Earlier in May, I was contacted by the Heart Gallery of Illinois and asked to provide a session for McKenzie and her family of adopted and foster children all with special needs. I jumped at the opportunity to donate my time and talent to the family, and I was eagerly anticipating and looking forward to our session that took place this past week in Jacksonville, Illinois.
It is amazing and inspiring to see how humble, patient, and kind the parents of the "S" family are. The entire family was a joy to work with and truly brought happiness to my evening (and week while editing)!
I would love to share more of McKenzie's story with you... From McKenzie's mom:
"McKenzie's parents were not able to take her home from the hospital because they were not able to care for her extensive medical needs. She was born prematurely at 25 weeks weighing 1 lb. 10 oz. Her parents had to leave her at the hospital and know that someone would be able to eventually care for her at their home. In her 7 years of life, she has lived in ten different placements - two families that thought they could handle her care but were not able to, and the other eight were hospitals and children nursing facilities.
I had a friend who was a foster parent. She showed me a picture of this cute little 3 1/2 year old on the website www.adoptuskids.org. My husband and I prayed about it and felt the Lord telling us that McKenzie was waiting for us. We immediately contacted the agency and started our extensive seven months of training to bring her home.
We drove every weekend to the Chicago area where she was living in a nursing facility. They all loved McKenzie dearly and hated to see her leave. After seven months we were finally certified to care for her medical needs. This once "big city" girl came home with us to our little farm in the country.
We could not imagine our family without her! We have been blessed by so many people along this process. It definitely has taken a village to raise this beautiful little girl. We are the lucky ones to finally be able to call her our daughter."
I am so incredibly thankful to have had the opportunity to work with the "S" family and provide photos with McKenzie that they can cherish for a lifetime. It has inspired me and brought new meaning to my purpose with my photography work.
Enjoy a couple of photos of McKenzie!