#GiveBackProject Poll


The results are in!

First off let me say “Thank You!” to everyone who took time out of your busy schedules to read these compelling stories and cast your vote! If you were one of the ones who wrote in to nominate a family; don’t worry no one is leaving empty handed! Be on the look out for an email from me in your in-boxes!

Happy holidays and don’t forget to ‘Give Back’ to someone else this holiday season!

The 2 families with the highest percentage of votes have both won a free photo session! Congrats! I can’t wait to photograph your beautiful families!

Voting Results:

Family #1 – 23%
Family #2 – 32%
Family #3 – 16.5%
Family #4 – 16.5%
Family #5 – 12%


Family #1:

This is a wonderful family full of love and kindness. A few years ago they took in the wife’s two nieces at that time the girls were not able to stay with their biological parents due to certain circumstances. They didn’t have children of their own at the time that they brought the girls into their home. They have since had two beautiful boys. Having their own biological children didn’t make them want the girls any less, in fact they pursued and were able to adopt them! They have provided a safe and loving home and family for these girls, even put them in a private school. The girls have been able to experience many things that would not have been possible for them otherwise. Even though money wasn’t abundant this couple made many sacrifices to ensure that these two gorgeous girls were raised in a Christian home surrounded by people who love them! That’s what giving is all about!

Family #2:

This person is a wonderful mother, wife, and friend and has been true inspiration to me and so many others.  A little over 3 1/2 years ago she was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer during a routine exam. This diagnosis has taken her on a journey she never could have expected. What was thought to have been a successful treatment which included chemotherapy and a mastectomy was not. Within a year she learned her cancer had returned. The cancer had spread to another area. They aggressively treated her again over a course of approximately six months, this time the treatment was even more grueling on her physically and mentally. After shingles, exhaustion and numerous infections she thought the cancer was under control. After only a short few months of being back to a “normal” life for her and her family; she started to feel ill again. The cancer had returned this time to another area and a final diagnosis of Triple Negative Cancer. There is no cure. There is no time frame given to her by her doctor’s only continuous aggressive chemotherapy & medications for the rest of her life. She goes every other week for therapy, works in between when she can and the routine starts all over every 2- 3 weeks. However her diagnosis does not define her or slow her down!
She is a mother of three, married, a hair stylist by trade and works a second job at Children’s hospital. She is compassionate, kind, giving, beautiful, has a great sense of style (that’s important) and is so freaking funny.  Although she’s “girly”, she will get down and dirty when she needs to and takes no crap! In other words DON’T MESS WITH HER!  From the first time we met, we became friends. We’ve joked and called ourselves “soul” sisters. There is never a moment of silence when we are together, we are alike in so many ways! Although we’ve only known each other just a few years it’s like we’ve been friends from way back when. We often joke that it’s a good thing we weren’t friends when we were younger because we would have caused A LOT of trouble together! (All innocent of course) I just can’t say how much I adore her. I have NEVER met a women with so much strength and will power. She never slows down, if there’s a will there’s a way, if she’s up there’s no stopping her. She continues to work , attend school functions, participate in sports fund raisers all while running her household – 2 boys at home and a daughter in college! This women does not quit! What’s even more amazing is she doesn’t complain or ask “why me”? God has given her more strength than I could ever imagine and she continues to amaze me. Her strength, her faith, her love for family is what makes her so beautiful. Her smile lights up a room and her laugh is contagious! She never meets a stranger! She is loved by all of her co-workers, clients and her community.

Family #3:

This family has 8 biological children of their own but they knew God was calling them to help babies from every race and walk of life. Not only have they adopted perfect healthy children but they have also adopted a few special needs children. They have been foster parents to 40-50 children over the past several years. When the mother was younger mom of small children she was diagnosed with cancer (Hodgkin’s disease) she underwent surgery and chemo and was able to make a full recovery but was told she might never be able to have more children. This was their deciding factor to begin fostering children in need. Soon after they began to foster they found out they were expecting another child whom they named Faith. The stories of the children whom they have adopted are heart wrenching. One child was born prematurely in a toilet. His mom had him at home and then took him to the hospital and left him there. He was only 2 lbs. when he was born. Another was also born a few months prematurely and was very tiny, she weighed less than 2 lbs. Her mom decided that she wanted to place her for adoption because she didn’t feel that she could parent her, so she chose this family to adopt her. One child was abused when he was only a few weeks old. His mom slammed him against a wall, severing his spinal cord and breaking his legs. He is now paralyzed from the chest down and will be in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. However, he is now doing great and it’s truly a miracle that he’s even alive! Another was born with limb differences and was abandoned at an orphanage in Thailand when he was a baby, which is where he lived until he was adopted at age 7. Another little girl they had staying with them from Haiti for about 9 months while she was being fitted for prosthetic legs. They helped her and took care of her until she could go home again this past October. Along with adopting and fostering children as well as raising their own, this family also supports and love missions. In March of 2011 they lost all their family pictures in a massive house fire. It was caused by a propane gas leak in the stove in their kitchen. They had to re-build their home from the ground up. Unfortunately, they were unable to save their family photos. I love this family! They have the biggest hearts and I would love to see them blessed with some nice family pictures.

Family #4:

This family has dedicated their lives to rescuing orphans with disabilities from orphanages in the Ukraine and Serbia. They have 4 adopted children and have made four trips overseas to bring these children into a loving home that is filled with God’s unconditional love. These children were adopted with the knowledge and acceptance that there would be lifelong challenges ahead for all four children.  This family faces medical, physical, emotional, educational challenges daily with their children and yet they face each challenge with a smile on their face and love in their hearts. They set high expectations for each child and challenge them to reach their full potential. Their children are adorable, happy, loved, and most important secure in their new home. Their first child is from the Ukraine. She was a failed abortion. When they took her out of her mother, she continued to breathe and fight. She is still a feisty, spunky little girl with a heart of gold. Her prayers for others will melt your heart. When they adopted her at the age of 3, she was 20 pounds and did not speak. With the love and care that this family has provided, she now talks all the time and is a little chatterbox! Next they adopted their second daughter from Serbia. She also has CP although hers a little more severe than her sisters. When they brought her home she had only a blank stare. She now talks and giggles all the time! Their third and fourth children are their sons who were both adopted from the Ukraine. One of the boys has Down’s syndrome and the other they had waited and fought to adopt him. Last summer, after 8 long years he was finally able to come home to be with his family. When I think about faith-in-action, I think of this family.  They are LIVING their faith and using their lives to rescue God’s most beloved creation….orphans.

Family #5:

I first met this family in front of my house while they were taking my old dishwasher off the side of the road, fast forward to several years later, the husband is now a pastor at my church and heads up one of our campuses. He is an amazing guy with a heart of gold and people easily follow him. He’s a great leader and a great man. Early in their marriage this couple was told they would never be able to have children. They spent thousands and thousands of dollars emptying their sayings in hopes of having a baby. After many failed attempts they were unable to get pregnant. They then agreed that adoption was the right path for them. They adopted their son, who was in the fifth grade at the time, from foster care. He is their son and they love him dearly! After bringing him into their lives they felt as if their family was complete. But…God answered a prayer in his timing and two years ago they conceived and had a baby girl. She truly is a miracle baby! This last month the wife’s health has taken a turn for the worse. She thought she was having a migraine only to find out she was having strokes. The doctors are still unable to explain or understand what’s causing them. She is losing her speech and is having a hard time with her right side. She has been put on disability and can no longer work. Hopefully they will find some answers when she heads to the Cleveland clinic next week. So, I wanted to nominate them for a photo session because I love them, everyone else loves them… And they deserve it. They could definitely use some family photos!