This shot of my daughter's worth a million to me, but not because it's a nice photo. Certainly people relate to it, and they've given me kind words about her gleeful expression, or how it takes them back to when Daddy pushing you on a swing was one of life's greatest joys. Her delight's genuine, and you can see it. But, while it's great to create a good image, there are many things that are more important.
What makes this image special is that in it, we see changed lives – my daughter's, my wife's and mine. Since there are other pictures of her and of me on this site, you may realize that we adopted her. I can't imagine what it's like for anyone to grow up without loving parents, but it makes me wonder whether she would have had moments like these. On the other hand, I now know what my wife and I would have missed; thinking what might not have been makes me weep.
Too many children grow up without families; there are about 153 million orphans in the world who have lost one or both parents (and one is too many). But, considering there are about 1.4 billion families (households) if only about 1 in 9 adopted one child, we could close every orphanage. Not every household can do so, but others would (and do) adopt two or more. And, of the 153 million, many still have a parent and a viable family. My point is that this should be a solvable problem.
To be direct, what about you? If you're thinking about enlarging your family, give it some serious thought. For those who may feel the same way, I wasn't sure I wanted to adopt. If I'm honest, I was basically dragged into it. But my fears, concerns, worries and hesitation vanished the instant I held my little girl for the first time, and now I thank God that He didn't let me off the hook on this one. When you become an adoptive parent, you give a lot, but you get a lot more than you give. For every smile we've put on our little girl's face, she's put a hundred on ours. I think it's one of God's ways of teaching us what's really important.