Today, was a bittersweet beginning in a new door opening up for me.
I knew this is where I would be some how, some way, ALL MY LIFE.
I only never knew HOW it would come to be.
I knew that I would be working with children, and children of all sizes, with a little bit more favoritism leaning towards newborns. I have such a big heart and love for children.
However, I never knew what it entailed.
When in school and trying to decide what I would be when I grew up, I said "a pediatrician." In fact, I followed a pediatrician around as part of career day at school. I loved every minute of it.
As time and life would have it, I became interested in other things. Like wanting to be a Marine Biologist, just so I could swim with dolphins. Or, a veterinarian, so I could work with animals. And then modeling and acting.
Yes, I have wanted to model and act since about the 5th grade. I could share many funny stories (and pictures) of our 'modeling and acting' moments back in the day. Pretty funny stuff.
Anyway, as time and life would have it....
I have been modeling and acting for the last 12 years of my life.
My love and passion for children NEVER was far behind on my heart and mind.
I knew it was part of me, a piece of my life puzzle, that I would end up some how, some way, working with children. And part of me knew it would most likely be in an hospital setting, but again, just couldn't get the details laid out in my head. It was always something I felt inside. It was not something that I went after, and or said that I was going to do. It was always playing in my head and laying on my heart, and I didn't know why.
I would try to listen to it and see if I was being told something. Only to find myself right back where I started, with just a flash of a vision, and a feeling inside.
Do you ever find yourself stopping and taking a moment to look back on a year ago from the present?
I personally have never been a person to do that, but I have noticed that I have been doing that more often, and today was one of those days.
On my way home, while lost in thought and conversing with God, another piece of the puzzle fell into place.
It was no accident that one year ago, April, that Morgan had a heart murmur and defect.
It was no accident that the day my friend and pediatrician heard Morgan's heart defect and murmur, that he made a personal call to the pediatric cardiologist he wanted Morgan to be seen by.
It was no accident, that very moment he was calling Dr. S. to discuss when he could see Morgan, that Dr. S. said that he is right down the street, bringing his little girl in to Dr. P. (the pediatrician) to look at her ear, that was in a lot of pain. (ALL ON A SATURDAY!)
It was no accident, that a year later, I take Morgan into see Dr. S., only to be told that she was discharged. That her heart defect and murmur where closed and gone. I still get a smile on my face and a rush that through my body when I think of that moment and those words. "DISCHARGED!" I am so thankful and give God all the praise.
It was no accident that through all my curiosity and questioning of Morgan's heart to Dr. S. at what would be our last visit, that our conversation some how led to volunteer work with children, to photography and so forth.
It was no mistake that Dr. S. took that conversation and then put me in touch with Dr. M. at Joe DiMaggio's Children's Hospital.
And in which it was no accident, that I met with Dr. M. and his staff today. Getting the opportunity to tell him of two organizations that I feel God has placed on my heart to either be a part of, and or begin my own organization here in Fort Lauderdale, FL. similar to the two. (Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep and Flashes of Hope) Only be told that neither of these organizations exist here in Fort Lauderdale Florida.
It was no accident, that I started to really get serious and following my passion in photography...um.... one year ago, as well.
It was no accident, that all of these things took one year to get to today, giving me the opportunity to work on and develop (self teaching) myself in photography.
And, so here I am today.
At Joe DiMaggio's Children's Hospital.
It was no accident, that I kept having a voice say to me "take your camera, just in case."
It was no accident, that when I arrived and met Dr. M. and Mrs. B., were excited that I did bring in my camera, while they hesitated on calling me or not, to ask me bring it.
I wasn't going to bring it. After all it was simply just a meeting.
It was no accident.
Today friends, I had the privilege, honor and bittersweet opportunity to photograph my first session of two broken hearts.
1) I photographed a beautiful baby boy, only four days old and weighing little under six pounds. When looking at him, you would only see a handsome healthy baby boy. Except, this little boy was alone in the hospital, while waiting for his heart to stop and for him to die. I can't speak for his parents, for I do not judge, nor do I know their situation. All I do know is that they left the hospital empty handed, and said they would not be back. This little boy, I saw laying so tiny and sweet, all alone in a big hospital crib. Hooked up to machines, and simply waiting to die. His heart is broken, and can not be fixed. Today, I was honored to photograph him for his family, and for the bulletin board in the hospital. He will not leave and die alone, without leaving his foot and hand print in the hearts of mine, and the staff at JDCH.
2) I also had the privilege and honor to photograph a precious 11 day old baby girl. She has a twin brother, in which is back home in another state, while she and their newly adopted parents were here while she had open heart surgery. She was so tiny, sleeping so peacefully and her sad little body had been cut open all the way down from her neck to almost her belly button. Her heart was also broken, but she was provided the opportunity to have hers surgically made whole again.
One Boy, One Broken Heart..... ONE CHILD DYING.
One Girl, One Broken Heart..... ONE CHILD GOING HOME TO HER NEW PARENTS AND TWIN BROTHER.
All, another piece of the puzzle.
The puzzle; being the PLAN, that God has already designed and created for me.
While driving down the road, after photographing two different babies, two different broken hearts and two different endings.
I saw a flash of my future and a piece of my life's puzzle fall into place.....
And although I compare it to one year ago. It was laid out before I ever took my first breath.
My God is an awesome God, and he continues to "woo" me.
*NOTE* Out of respect and the privacy of both families, or until I get release forms from either family, I will not post pictures of the children at this time.
However, to not leave you
empty handed with a picture-less post, here is a foot from one baby and the hand from the other.
And, I already received an email tonight, that the hospital is excited to have me aboard, and I have three other families to photograph next week.
Thank you, God, for this day and for this new door that has opened for me. I am honored to be serving you and helping others. Thank you for this gift you have given me.