Real fast, the “rippingest-photoshop-actions-ever” people at Get Totally Rad are going to be interviewing me tomorrow at noon :) If you’ve ever wanted to listen to a TOTALLY under-qualified guy talk about matters that he shouldn’t be talking about in public… now’s your chance! :P
I imagine we’ll talk about photography, how I couldn’t point out an Ansel Adams photo if you paid me 50 bucks, and hopefully a TON about traveling as a photographer – I feel much more qualified talking about that subject ;) So tomorrow (Tuesday) at noon (California time), go here if you want me to bore you to tears.
You know, I’d like to say Lindsay’s favorite person is me, but I just might be lying if I did.
In January of 2001 – just four months after Lindsay and I had met – Lindsay went off to China to work at an orphanage for a couple months. She fell in love with a girl. A girl named “Reilly”. Six months later, I was blessed with the opportunity to go with Lindsay back to China for a couple months to work at the same orphanage. Reilly was still there and I got to see what Lindsay looked like when she was completely in love with a little child. Seeing Lindsay’s reaction to Reilly being excited to see her friend return was something I’ll never forget. Reilly completely stole Lindsay’s world. Every moment of every day she wanted to be around Reilly – and Reilly returned the favor :)
Had Lindsay not been a single 19 year old, she would have done everything in her power to adopt her. And I don’t mean that in other other sense than the “I’m dead serious” sense. She had a genuine love for this little girl.
Well, after we left China, Lindsay and I went on to date seriously, get engaged, get married, and move to Texas working with the organization we had met in. Somewhere along the way, an incredible – and I mean INCREDIBLE family adopted Reilly. We were over in China when the adoption process started – and we got to see something that was literally priceless. Reilly walking around shouting with joy in Chinese “this is my family!” while holding their photo in the air like it was her national flag.
When we returned to Texas a year or so later, we heard Reilly’s adoption had gone through. The day arrived where Lindsay would see little Reilly again.
We went over to the Pontius’ house. It’s a house of true love. A huge family that gets along in a way you just don’t see anymore. Reilly was playing in her room. After a while, Reilly and Lindsay started going through photos of Reilly at the orphanage. She got to pictures of her and Lindsay and started telling Lindsay how this was her favorite friend at the orphanage. Lindsay explained to her that she was the same girl that was in the picture. Reilly did about five double takes – picture, Lindsay, picture, Lindsay… BOOM! It hit her. She grabbed Lindsay by the hand and from then on out, I was COMPLETELY invisible.
One day I ran into the Pontius family at Burger King. Lindsay wasn’t with me. Reilly, with her at the time broken english, ran up to me with joy – not looking at me, but looking around me – said “where are her?!?” I told her she wasn’t with me today and Reilly walked off as if I was chopped liver :)
Anyways, this weekend Lindsay was crying as she was staring at the computer. Why? Well Reilly friend requested her on Facebook. I think going through photos and seeing a loved, teenage Reilly all just hit her at once. This little orphan that Lindsay fell in love with 9 years ago – and prayed so adamently to be adopted by a great family – was no longer a little orphan in China. She’s now a young woman with an incredible mother, father, brothers and a sister – living better than Lindsay could have ever dreamed.
Reilly’s brother is a young photographer with a ton of talent. He sent Lindsay a few photos of Reilly that sent her over the moon. This one stuck out the most (for obvious reasons)…
There are a lot of problems with humanity – bad things happen to decent people all the time, that’s for sure. But there are incredible stories of absolute good in our world that aren’t to go unnoticed. Reilly’s story of becoming a part of the Pontius family is something to be reminded of…