be traveling by the mid to end of October.

How much does all of this cost? We have been asked this question many times... and I honestly don't mind sharing. International adoption fees cost between $35,000-$42,000. We have been blessed beyond measure throughout this process in many ways and know God will continue to provide for our every need. We decided to team up with an incredible non-profit 501c3 company called Adopt Together and have created a family profile for those who have wanted to donate towards our adoption process. All donations are a tax write off and go directly to our adoption agency. Click Here to view our Adopt Together profile.

Can you tell us more about your little guy?? How old is he? What's his name? Unfortunately, we are unable to share any identifying information about him online until we have received our letter of acceptance. He is absolutely ADORABLE!!! And we love him already! Once we receive our LOA I will be sharing another update with more details about our sweet boy... and a picture!

THANK YOU isn't a big enough word for all of the sweet messages of support throughout this journey! We are forever grateful for your loving prayers, kind messages, and encouragement!!! 

Thank You - Thank You - Thank You