Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Season

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the road less
traveled by, And that has made all the difference in the world."

~ Robert Frost

The Robert Frost quote is one of my favorites and could be called my life quote.
To me it speaks of my life and how adoption changed it profoundly
in so many wonderful ways.

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{The good stick that broke.}

For as long as I can remember I wanted to be a mom.
I'm the oldest of 4 (all quite close in age) and used to play teacher or mommy to my younger siblings.
My mentor is one of the own mother, Barbara.
I have an incredible mom.
From her I learned patience, not to sweat the small stuff, 
give my children choices,
and be a good listener...our children have so much to teach us.
Both of my parents gave me the gift of compassion and it means very much
that my children have that gift too.

Last Post Storyboard 2

This time with our children is short and truly in a blink of an eye they've graduated
from High School and gone to college or are working full time in a job.
I know that first hand because I've raised one son who's now in his 20's
and it seems like yesterday that I first held him.

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5 years ago in August of 2007, I started this blog. It was just after Grace's 5th birthday.
My husband Dan thought of the name, 'Aging with Grace,' it
was a little comment on our age (at the time in our 40's) and life with our little girl.
She was such a little peanut then.
The blog was a way to journal our wait for our second adoption.

Blogging has changed greatly in 5 years...
I used to blog nearly every day
and many of us participated in cute little memes, contests and giveaways.
It definitely was a sweet and supportive time in my life.
I can whole heartedly say that through blogging I've met
some amazingly supportive and kind people.
Good people.
Unless you've adopted and gone through the long, arduous, soul searching process,
not many folks understand the experience and
the emotional investment and deep love we have for our children.
We truly are a special little group.

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4 years ago we made the trip with Grace to Fujian Province, China to adopt our William.
I wrote every single day about our time there, it was such an emotional time. 
Both of those trips to the birthplace of my children were profound experiences 
for both Dan and myself. 
It's not possible to travel to China and not be changed on some level.

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Over time the blog became more of a photography one.
I was given a DSLR camera by my husband 4 years ago.
The goal of me wanting to learn to use that first camera well and take better photos, soon
 changed to me wanting to learn all that I could about photography.
I took photos 'from the heart.'
That part was easy for me, I'm a heart person.
A sensitive soul, I feel deeply and love the same way.
Shooting from the heart means shoot with a passion,
and don't get consumed with all the technical stuff at first.
That will come.
Maybe shooting from the heart as it relates to photography 
is a great analogy for how we all should live our lives,
passionately, deeply, and always in the moment.

Last Post Storyboard 1

I have an incredible life, a beautiful life some would say, I suppose.
I'm blessed in ways too numerous to count, but the the most important being with good health,
 people that love me unconditionally and a loving Father
in Heaven that cares about me.

I've learned that photography is a journey, just like life.
I will always be a photographer... whether as a professional or hobbyist.
It's a lifelong love and passion,
and it's really through photography that I've found myself.
The Gail that has always been there...the nurse/ mom/ artist/ caring / altruistic person.
I'm at a very good place in my life.

I have learned that one of my greatest joys is photographing my children
 and second to that is giving back with my gift.
Who would have thought that I can use this gift to give back to newly adoptive families
 through Red Thread Sessions and to volunteer with An Orphan's Wish,
an organization that serves 'the least of these,' orphaned special needs children in China.
I feel called to help these children and bring attention especially to the older ones who wait for their 
forever families.
So as life is a journey, I'm going to be enjoying it to the fullest.
We only have one time on this Earth.

Thank you for the last 5 years...the friends that I've met through my little blog
will always be a part of my heart.
 I've loved every single moment of this 'season' of our lives.
A little snapshot in time.


As this is my last blog post (the 777th!) I can now
 be found at my new blog, A Mother's Art Photography.
I'll post favorites from client sessions and there
will still be some posts featuring my two littlest loves.
Follow along if you like.

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(My heart)

27 kind words:

Love Letters To China said...

There are no words to say how much I will miss your words and photos of your little ones. I always looked forwarded to seeing a small glimpse into your life. I believe every single word you wrote is 100% true. You are an amazing woman and I'm so glad this blog world has brought us together as friends forever. :-)

I can't wait to see what you have up your sleeve. Congratulations on your next adventure.



Kate said...

I, too, am said Gail...even though I knew this was coming. I would add writing from the heart as another talent as well. Your words...just as beautiful as your photos.

Sad to see this era end...but happy to be following at your new blog too.

Debbie said...

Such a beautiful post from a beautiful person.

Life with Kaishon said...

I am so thankful I have gotten to meet you on this journey : )
I love the kind of mother you are. I wish you all the best on your photography journal.

Hannah said...

This post broke my heart just a bit. I don't comment often but truly loved this journey. You can bet I'll come along on the next adventure :)

Jboo said...

Loved getting to "know" you through your blog and gorgeous photos. You have the sweetest family. Your kindness and support to me have meant so much. Will miss you here, but will definitely be following along.


likeschocolate said...

I have truely enjoyed watching your children grow and read your journey. It has been a wonderful blessing. Thank you!

Buckeroomama said...

Oh, Gail... such a beautiful post. You write just as beautifully as you take photos.

Truly Blessed said...

It's always sad when blogs disappear because when you've followed a family blog for a long time you really feel like you know the family.

But, life is to be lived, not simply blogged about, so I totally get the end of this era.

I'll be following your new blog, too, and love that we can still stay connected through Facebook.

BTW, have you ever thought of printing your blog in book form? I've done that with a couple of my blogs and LOVE having those books on my bookshelf. Some of them are so big they're in two or three volumes, but the words and thoughts and even little pictures are there forever. Good thing, since my girls are never going to get traditional "baby books"!

Laurie said...

I will certainly miss your posts, that's for sure! Not that you're asking for suggestions, but maybe you could do a once a week or once a month feature on your photography blog that would keep us up to date on the happenings in your family! :) Just a thought. Thank you for still allowing us to peek in on your beautiful photography. It inspires me so much!

Kayce said...

Beautiful and filled with emotions and words that I have myself. Blogging is an amazing journey and while we have never met in person, you are still a treasure to me. Someday I hope we can share a cup of coffee and a hug! :) You have always inspired me as a mom and your photography just makes me want to try harder. Looking forward to seeing where life continues to lead you my friend.

Jennifer Knishka said...

Beautiful writings and photographs created by a beautiful person! Let us both continue to take the "road less traveled," for that will make all the difference!

Number 6 and no more counting! said...

A beautiful post.

I have a personal sadness as this is how I met one of my dearest friends for life.

But, I know whats to come will be greatness.

lots of love and hugs to you.


the meaklims said...

Oh my, I have tears in my eyes. I am SO going to miss you. You have inspired me so much, in photography, through your life and your children... your love shines through in every single ounce of what you put in your posts and it is the most beautiful thing. You are a true lady, a beautiful lady.

I am truly going to miss you. I mean...seriously.

Hugs, Jill xx

Sharon Stacy said...

Thanks for the ride it was just as beautiful as you. Will miss your pics and words of wisdom.

Gina @ Gigi Marie Photography said...

I am so sad Gail- I have so very much enjoyed getting to know you & your family. I found myself looking forward to each post because I knew I would leave feeling so calm & fulfilled. I understand though. I will continue to check in with you & don't ever want to lose contact. You have been an angel in my life. Hugs!!!

Jodee Leader said...

You are an amazing photographer and mother and we will miss you like crazy cakes!

duedeux said...

Dear Gail,

I have not often left you messages but I have faithfully followed your blog from across the ocean (I live in Belgium). I like it very much. Your pictures are wonderful and made me dream... Plus our families have some similarities. Our children have both been adopted in China: Nina is the oldest (She just turned 9 a couple of months ago) and Alex will be 7 soon and has also a repaired cleft lip and palate.

I'll miss your wise words and pictures but I'll continue to visit your other blog.
I wish you all the best and for your lovely family.


Hoots Momma said...

well here I am sobbing like a baby at the computer. you have such a beautiful way of sharing wisdom and encouragment. I haven't been so good at balacing life and work and I needed to hear a word from the great shepherd. I believe I herad it loud and clear through this post. blessings, sal!

3 Peanuts said...

What a beautiful final post here Gail. I am excited for you as you explore the next chapters of your life. Your photography and your writing are both beautiful gifts that you share with others.

Michelle said...

This blog has been a source of inspiration for me - your photography, your writing and your passion for being a mom. Wishing your much joy and success on your new journey!

Sharon Ankerich said...

I will miss you desperately but completely understand your need to move to a new season and enjoy life to the fullest. You are such an inspiration to me in so many ways and I love knowing you are just a note away! Even though I won't see you here, I will follow your photog blog and dream of the day we meet. Our children have to know each other! :) You are one of most kind people I have known and pray your life is blessed to the fullest with your beautiful family!!! I love you and will miss seeing you pop up in Google Reader. Until we meet in person! Love from me!!! XOXOXOXO

Chasing Dreams Photography said...

What a beautiful and well written finale!!!!! I hung on to every word...your new site is going to rock!!!!!! It's hard to give up blogging at first but it gets really easy after awhile...I love having no pressure to post...can't wait to see what lies down the road for you....Your photography is gorgeous!!!!

Courtney said...

Sad to see this blog go. What an amazing post. I will be following along on your next journey.

Eva said...

While I have only recently started following your blog, I have thoroughly enjoyed it. Your blog is full of so many things beautiful- people, photographs, words, wisdom. I will surely miss this but will continue to follow along at your new blog. All the best to you as your journey in life continues.


Dear Gail,
You don't know me,I've followed your blogs for years and it sure was my favorite. Always,I felt fulfilled, calm, trusting in life when I read your beautiful words and your wonderful photos. I've also adopted 2 littles girls in China and your lovely Grace reminds me so much of my seems like they're sisters, same age, same Province Guangdong, same beauty and same kindness and softness.
I am truly sad to read your last post, I feel like I'm losing a dear friend...I've lost my dear father last June and I'm stil so so sad, you see, my every day visit to your lovely family was a true blessing to me.
I wish you the best, you are truly a beautiful person and I will miss you very much, wonderful mum!
I wish we were friends, you're amazing. God bless you, now I cry, but I will follow your new blog for sure"
Guylaine, from Quebec,Canada

lori carolina said...

Gail, this last blog post was so beautifully written, I sure will miss peeking into your beautiful life. I always connect to your photographs, I think you tend to capture what I would if I could take pictures like you:)
I'm glad you all had such a lovely summer, the photos are perfect.
And it's always good to have some JT (James Taylor) in the background.:)

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