Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

A Heartfelt Adoption.(Final)

Byline: Katie Burford Journal Staff Writer


Photographer taking pictures of a child for a state project knew she wanted to be girl's for-keeps mother

On a cold February day two years ago, Virginia Stark drove to Farmington to photograph a 9-year-old girl who wasn't thrilled about having her picture taken.

Katrina was living with a foster family, and Stark had volunteered to take her picture for "The Heart Gallery," a traveling exhibit that features portraits of older children waiting for adoption.

Katrina was sullen because the shoot kept her away from an after-school activity, and she withdrew completely when Stark tried to photograph her in ballet attire in the atrium of a hotel.

"She was not happy. I just waited and waited," Stark said.

It was a long, emotional day for all involved and afterward, Stark said, she felt exhausted.

But something had clicked.

Innocent and suffering, Katrina desperately needed someone to love her -- for keeps. …

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