Ah, homecomings! I love them, but I am not kidding when I mention that it always rains. The USS Kearsarge came home, so of course the clouds let loose. This homecoming was special in a few ways. Firstly, I was documenting it for two families, The Troche’s and The Macedo’s. Secondly, and more personal, I have never photographed a Kearsarge homecoming. Every other time this ship has pulled in for the last five years I was not working; I was waiting for Mike, my husband. I was there standing just like Amanda Macedo and Lovey Troche were on this day—anticipating, hoping, praying, and getting butterflies as they (and I in the past) awaited loved ones. It was extremely strange and emotional photographing a Kearsarge homecoming. Mike has been home, so watching sailors pour in knowing he’s at the house waiting for me is… different. It’s wonderful, but it’s different.
Lovey Troche contacted me as soon as Kearsarge left. She wanted to make sure she had me booked since she knew my husband was getting home early. Shortly after, I heard from Amanda Macedo, who was expecting her husband AND their first son, who is their third child. I was so excited to capture more reuniting moments.
When we got to the pier, it was crowded as usual. I saw so much babywearing that day! We all know that I love me some babywearing ! My time was split between the two families, but I know I captured all of the perfect moments. Orbelin came through the crowd, and Amanda, Luz, Carina (and I like to think Angel, too, even though he was only five weeks old) were so excited to see him. The Macedo’s were together at last, and Orbelin was able to finally meet his beautiful son. It was almost overwhelming seeing a joyful father hold his very new son for the first time. I know that their bond will surely grow over the years.
When I returned to Lovey, they had opened the pier for everyone. Lovey took off running, and, even at my height, it was hard for me to keep track of her… until I heard the loudest shriek I had ever heard. She had found Jacques, and I’m pretty sure the whole pier knew it. At the time, Lovey and Jacques’ son, Joshua, was sleeping in his grandmother’s arms (though I’m shocked Lovey’s shriek didn’t wake him). Lovey and Jacques took their time embracing, crying, and coming to the realization that he was really home. After a few moments, Jacques went to his son and began kissing him until he woke up and embraced his father so tightly. Man I love homecomings. There is so much joy, so much love, and so much raw emotion in the air! The best part of it all? I got to go home to my husband, who was there waiting for me.