Since The Archibald Project began we knew that we would be taking pictures and making documentaries, but what we didn’t expect was the deep love and connection that is formed between us and the families. A unique and special bond is experienced on adoption trips. We are privileged and blessed to share in such intimate and life changing moments, that we can’t help but come home with sense of family and community. The word gratitude doesn’t come close to describing our thankfulness for these experiences. As you can imagine, when we get to see these families again my heart bursts with joy. To see a once orphaned child now consumed in love, acceptance, and thriving in a world they had previously never known is a special experience.On our recent trip to North Carolina we were honored to reconnect with the Dingle family and cover our 6 month follow up on sweet, baby Zoe. If you’re new to The Archibald Project, you can see their journey here.
We never know what to expect when we interview families after the glitz and glam of the ‘Gotcha Day’ hype is over. Once the cameras are gone, the spot light has moved on, and real life sinks in…what is left? For some families its life as usual. For others its a long road of trials and healing for a fragile and broken child. For the Dingle family, we found 7 months of hard life happening. This was not directly related to their adoption, but sometimes life just throws you curve balls.
Lee and Shannon Dingle have three beautiful children: Jocelyn 6, Robbie 3, and little Zoe 16 months. Shortly after their arrival back home Jocelyn started school, Robbie began having seizures, and Zoe needed medical attention. Adjusting to life with a new baby is hard enough on it’s own, but combine that with these other life changes and the Dingle’s needed help. Lee and Shannon were gracious enough to share their struggles, and they are getting through them one day at a time. Despite these things, we saw the same happy, trusting, joyful family that we left in Taipei. Their circumstances have changed, but they do not doubt, blame or regret their adoption.
We are beyond thankful to know the Dingle’s. Their willingness to open their lives and share their story has been such a blessing. We’ll have their post adoption documentary up soon, but in the mean time we wanted to share these precious images of Zoe’s new life, with her wonderfully, loving family.