A wish come true...
The variations of a wish are of many. The variations of a family are too.
Capturing photos of these two people during our photo session together, in front of the wishing fountain, watching them converse back and forth, I could see their wish had already come true.
When I began this photo session, I was intrigued initally by Shelley's story. I knew bits and pieces, but once our photo session was over not only did I get to know two beautfiul ladies, but also a story that confirmed a rich relationship that was ignited by choice. A single woman's choice to begin a life with a child all to herself. A child to call her own, soley.
Shelley never thought much about becoming a parent. She was never one of those women that "had to have a child". She assumed that she, "would fall in love and get married and the rest would follow". Travelling around our planet, exlproring vast and different lands, living in 4 continents at different times, having a good career, a place to call her own alongside running marathons and being surrounded by friends were her main interests. Becoming a mother wasn't on her radar. Once her sister gave birth to her niece, Shelley's reality shifted. Shelley realized how much children change life's perspective, ones passions and oneself. No longer did she take to the skies, but rather, she made the decision to remain grounded spending time during each of her holidays with her niece. Watching her niece grow, experience life, witnessing her milestones, and being a supportive and a loving aunt was at the top of Shelley's bucket list.
Shelley's bucket list shifted and her views changed. She couldn't help but think about having a child of her own. At that time she was 39 and single. There were varying options for her and limited budgets. Steering herself down a few roads, she found one that worked. Doing extensive research, she began the process with an open ID donor sperm clinic, which is an epic decision as a single woman for so many reasons. There are so many variables involved. Head-strong and determined, Shelley became pregnant with Rani Olive Lux Gopal, and gave birth to this precious little girl on June 6th, 2013. This is when Shelley's life truly changed.
When you see Shelley and Rani together, it is magical. It is life changing for any woman to witness. A single mother by choice. A daughter full of light and love. Watching the two of them interact, be and love one another can confirm having a child is truly wonderful. Any single woman who is debating various options for becoming pregnant, solo, once meeting Shelley and Rani and learning about their story and life, it becomes clear that having a baby with it's ups and downs, it's trying times, is still so rich emotionally. Shelley admits it is challenging being the only one in the picture, so to speak, no handing baby over to your partner, just you, 24 hours! She states that it was and is the best choice she has ever made in her life thus far. Shelley admits, "I have done some great things in my life, but Rani is the only thing for certain I did right". She could never look back without feeling the upmost feelings of joy knowing she made the most amazing choice of her life.
I love their life. I love their story. I love Shelley's strength and determination.
It was a joy capturing the two of them admist the beautiful sunlight that day. Sunlight that only confirmed the glowing love exchanged between Shelley and Rani, that day and every day. A glowing love between a Mother and her daughter.
Determination has no count on the coins that you can add to a wishing fountain. Determination confirms that wishes do come true.
Thank you, Shelley and Rani, for allowing me to photograph your love. Your story. It was a joy for me. A true wish captured in photograph.
Love: Jo xooxoxo