Hanoi Adoption

I met Isabeau and Paolo just minutes before jumping into a car with them to drive an hour south of the city for the official adoption ceremony for their new child, Nguyen Van Tien. We had barely learned each others’ names before I had my camera out taking pictures. I spent the rest of the afternoon trying to simultaneously fade into the background and be as close as possible during this special day. A difficult task for sure, but I think that amidst all the driving and waiting and anxiety and excitement, I was able to make a few nice frames.

The following afternoon we met up again to take a quick walk through the city and to grab a cup of coffee for some more natural, relaxing images. The ceremony was a long and tiring affair, and Isabeau and Paolo obviously had a lot on their minds, so it was nice to see them again in a more normal setting. Or as normal as can be expected when you’ve just traveled thousands of miles across the globe to adopt a new family member.

As I hope is evident through the above images, to say that little Tien is a lucky child would be the understatement of the year. I wish the family nothing but roses and hellos in their future together.

9 thoughts on “Hanoi Adoption”

  1. Some brilliant images there man, and an amazing story.


  2. I love visiting your website and have been admiring your photos for about a year now, Aaron. As an adoptive mom, who travelled through China to adopt both of my children, I can promise you that Isabeau and Paolo are the lucky ones! Best wishes to them and congratulations to you on the beautiful portrait you’ve created of their new life together:)

  3. I know “someone else” who was blessed to be adopted several years ago….

  4. I saw by your tweet that you noticed our latest blog post. Seriously, I think that’s the best gift someone could give: documenting such an important part of that family’s life.

    By chance, I caught a documentary last night (after blogging about you) about a Vietnamese/American woman who has opened up orphanages and medical centers across Vietnam. I had no idea the depths of adversity of some of the disenfranchised children/lepers/child prostitutes/slavery still going on in Vietnam. These things remind me how small our personal problems are in the West. I have it easy.

    Her name’s Binh Rybacki:

    Their blog lists the schedule that the documentary airs on public tv stations across the U.S.

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