Love Came Home

Does anyone have a kleenex, please? *snif* I’m still teary and emotional and could use one. I had a most distinguished – and emotional — honor this past Tuesday. I got to… well… here… let me share the story.

Meet Iaian. He had his 3rd birthday just a couple of weeks ago at his Nana’s house where he’s been staying for the past 9 months. Sadly, his mommy couldn’t be there to celebrate his birthday with him in person, but he kissed his computer screen and celebrated with her in a way that had become common to him: Skype. It was how they shared Halloween, Thanksgiving & his 3rd Christmas as well. His mom is a member of the United States Navy, and has been serving our country in Iraq. Those computer kisses had become quite sweet to little Iaian. And sweeter still to his mom, Amanda!

But on Tuesday, March 29th at around 4:00 pm, there was a promise that computer kisses would be a thing of the past. She was coming home! Iaian & Nana, and many other family members, would make a trip to the San Antonio International Airport and welcome her. And I was invited to document the reunion with photos. Like I said. It was a humbling honor.

I got to the airport a few minutes early, and I knew I was in trouble emotionally when I turned around and saw this sweet little boy walking expectantly to the place his mom would first appear, with his American Flag and “MOMMY” sign in his hands. (Oh no! I’m crying already! I’m in biiig trouble) As soon as he saw me, he jumped up and down and told me, “My Mommy’s coming home! She’s coming RIGHT there! I’m waiting for her!” At that sweet little commentary, the other people in the area took notice and wanted to do their part as well to make sure his mom had a homecoming worthy of her sacrifice and service. Airport personnel rounded up a huge heroe’s “Welcome Home” banner and waited patiently with Iaian for his mom to arrive. And they tracked the status of the plane’s arrival by the minute for us.

When the moment finally happened, I had to seriously pray that every photo wouldn’t be blurry and ruined because everyone in the entire area, including me, was crying buckets of happy tears. It was in fact one of the sweetest experiences I have had the privilege of being a part of in a long – very long – time, if ever! I was particularly touched by so many people at the apirport who made a point of coming up to Amanda and thanking her for her service. They know: the sacrifice of the Amanda’s in our country is monumental. But still, it’s so heartwarming to see people truly appreciating and acknowledging it.

So that’s the gist of the story. And here’s the story told in pictures. Enjoy this family’s moment with us. It’s about 3 minutes of “THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF OUR HEARTS, AMY!!! You ARE my hero!!!!” Oh…. and Nana… you & Anthony are pretty much rock stars too for your contribution of service and sacrifice in Amanda and Iaian’s lives! I can’t even tell you how much I love you all!!!

About Sandy

I'm Sandy Powers, full-time photographer, doing what I love with my life! My passion is PEOPLE! There is such artistry in people, and I love capturing it. Naturally, portraiture is my passion, but I also love shooting for the art of photography for competitions or exhibit. I once watched an interview with Kim Walker, a well-known Christian worship leader. What she said resonated with me and pretty much describes my own story. In the interview, she said she didn't have to force things to happen for herself. She didn't have to push. She didn't have to overly promote herself or call people and beg them to hire her. In fact, she didn't have to do anything except keep her eyes on Jesus and watch Him bring her destiny to her. That's exactly how I feel. I walk each day by faith, and my eyes are on Him! I have watched in amazement as He has orchestrated circumstance to bring my destiny to me. I thank Him daily for allowing me to not only do what I love, but to use what I love to bless others! So, how is "the destiny" unfolding? Well. . . . My work has been juried into temporary museum and art gallery exhibits, I have been featured in Outdoor Photographer Magazine, my portraiture and fine art have won several awards in national and international competitions, and one of my portraits was selected by an Adobe Lightroom blog as one of the top 50 most stunning black and white photos. I'm a member of Professional Photographers of America and the Texas Photographic Society. Anything else??? Send me a note ( any time! I LOVE meeting new people, sharing stories, and best of all, changing the "ordinary" to extraordinary through photography!
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21 Responses to Love Came Home

  1. Breanna says:

    I cried just reading that! What an amazing moment to be able to document!

  2. Gina says:

    Oh my! That just filled me up with emotions! Amazing!
    Thank you Amy for your service and selfless sacrifice.

  3. Barb L says:

    Beautiful. I’m now a soggy mess. So glad she’s home safely. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Paul Silva says:

    Aw, geez Sandy that was awesome. But I swear I didn’t tear up – honest!

  5. Jenny says:

    Oh, wow, Sandy!! That was beautiful!! Great pictures!! And I am another who is so very thankful for their sacrifice on our behalf!! (and, yes, I do love to use exclamation marks!!) 🙂

    • Sandy says:

      Some things just can’t be said correctly without at least 3 or 4 exclamation marks. Since I’m a prolific exclamation mark user too, all yours make me very proud 🙂 THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

  6. Jen says:

    Now I’m *SNIF, SNIF, SNIF*!! Beautiful, Sandy.

  7. Thanks for sharing and caring Sandy, as I know you do, for our service men and women. Excellent job with your photos and choice of music. An even bigger thanks to Amanda for her service and sacrifice to our country, and also to her family that also share in that sacrifice!!!!

  8. Dawn Glass says:

    Sandy, that was amazing. I worked with Amanda in Iraq and she missed her baby terribly. She couldn’t wait to get home to him. What an amazing tribute to both mother and son. Well done.

    • Sandy says:

      Dawn, thank you for your note! It means so much to me coming from someone who was in the trenches with Amy. I really meant it. She is my hero!

  9. Allie says:

    Tears of joy for Amy and her son. What a job you did, Sandy. And that video, oh my gosh. So glad you were able to be there and document this day for them. God bless our military.

  10. Amanda says:

    Thank you again Sandy! Iain and I looked through all the pictures and he kept saying “My Mommy came home!” You did a fantastic job! I really appreciate it!!!! Love you!

    • Sandy says:

      I just can’t even begin to tell you how much it meant to me!!! I love you guys so much, and I am SO HAPPY you and Iaian are snuggling up together again… nose to nose with no computer inbetween 🙂

  11. Judy says:

    Sandy I cried and am still amazed by the Rainer Story. My emotions were stuck in throat like a rock because like Nana I too have a daughter and son in law, who are both deployable and will be separated from their children. Indeed your Story is honoring to the Lord and I’m touched deeply.

    • Sandy says:

      Well, thank you for YOUR service Tita. In it’s own way, it is monumental like Colette’s servoce! And for her babies, and for her, you & Rick are heroes too!

      • Sandy says:

        Chrissy, thank you for YOUR service too! I grew up as a military daughter, and my dad had to go to war twice during my growing up years. I know first hand the sacrifices the wives have to make. It’s HUGE! I pray its not something you have to face again before it is all over! *hug*

  12. Chrissy says:

    As the wife of an Airman, thanks for the reminder. In the day to day, the reality of this war{‘scuse me, WARS} sometimes gets pushed to the back burner. When it’s not our turn, we get comfortable. There is always a deployment window looming for someone. Great video!

  13. thanks Amy I love you cousin

  14. L B Byars says:

    Good golly, Sandy!

    That was so beautiful! I didn’t see all of the video, though… from my tears.

    You are such a blessing!

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