Courtesy twitter.com/123alwayssmilenRemember that trend where grown-ups recreated their childhood photos on social media? Well, 18-year-old Madeleine Tarin just raised the bar.
The California teen celebrated her graduation from Chino Hills High School this year, and like many grads, she couldn’t let the big day pass without honoring her parents. However, her tribute took a surprising spin; instead of flowers or a card, she took a simple picture. And the reason is as perfect as it is inspiring.
For as long as she can remember, Madeleine has treasured one specific family photo, snapped during her mother’s high school graduation in 2000. The picture shows Madeleine’s mom wearing her graduation gown and standing next to her father, who carries two-year-old Madeleine on his shoulders. When Madeleine earned her own high school diploma, she knew she wanted to recreate the photo—but not just for old time’s sake.
Truth be told, the photos tell the remarkable story of persistence against unlikely circumstances. Madeleine’s mom was dating her father during her freshman year of high school when she became pregnant at 15 years old, Madeleine told BuzzFeed News. Despite caring for a new baby, both of her parents went on to finish their education. Her dad also worked to support the young family while they received help from her grandparents. When they married in their early 20s, they added two more children to the family, Madeleine’s younger siblings. Her parents have been together ever since, and their marriage serves as an inspiration for their children, according to Madeleine.
“The picture to me symbolized my family’s accomplishments, and that my parents beat the statistics,” she said. “They were determined to make it and provide me with a future.”
Madeleine captioned her post “Yeah that’s right, we made it TOGETHER.” And it’s no exaggeration: These photos evoke all of the emotions from that special day. We dare you not to cry when you see them!
yeah that's right, we made it TOGETHER 🎓 pic.twitter.com/I8BmzrJP7Z
— Madeleine ⚽️ (@123alwayssmilen) June 2, 2017
But the story doesn’t end there. Madeleine will play Division 1 soccer at Rider University in New Jersey this fall, attending on both academic and athletic scholarships. It’s another big achievement that she attributes to her parents, who worked hard to enroll her and her sisters in club soccer despite the cost.
Senior awards night 🏆 pic.twitter.com/xAQ4qoQ03R
— Madeleine ⚽️ (@123alwayssmilen) May 26, 2017
“This whole year, I’ve been waiting to take this photo,” Madeleine said. “And when I posted it and saw how much people had been inspired by it, it gave me and my parents even more of a sense of accomplishment.”
We just have two words: Congratulations, Madeleine! (Next, check out this remarkable story about a town that raised $45,000 to save a teen’s life.)