Victoria hired me to take some "just because" photos to commemorate her recent move from Boston to Seattle. A native of Russia, Victoria came to America several years ago to begin her education and pursue a career, leaving family and home behind. As I got to know her, I learned that she had (oh-so-bravely) begun to make a new life for herself here among people she has adopted as her own. "They are my family," she explained.  I asked if she wanted to stay in America or go back to Russia, and without hesitation she said:

"I want to pursue higher education and do what it takes to have a good career so I can afford to stay. When my children ask me how I came to be here, I don't want to tell them, 'Because I married your father.' I want to do it on my own."

Victoria, people like you give me hope for our country. You are strong, tender, courageous, and brilliant. I'm so glad you came.

May these photos reflect the strength of a woman who is blazing her own trail.