When Victoria and Adam learned they were pregnant with their first child, they celebrated with a joyful maternity photo shoot. After baby Bruce was born, the new family took part in another shoot to celebrate his first birthday.
But then, in 2014, the couple from Ohio filed for divorce.
Victoria and Adam found themselves at odds with one another in the wake of the separation. Though Bruce was so young, he could already feel the tension between his parents. It was beginning to affect him. For the sake of their son, Victoria made a conscious effort to interact with Adam in a healthier way.
One day, Victoria booked a photo session to get some new shots of her and Bruce. But she decided to ask Adam if he wanted to join them. He said yes.
Victoria shared the results of the photo shoot on the Love What Matters Facebook page, along with a heartfelt message that quickly went viral:
The top two photos were taken when Adam and I were married. The bottom two, taken nearly one year and over two years after our divorce was finalized. We are not in love, we don’t always agree, we’re not best friends, sometimes we don’t even like one another. But you know what we are? We are forever connected because of our beautiful, smart, kind, compassionate, funny son. We RESPECT one another. We remember that neither of our roles as parents take precedence over the other — neither one of us are any more important to the life of our son. We BOTH need to be there, we BOTH deserve quality time and quality memories with him. Neither of us blame one another for the direction our relationship took. We do not place blame on one another, and we certainly don’t place blame in the presence of our son.
Adam and I are not perfect co-parents, but we made a deal when we got divorced, to put our son first and to value the richness that we each bring to his life, for different reasons. So yes, we still have a family portrait taken, and I still pay good money to have the images printed, framed, and placed in our son’s bedroom; he may not grow up with parents who live in the same house… but he will grow up to see respect, kindness, empathy, compassion, perseverance, flexibility, and even sacrifice being modeled by both of his parents and he will know it is possible to fall out of love but never fall apart.
Victoria, Adam, and Bruce — who is now 4 years old — recently shot their fourth photo shoot. They plan to continue the tradition.
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