Florida mom recreates 13-year-old adopted son's 'baby pictures'
Photo Courtesy: Kelli Higgins. Photo shoot: Kelli Higgins took "baby" pictures of her 13-year-old adopted son. IMGAE
Photographer Kelli Higgins hopes Latrell's "baby pictures" will encourage more families to adopt older children.
After photographer Kelli Higgins uploaded pictures from a "baby" photo shoot with her 13-year-old adopted son Latrell, they went viral.
"I put them up and woke up to find out that my Facebook page had gone crazy," Higgins told MSN News in a telephone interview from Florida. "Honestly, I was shocked to see how many people had commented. But I am so happy to get the word out there for adopting older kids."
People seem to love the fact that Higgins decided to recreate Latrell's childhood for him. As of Tuesday, Latrell's baby photos had received more than 5,000 likes and nearly 1,000 comments.
Higgins said that she and her husband — who had five biological children before they adopted Latrell and his sister Chanya last year — had always known that they would adopt.
"We were waiting for our kids to grow up," she said. The couple attended foster classes as required by the State of Florida and a year later received an email with Latrell and Chanya's pictures.
"The next day my husband told me 'go ahead, we are not getting any younger,'" Higgins said, which prompted her to file the paperwork.
"We found out that we were the only ones who had filed the paperwork for Latrell and Chanya so we thought we had a good chance."
Ninety days later, Latrell and Chanya had a brand-new family. But there was something missing, at least for Latrell.
"We were sitting around the table talking about my next baby photo shoot and Latrell said 'I didn't get any baby pictures.'"
That's when Higgins' 12-year-old daughter suggested that they do a "baby photo shoot" just for Latrell. "We started laughing because it was not going to be like my normal photo shoots," Higgins said.
She ended up taking photos of Latrell in eight different newborn poses the next day, sans the baby wrinkles and diapers, of course.
Higgins added that the photo shoot had encouraged some parents to adopt older children. "At first they would come to me and talk about adopting babies, but these photos have helped them change their mind," she said.
And was Latrell OK with posing as a 13-year-old baby?
"He is a goofball and can be very, very funny if he has the chance," Higgins said.
Latrell himself described the photos as "fun" and "funny." When asked whether his friends had teased him about the photo shoot, he said that they had all found it pretty cool.
So would he do it again? "Sure," he said.
This is so wonderful on so many different levels.