About a month ago I noticed a post on Facebook in a group (I can’t remember which one). They were looking for a photographer in my area to take photos for a little girl named “Sierra” to update her adoption file with current images. I jumped at the chance to help. I was excited to find out she loves dogs and horses, since I have both. It took over a month for things to come together. She was having issues in her foster home out of the area and they ended up moving her to Wenatchee. It sounds like they placed her in a better setting for her. We setup the shoot with her “case manager” at the barn where she could play with dogs, pet the horses and in the end, I surprised her with a horse ride.
She’s 12 years old and all she wants is her “forever family”. This little girl is wise beyond her years. It broke my heart to hear her say “I know I’m not a baby and most people want to adopt a baby”. I shared with her, there is someone out there “just for her” and babies aren’t nearly as much fun to hang out with as a 12 year old. She giggled. We agreed shopping with a baby isn’t very much fun and she had super cute boots! She shared that she would love a home with horses and dogs! I asked her “what would the family look like that adopted you”. I was impressed at her response. She said, “I want a mom and dad who are nice, who have rules too”. Of course followed by “not to many rules”. What a wise little girl to know she needs rules and responsibilities to “learn” along the way that will help shape her into a well grounded adult.
This little girl had such zest for life. She made silly funny faces, like any 12 year old. She said she “had a way with animals” which I totally believe after seeing her interact with the horses at the barn. My horse took to her in an instant. It was fun watching the two of them connect and communicate with each other. They both have stories of abandonment and pain. My horse had 8 owners before he came to live with me. Sierra has been in and out of several foster homes most of her life too. It was touching to see the two of them together. Like they were quietly sharing their private stories, sorrows and happy moments. After about 20 minutes, my horse licked her hand, turned around and off he ran. Its really remarkable watching animals and humans with stories connect.
After the photos were done, Sierra took my horse for a short ride in the arena. For 12, she knows a fair amount about handling horses too. For “safety” she was on the end of a lead rope just in case. He was so careful with her. She had smiles from ear to ear. As the sun started to set we finished the horse ride an headed back up to the barn from the pasture. Said our goodbyes and off she went to McDonalds with her caseworker for a McFlurry. (I have to add the word “McFlurry” got those awesome smiles we needed for her photos!)
Its amazing how you help another person, but the end up helping you without knowing it. Sierra touched my heart this week. I will always remember my time with her. My prayer for her is that she finds her forever family, that has animals, rules and most importantly unconditional love all for her.
I hugged my parents extra tight last night and thanked them for my life. Its always a great reminder to see into the life of someone else’s journey and appreciate even more the one you’ve been blessed with. I’m so thankful that my parents tucked me into bed every night, had rules and unconditional love for their kids.
I’m not able to share a photo of the little girl I photographed but here is an image of her hand…with my horse. Love how he looks like he has a secret 🙂