"Superman is there to unite us all". This quote by Brandon Routh could not be any more perfect for this particular day.
We had been trying to figure out how to make 3 year old Santiago's Superman session absolutely perfect. So when the opportunity arose to meet with the real Superman himself, we absolutely said "YES!".
Brandon Routh volunteered some of his time during his very busy schedule at an event here in Portland to meet with Santiago and the rest of the Mendez family. There was one hangup, however. Christina (Mom) was scheduled to work during the chunk of time that Brandon was going to be available. Christina and Ernesto (Dad) work opposite schedules and use their vacation time to prepare for Santiago's future surgeries.
If you haven't figured it out by now, we can work some pretty amazing magic here at Capes and Crowns.
Kylie got a hold of someone who knew someone, who knew someone. Who happened to be Mom's boss at a local police department. We asked if they would allow Christina to take a 4 hour time slot off of work, and we would pay her lost wages for the time off. They very graciously agreed.
With the help of the family's close friends (Becca, Emmy, and Matt), we put everything into action.
On the morning of June 24, Christina and Ernesto were told that they were being asked to attend a surprise party for Becca at an area hotel.
Little did they know what was about to unfold.
Tiffany and I were waiting in the hotel lobby already when the family arrived and started to engage a bit with them. Even though we were in our Capes and Crowns shirts, no one seemed to catch on. We started to slowly lay out the families t-shirts that we had made for the day. I noticed Christina glancing over and trying to figure out what was going on.
Soon after we started getting puzzled looks from the family, Santiago ran over to the group of t-shirts. Drawn in by the Superman logo that he so loves, he was so excited to see them! We then revealed who we were and that we were there to surprise them, but we weren't going to reveal our big secret just yet.
When the time came, we had the family line up and around the corner came Superman! I think that "shock" is a pretty great way to describe their reaction. Brandon was all smiles and DJ (the oldest boy) was the first to run and greet him. It was smiles and hugs (and some tears) all around.
Brandon spent time interacting with the kids, high-fiving them, and just chatting. It was such an amazing experience to watch him genuinely having a good time with this family as he got to know them more and signed some autographed photos.
You could see the obvious joy and excitement in not only the family's faces, but in Brandon's as well. As a Dad himself, he knows the values of these moments and helped to make Santiago feel just as important and special as he truly is.
We then sent the family on their way to enjoy a family day at the superhero event that was going on.
That time with Brandon Routh will stay with all of us forever. Thank you so much, Brandon. We cannot say thank you enough for making this such a special day for Santiago and the rest of the Mendez family.
Photos by Halsey