As James Alvarez‘s daughter’s first birthday was approaching, he decided to call Grisel Leyva of X&V Photography to help with his daughter’s newborn photo shoot.
James’s wife Yesenia Alvarez was only 23 when she was killed by a drunken driver last year while eight months pregnant with their little girl, Adalyn.
The dad stayed in the hospital despite losing his wife to encourage their little girl to keep fighting fo her life, according to an NBC Los Angeles interview at the time.
“Come on, you can do it, you’re almost there,” Alvarez reportedly told Adalyn as she recovered in the NICU ward. “I want my daughter to have the best life. And anything I can do to fulfill that, I’m going to do it.”
Albarez did not leave his daughter’s bedside during her entire hospital stay and was beyond happy when she was finally cleared to come home in late August. He has since remained a loving, single dad ever since, according to reports.
The first photo shoot he scheduled was bittersweet, as it took place on September 23, 2020, just three days after the little girl’s original due date.
So why did James decided to go with Leyva as the photographer? Because Leyva had photographed Yesenia for a maternity shoot just one month before her death. James felt it would be perfect to not only honor her memory once but twice.
Leyva revealed that she drew inspiration from Yesenia’s portrait into the photo series. And Leyva put plenty of planning into the photos for Adalyn’s first birthday.
“I wanted to create something special for Adalyn and James for Adalyn’s first birthday and also for Yesenia’s one-year anniversary of her passing,” Leyva shared with CafeMom.
And so she decided to do so by drawing inspiration from the original maternity shoot.
“I decided to photograph Adalyn’s photos at the same park and exact same spots that I had photographed Yesenia and James in 2020,” the photographer shared.
James dawned the same outfit that he’d worn during the maternity shoot, while Adalyn was dressed in pink — just like her mom — on her birthday.
James recently said that he’s squarely focused on trying to be the best father he can be, according to KRIS-TV, in hopes of making his wife proud. And I think it is safe to say, he is on the right path.
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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