My first day at New Day I met Ganlu. Within minutes I learned that she has the honor of capturing everyday life for the kids at New Day. I glanced at her computer to see folders with THOUSANDS of photos of each child. Keep in mind many of the kids are under the age of 3. When a child is adopted Ganlu transfers all of the photos to a thumb drive that is given to parents.
I tried so hard to hold it together when she told me what she does.
Ganlu captures daily life – the little things that make each child unique and the ways they are interacting with their world and those around them. She is capturing stories that their parents will only learn because Ganlu picks up her camera every day to tell them.
I try to tell her what a gift she is giving these children and her families, but my words will never be able to fully communicate it to her.
We have less than 10 photos of our youngest daughter’s first 14 months and each one is a posed shot that was used for paperwork purposes. Some adoptive parents even have less. I can try to piece together information to guess what daily life was like for my daughter during that year, but I will never know what her smile looked like as a 4 month old. I won’t know if she ever sat in grass or she was snuggled when held.
I’m incredibly grateful for Ganlu and those like her across the globe. The ones that know a child’s life and story are worth celebrating and capturing. The ones that pour their gifts and talents into vulnerable children. The ones who fill in gaps the best way they can until a child is placed in the arms of his or her parents.
Our gifts are meant to poured out into others. Several times a day I watch Ganlu pick up her camera and leave the office. I know she’s headed to where the children are…she’s off to tell their stories. She’ll return, load the pictures on her computer and sit in awe of the beauty of the kids she loves. For the little ones at New Day, their moms and dads may not be capturing this season, but I am so grateful Ganlu is.