Exciting things are happening at JMP! For the first time ever we are partnering with two outstanding local business to bring our clients an amazing Mother’s Day package.
As a new mother, I’m constantly amazed at the love that fills my heart towards my daughter. I knew I’d love her but I had NO IDEA it would be this sweet. I think it’s this new found love like no other that’s got me so excited for this years Mother’s Day campaign.
We’ve partnered up with Oakville’s Blend Hair & Makeup Studio and Oakville’s Cupid’s Gourmet Bakery to bring you the ultimate Mother’s Day package! More about that later....
We posted a Model Call a few weeks ago to photograph images for the campaign and received an overwhelming amount of beautiful applicants. Mother’s and daughters of different ages, different backgrounds, each with their own unique story.
Although the choice was difficult, we couldn’t be happier with the beautiful models who were selected.
Meet Amanda, Jenny and Scarlett.
Not only are these ladies beautiful on the inside as they are outside, they share a special story of how they became a family.
Jenny and her husband came to Canada from Scotland 39 years ago. They had long been trying to conceive but after trying and trying with no luck, they decided to pursue adoption. In Jenny’s eyes it didn’t matter how she started a family, just that she started one. The adoption process was filled with ups and downs. There was even a time when they were told they’d be getting a baby but then at the very last minute the birth mother had changed her mind. In speaking with Jenny I learned this is quite common because the birth mother can decide against adoption during the first 10 days of the babies life.
Although it was heartbreakingly difficult, Jenny pushed forward. It was life as usual during the May long weekend in 1986 when Jenny received the call that a second opportunity had arisen! It all happened VERY fast! Amanda was born on the Monday and by Thursday Jenny was at work telling them she was leaving for maternity leave! Typically an adopted baby will not be placed with their new parents until they are 10 days old but the hospital was so busy they quite literally kicked Amanda's birth mother out within 5 days! Jenny spent the day Friday running around like a mad woman purchasing a crib, car seat and other newborn essentials. By Friday evening Jenny was enjoying Swiss Chalet with her closest loved ones... and by her side was her new baby girl, Amanda.
In speaking with Jenny and Amanda I asked if there was a certain occurrence when Jenny had told Amanda she was adopted. They shared that there wasn’t. In fact, it was never a secret, never a big deal. Amanda recalled a book from her childhood she used to read about being adopted called "Why was I adopted?". Jenny explained that when Amanda was young and wanted to know where babies came from Jenny had explained ‘from their mothers tummy, but you my dear from another mommy’s tummy’. And just like that, there were no secrets and life was grand.
Since it was never a secret that Amanda was adopted, as she became older she grew curious of who her birth mother was. Although law states a child must be 18 to legally pursue finding their birth parents, Amanda was in no big rush, but when she turned 24 she and Jenny had discussed looking. So for my "This Is Us" fans, no, there were not moments of panic for Jenny such as felt by Becca in the series and Jenny actually took the lead in starting the search. One afternoon, Jenny was scrolling the adoption agency's website and came across a post from a woman who was looking for her birth daughter. It was actually written years prior and included a bio on Amanda's birth mother Rita. Jenny believed this posting could have been written by Amanda's birth mother, so she replied to the posting to see if it was. Sure enough, it was and Jenny shared the news with Amanda. With no fear, Amanda began talking with Rita and the two schedule a date to meet at a local Starbucks. Meeting her birth mother was exciting and a bit scary for Amanda. A unique experience for certain. Amanda describes her relationship with her birth mother a lovely friendship, and commented to me that Jenny is and will always be her mother.
When Rita had decided to pursue adoption, she had one request; she was going to name Amanda "Ashley" and so she asked that her adoptive parents give her that name as her middle name. Jenny honoured the request and Ashley is indeed Amanda's middle name!
Amanda’s also been fortunate enough to meet her birth father. It took her years after finding Rita to find her birth father but finally she did and she even found out she has five half brothers and sisters, all but one who she's met! Amanda recalled meeting her birth father for the first time and him touching her face gently while examining her. He smiled as she looked so much like him.
Not only was Amanda so fortunate to be raised by her wonderful and loving mother Jenny (who did so as a single mom as her and her husband separated when Amanda was 5), she now has a lovely family of her own. She and her husband of four years have two beautiful children. Mason, who is 6 and Scarlett who is 3 and who also joined us for our photography session - and she is a C-U-T-I-E!
This was my first time being able to chat so candidly with someone who’s been adopted. To be honest, before the session I was so curious about their story and couldn’t wait to hear all about it. But the best part is that I learned it’s just so normal for them. It’s not a big deal. They are mother and daughter just the same as my mother and I. They share the same special bond and it makes absolutely no difference how they came to be, all that matters is that they are.
I’d like to thank Jenny and Amanda for not only participating in our model call, but also for being so very real. It was a refreshing experience for me and I feel so very grateful that my job allows me to meet such wonderful and unique people!
Below are some of my favourite images from our session. I hope you enjoy them!
During our Mother’s Day campaign we will be sharing the images from each session as we celebrate that special bond between all mothers and their children! If you’d like to participate, you can secure your session by contacting me. If you'd like to know more about our Mother's Day portrait session, click below!