If you’ve been following my blog over the past several years, surely you’ve seen this family. They are a large family whom travel down every year from Ft. Wayne for a photo session. I’m proud to say, we’ve grown to know each other fairly well. I know each kid’s unique personality which is pretty cool. It’s been fun to watch them grow as a family. I first photographed them as a family of five, then as a family of six with the adoption of precious Lilah, then as a family of seven with the adoption of Thomas…. and then as a family of eight with the birth of Maggie. Whew….. that’s a lot of kids and a lot of LOVE. What I NEVER intentionally updated or announced though was a very sad event….. Last year (a year ago from today) sweet Lilah went to be with Jesus after becoming suddenly ill. It was too heart breaking for me to discuss at the time and I felt as if I did, I was exploiting their family’s personal business on my blog.
However, this summer Melissa gave me permission to do so as she unfortunately found herself thankful for the abundance of photos of Lilah. We did a tribute to Lilah by releasing balloons off in the sky in honor of her. Each sibling had their favorite color balloon and of course Lilah loved purple.
As I edited their photos this summer, I had this moment of awe. Just thinking about how their photography session paralleled their life at the time. The session took place in a nearby empty field where the grass had just died (due to the drought), mowed, and baled. Those bales were left in the field but had a purpose for their future… most likely a use to feed animals. Because of the drought, the grass was as stiff as knives. The kids had left their shoes in the car so as they walked on the ground they were in so much pain. We had to move slow as we looked for prickly weeds. Very slow. There were tears and pain involved…. leaving the children needing the comfort of their parents. We had a fairly overcast sky (and rain off and on) but every now and then the sun would peek out in all its glory like God shining down on us that He was with us. It really was a beautiful day even though it was rough all the while. Beauty was everywhere, God was everywhere and emotions were high.
Life will never be the same for this family. The road ahead is unknown and the plan and purpose of it all is unknown. But what is for sure is that this family is still so very blessed with the love for one another and faith in God. They will meet their Lilah again one day and she will be so proud of them for moving forward and fulfilling their purpose in this world.
Smart Maggie (well because at this point she knows how to outsmart her brothers)
Maggie just pulled a fast one on Simon… but because he’s so sweet he just let her!
We ended the session at a water fountain…. which I think is just perfect.
Guess who’s balloon is in first place…. Lilah’s
Another cool thing was that the weekend of this session, the George family was sent away by their church family for a home makeover. When they arrived back home, not only had their home been renovated but some of their photos were already up on the wall. What an amazing gift!