Sweet 'newborn' shoot for adopted teen
"Here's my sweet not so little newborn! His name is Latrell and weighs [51kg]," the image was captioned.
It looks like any other newborn shoot: a sleeping child, a close-up of a foot, muted colours and a birth announcement.
But the subject isn’t a baby – he’s a 13 year old boy. “Here's my sweet not so little newborn! His name is Latrell and weighs [51kg],” his mum, Kelli Higgins, captioned the images.
And there's even more to it than that.
Higgins and her husband adopted Latrell and his sister Chanya two years ago. Already a mum to five biological children, with another on the way, Higgins believed she had more love to give – and was especially interested in adopting older children.
“These children, once they get past a certain age, they don’t find homes and they age out of foster care,” Higgins told TODAY.com.
“They have to figure out the world on their own and there’s no one to go back to as an adult … It’s just horrible, it’s heartbreaking.”
The Higgins family were introduced to Latrell, then 10, and his sister, then 5, and decided to welcome the pair into their lives. They were then adopted, and settled into life with the family in Crestview, Florida.
Then, in January 2013, Latrell mentioned that he didn’t have any baby photos of himself. Higgins’s 12-year-old daughter suggested they have a newborn shoot just for him – and Higgins, a professional photographer, loved the idea.
Latrell was interested, too, saying, “I thought it was funny and that it would be a good idea.”
The teen and his mum had a great time in the studio, “laughing hysterically the whole time”, TODAY wrote.
The resulting photos were posted on Higgins’s Facebook page on January 30. They have since been ‘liked’ more than 8000 times, and shared in excess of 4000 times. The comments have been overwhelmingly positive.
While that makes Higgins happy, she’s more excited about the discussions the images have started around the idea of adopting older children.
“The one reaction that is really humbling and I’m really excited about is there have been a lot of parents that come to me telling me that they were thinking about adopting a baby, but after seeing those photos it’s changed their minds and they want to adopt an older child,” Higgins said.
And while Latrell and his sister are learning about what life with a stable family is all about, Higgins says that she’s learnt a lesson from them too: that we’re never too old to want – and deserve – love, security and parents.