I ran through the airport yesterday, that kind of chest-burning huffin’ and puffin’ run someone who never runs does when they really need to be somewhere. Afraid I was going to miss your long-anticipated arrival, I didn’t even take the time to switch lenses to the one I’d hoped to use, or look at the settings on my camera for more than a few seconds, before I saw your mama, beaming, as she walked ahead of you and your dad, with Max and Nana not far behind. I started shooting and didn’t stop until I made you cry (in an attempt to make you smile).
I feel like we didn’t start off on the right foot; you all tired after a long flight from Korea, me shooting a bright light in your face while people you’ve never seen before admired you, and spoke to you in a language you don’t understand. Yeah, I get why you weren’t so into me. You had my number pretty quickly, and either blinked preemptively when you saw me, or just gave me the stink eye. Can I tell you a little secret? I don’t really like that light either, I leave it in my camera bag 99% of the time, but you were in a dark area of the airport and I didn’t have another option. Hopefully someday you’ll look at these photos and see just how happy everyone was to have you come home.
I remember the day in January 2011 when I received a text from your dad, saying he was going to have a daughter. I was on Mississippi Avenue waiting for Black Wagon to open, and I burst into tears at the sight of your sweet face on my little phone screen. Fast forward nearly a year and a half and yeah, I think you’ll understand someday why there were so many of us standing around that airport waiting area, bursting with excitement, flashing our bright lights at you with tears running down our faces behind our cameras (or at least mine). I’m really looking forward to the day I get to capture you smiling and playing with your big brother, Max. Even more, I’m looking forward to photographing you in your mamas arms, because of all of the people who’ve been waiting for you to come home, these seventeen months have been longest for your mama.
Most of us are going to love you at a bit of a distance for right now, and allow you to adjust to your new world. But know this, little girl, this summer is going to be fully loaded with love, fun and good times. I am so excited to get to see it unfold, and maybe even document a little bit of it for you to look back on someday.
Welcome home, Juno. We’re all so glad you’re here.