Lilah’s Senior Portraits – Boston, MA

Honestly, I don’t know where to start. Lilah is stunning – in her personality, in her strength, in her determination, and in her contagious smile. She dedicates dozens of hours each week to soccer in addition to her studies. She already knows where she’s headed to college next year and it seems like she knows what she’s going to pack first: Tigger. He’s been around forever (her mom even had several versions of him in rotation just in case the original got lost) and has traveled with them all over: China, Disney World, you name it. He even has his own Instagram.

Lilah is as beautiful as she was the first time I ever saw her about 16 years ago when I was working as a social worker for an adoption agency: amidst all of the paperwork, a little, wallet-sized photo of her baby-sized face made my heart smile. She was, at the time, on the other side of the world. Her soon-to-be parents, at the time, were one town over from my office. And in the hours that followed, the labor-room-type-feel of the day took shape when I passed that photo across the table to Sarah and David; they got to see their daughter for the first time. To say that they were overjoyed would be an understatement. All that was standing between them actually getting to hold her was a long flight (and more paperwork). When their trip to China finally rolled around to adopt Lilah, I was so fortunate to be able to accompany them. To witness a family coming together for the first time is an experience I will never, ever forget. (Scroll down to see some pics from that trip.)

Needless to say, since I transitioned out of social work years ago, I didn’t really think I’d get a chance to feel my adoption-work roots again. So when Sarah contacted me to see if I would photograph Lilah for her high school senior portraits, I was brought to tears. Once again, I find myself feeling ever so fortunate.

Lilah, what an honor to get to spend a couple hours with you and your parents after all this time. While I realize you have no recollection of me, your story has remained embedded in my heart ever since that moment in Gansu. I truly hope our paths will cross again someday! Your future is bright, my friend.

photographystephanie goryl

stephanie [at] stephaniegorylphotography [dot] com

Wakefield, MA

(just north of Boston)