Some shoots require a little more planning and careful thought. This one was so special and sweet. I get to meet so many parents and kids in my career, but the ones with special needs seem to touch my heart even more. I sit in awe as I watch parents pour out their love and patience with their little ones with disabilities. This amazing and gorgeous little girl (big sister) Delani has Autism, it’s a pretty extreme case and her beautiful Mom worried about how the session would go since they hadn’t ever tried a professional shoot. I said a prayer before I left for my session and I tell you what…it was a perfect session. She was happy and ready to play with her family. This mom Jessica was incredible with her daughters, patient and loving, full of an immense amount of energy that she puts forth daily to keep up with her beautiful girls. I find motherhood is full of joy and challenges for all Mom’s, but can’t even imagine how it is for her on a daily basis. So glad we could capture some fun moments as well as some that exude her love for her girls. Thanks to Cindi for setting up this session for her daughter-in-law and grand daughters and jumping in for a few. I loved this session! Grateful to know you all!
In my faith it’s a big deal for a kid to turn 8. We call it Great to be Eight because they will be baptized. For us turning Eight is the age of accountability. So in celebration of that we like to do a portrait session in their suit or pretty dress. This one is extra special because it’s my oldest son’s Great to be Eight session done in Dallas at the LDS Temple. Couldn’t be more grateful for this child and his incredible sweetness. What a gift to be his mother!
So if you have followed my blog for the last year you will remember Daniel. If you would like to read his story in more detail and see photos from his last session please click here.
Daniel is a wonderful little boy with Pulmonary Hypertension, which is defined as increased pressure in the pulmonary arteries. He looks healthy and happy which most of the time that’s how he feels, but with this condition things can change in an instant. He wears his back pack everywhere which carries medicine to his body on a constant, if anything happens to his line it means he immediately goes into a very serious life threatening condition. His family adores him and they were thrilled to celebrate his 4th birthday just recently. His family praises God continually for giving them more time with him each and every day. It has taught me so much to watch this family give praises for every day they get with their son. Shouldn’t we all be praising the Lord for every day we have with our kids/loved ones, knowing life is so precious and unpredictable applies to us all, they just live it and breath it every day. We are always praying for Daniel and now for his friend Joel. I think what I take from this is to love deeper, give thanks more often and help others who have bigger mountains to climb than our own. Please feel free to follow Daniel’s family on their Caring Bridge page and pray for him to continue to have more birthdays to celebrate. As well as an update of portraits every year with me.
I am so grateful every day to know this amazing family, they have touched my life and I hope they touch yours as well.
To learn more about PH here’s a site to follow. http://www.phassociation.org/
Well it was in 2012 that I met Daniel, heard his story and first learned about pulmonary hypertension. Now for such a young boy to have this just broke my heart and yet after meeting Daniel I felt so much joy for him and his family. Through their faith in God and love for one another they live a life full of love, joy and appreciating the little moments. Daniel just celebrated his 4th birthday, a huge accomplishment for him and his family. Everyday he has the possibility of something going wrong and he is still here, fighting hard and loving life. After falling in love with this amazing family I asked Jaci if she had any friends in the area with children with this condition that I could also photograph, but she did not. Her friends lived in Louisiana with a son with the same condition. Well by chance they came out for a surprise visit and we altered our schedules to make a portrait session happen.
Meet Joel, another amazing boy fighting the battle with severe pulmonary hypertension (PPH) diagnosed in January 2013. His parents, like the Jackson family are incredible, full of immense love for their children and a deep love of Jesus Christ. They are just such a sweet and amazing family. Joel’s big brother’s couldn’t be sweeter with him. I am so grateful to have met them and had these precious moments with their family as well as the Jackson family. Seeing these friends together was wonderful. Meeting their families has given me inspiration to be a better person, to love harder, cherish more little moments, pray more and be a better follower of Jesus Christ.
Well Joel has hit a rough turn recently and is in the hospital. He went in on Monday for an “Echocardiogram, EKG, meeting with Doctor and admitted in CICU. Testing showed Joel’s PH has rapidly progressed and is causing severe right heart failure. Dr has given the green light for the atrial septostomy on Wednesday (today). This procedure is very risky but vital for Joel’s health.” – Lindsey Belt (Joel’s Mom)
He had his surgery today and here’s the latest update from his mom: “This is the strongest boy I know! A doctor on his team he did better than anyone could have scripted. When they expanded the hole he already had, it didn’t want to stayclosed on just that short time so they were able to put a stint in. They were able to go slow and make good decisions because he was doing well on anesthesia. His vent is already out and are just waiting to see him. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your faithful prayers!!” – Lindsey Belt
His battle isn’t over and he needs an army of people in his corner, praying for his recovery and that he will be with his family on this earth as long as possible. So please put him in your prayers and if you can donate to help with PH, you can get in contact with them through https://www.facebook.com/joshuabelt