Most people love babies: They’re cute, cuddly, happy, and embody the essence of human innocence. At the same time, however, few of us really pause to consider the full impact of the miracle of life—until, like the subjects of this family photo session in Nicosia, we have children of our own.

Doros and Natalie, who you may remember from this wedding editorial shoot, thought they had discovered what love meant: They had found that with patience and tenderness, past hurts can be healed and trust can grow, creating the kind of open, verdant inner landscape where passion flourishes and two adults, bound together by the enigmatic power of love, can finally grow into their full potential. Indeed, this beautiful young couple thought they had it all: Their health, a wonderful marriage, a happy home, and a bright future… Then came baby Arianna, and Doros and Natalie learned—all over again—that love can be more full, more moving, and more real than they had ever dreamed possible.

“Just when you think that you have everything, suddenly this magic moment happens,” Natalie explained to me during the family photo session in Nicosia shown below, “No words can describe the love that parents feel for their child. This love is beyond anything else in this world. We wish that everyone can have the chance to give life… It’s just the ultimate feeling…” Here, she drifted off dreamily, mere words being unable to convey the magic and wonder that falls over her when she holds her beautiful baby in her arms.

  Though it sounds cliche to call life a “miracle,” in the very literal sense it is, and on a deep emotional level, parents like Doros and Natalie understand this. The odds that any of us are born are so astronomically slim that every birth is akin to a rare cosmic event: Incredibly, the exact individual that you are, born to your parents, on the date and time of your birth, has just a 1:400,000,000,000 (one in 400 trillion) chance of existing. Every unique baby is therefore an extraordinary event, an unspeakably rare and precious chance; as Carl Sandburg so eloquently put it, each baby is proof of “God’s opinion that the world should go on.”

Better still, unlike most documented miracles—flashes that happen and are then over, leaving us stunned and questioning—a baby simply keeps on growing, keeps teaching us about ourselves and adding to the vast knowledge of the world as he or she matures. Every child begins as the work of the creator, then goes on to help shape all of Creation with his or her own two hands, steering the direction of our world in ways both great and small—just as changes in the bank of a river will alter its flow over time, carving whole landscapes anew.

When you look at family photographs, such as the images shown below, take a moment to look beyond the obvious—the happy couple, their hair alight with the blessing of the sun, and the innocent baby in their arms, eyes wide as if aware of the shocking rarity of existence—See also the future captured in the midst of its unfolding: The image of a child whose words, mind, and endeavours will reshape the human experience, held by the parents who will guide him or her along the way. Above all else, see proof that no matter how dark and trying these modern times seem to be, miracles are still happening every day. In each new face, there is the seed of great hope.

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