Getting Jordan to Smile

One of the hallmarks of being a missionary kid is the family photos. These horrifying and immortal moments get sent out to hundreds of churches and individuals each year to prove that we still exist somewhere. As an adult, it may be a happy and exciting way to keep all the old friends and supporters updated on your family. As a kid, it’s the most grueling afternoon of your life.

I could easily pull up a family photo from each year of my childhood that included my younger brother crying, my sister prodding me over something and my dad with his mouth open (because he can’t stop talking long enough to smile). But, the one picture that I remember most comes from a happy and free afternoon interrupted by my dad saying he needs a picture of us kids–now! So, we jump into halfway presentable clothes and run outside to find something pretty to stand in front of. And then we’re tasked with getting my brother to smile and keeping our eyes open. Our first try gives us this:


Grapefruit was the prettiest thing to stand in front of.

This is actually not so bad. My brother isn’t crying, which is a more than we can usually say during a photo shoot. I’m smiling my very best school-girl smile so that this terrible moment can be over quickly, and my sister is pulling a Dad and won’t stop talking.

But obviously, this doesn’t pass. We have to get Jordan to smile. The harder we try, the more determined he is not to smile and the longer we have to stand there and wait for a good picture. It’s torture. And then a miracle happens. I honestly don’t recall what it was. Somebody told a joke or said the wrong word or something–something that probably wasn’t all that funny to begin with. But whatever it was, it gave us this:

1997 smile

Gorgeous. I don’t think I’ve seen a smile that big on my brother since



1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Jane Macey
    Mar 07, 2013 @ 13:19:40

    I really enjoyed seeing these pictures and remembering receiving photos of your family over the years. Covenant Presbyterian is praying for you regarding your Visa issue. In Him, Jane Macey, Lakeland, FL


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