May 21, 2014
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I am excited to share the last portion of the CCAI Adopteens trip. After a wonderful journey through Beiijing we enjoyed an 11 hour train ride through the night. We arrived the next morning in Nanchang and headed for a hotel to drop off our things and then go shopping. The girls raised money to purchase things such as toys, DVD players, food processors, and air conditioners for the children. After a debriefing it was time to head to the orphanage. This is what the girls came so far for and the energy was beyond excited. There were mixed emotions as they imagined visiting the orphanages that some of them had actually been adopted from. The girls were anxious to see the children and learn more about where they came from and how they were cared for. To view images click here.

    

Watching them for the first time was hard. I could see confusion and sadness mixed with joy and passion. There were many questions asked and I am sure many more that they kept inside. I am so glad I got to see them go through the entire process. Towards the end they had formed bonds with the children that would forever change their view of how they were adopted. To view images click here

    

The entire journey was a life changing experience for both Nik and I. The things we saw and emotions felt changed many of my views of the adoption process.  After it was all over I realized how two beautiful souls, Lily and Joshua Zhong, made the decision years ago to save one child at a time. It reminded me of the story of the man walking on a beach throwing stranded starfish back into the ocean. Another man walks by and said, "Why are you doing that? There are thousands of them it won’t make a difference." The man bent over, picked up another starfish and threw it into the ocean and replied, “It made a difference to that one.” Lily and Joshua, you are true heroes...

    

To view images click here

Images by Nikolai Puc' Photography

 
May 13, 2014
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May is a pious fraud of the almanac. ~James R. Lowell

Here in Colorado we had crazy weather for Mother’s Day—snow! I hope you all had a wonderful Mother’s Day.

The older I get, the more reflective I become on Mother’s Day. Of course my thoughts go to my mother and how dear she is to me. In my mind, she is something of a superhero. She took care of her father’s farm, raised five children, and took on many church responsibilities in addition to the daily tasks required to manage a household. I’m not sure how she actually did it all. And in addition to that, she inspired me to be whatever I wanted. She was my first cheerleader when I decided to pick up a camera and pursue a career.

I also enjoy celebrating Mother’s Day because I am blessed to have four delightful children that brighten my world. My kids keep me both grounded in reality and reaching for my dreams—and theirs.

Two weeks ago, my daughter Katie graduated from college. I’m so proud of her. I truly can’t believe how time flies so quickly. It sounds trite, but it feels as if she just started kindergarten last week. One graduation down, three to go, and I know that time will go by in a blur. It’s exciting to see Katie start out in the world, secure in her knowledge and bravely setting out to make her mark.


Katie graduating! Sandy and Katie Puć

May is also the month that I head outdoors to begin the season of outdoor photography. It’s an honor to venture outside and capture both the beauty of my clients and the splendor of the fresh, green countryside. It’s thrilling to know my clients will cherish the images I take for years to come.

If you’re a photographer, I hope you have a happy, successful spring shooting season. If you’re a lover of great photography, I hope you take advantage of the beautiful weather and the skills of a local photographer to capture some special moments with your family. It’s time well spent—images of loved ones grow more dear with each passing year. 

 
May 08, 2014
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I am finally able to share the Adopteen images from the trip to Asia. This is part one as the girls enjoyed China. To view the images please click here.

Meeting these girls and having the opportunity to travel with them as many of them saw China for the first time was life changing. There were so many things I was not prepared for as I watched them try to take in all there was to see. To view the images please click here.

Imagine being born in a country, raised in a different one with people who do not look like you and then traveling back to a land you do not know or understand. There were so many questions that the girls struggled with as they tried to understand why they were abandoned, who they really were and where they fit in. It was an emotional and heart wrenching journey and yet they each came with their own strength and they helped each other through the adventure. To view the images please click here.

         

There was laughter and joy and many moments of pure hysterics. It was really interesting watching the Chinese watch the girls too. They could see that they looked Chinese, but their american style, mannerisms and bounding laughter left the quiet locals shaking their heads. To view the images please click here.

    

To view the images please click here.

 

Images by Nikolai Puc Photography

 
April 24, 2014
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It is wonderful to reflect back on the beautiful children we were able to work with in China. To view the second series please click here.


    

All of these babies will be adopted over the next few months. It was so fun to watch them smile and play. It was hard to believe that they all have some type of medical condition. In spite of conditions ranging from cleft pallets, missing limbs to HIV, they all had so much spirt and joy. Honestly I wanted to take them all home with me!  To view the second series please click here.

I was so happy knowing that soon they would be with forever families. They will have parents who love them and homes they will feel safe in. The work being done by CCAI is remarkable and I still feel so blessed to have been a small part of telling their story. To view the second series please click here.

     

To view the second series please click here.


Photo credit Nikolai Puc' Photography