At the beginning of the year I announced a special project I was hoping to do this year.
When I read the nomination for the Chavez family, sent in from a lovely co-worker, I knew in my heart they were my family. I sincerely believe that God brought us together. No two ways about it. In the short time since I’ve known them they have touched my heart so deeply.
They have shown me what faith looks like.
What love looks like.
What hope looks like.
What joy looks like.
Please meet Jenifer, Arnel & sweet Sofia.
A week before our session we sat down together to speak a bit about their journey. I was immediately hit with how much peace and joy they had, and yet, at the same time how much strength and fight. They are two of the most beautiful souls I have ever met in my life. The way they speak about one another, with such love- it’s nothing short of inspiring. They spoke of their love for their 3 yr old daughter and 1 yr old adoptive son whom they are waiting for. They talked about how sweet and sensitive Sofia is to what her mommy is going through. The spoke of the treatment Jen has received and what the road may look like this year. But mostly the talked about their faith. A faith that humbles me. A faith that shines so brightly in the midst of such darkness.
Back in 2009 when Jen was 31, she got pregnant with their sweet little Sofia. Halfway through her pregnancy she noticed a lump in her breast. The doctor & OB told her is was likely just a milk duct and not to worry about it. It was forgotten until a couple of years later in Feb. 2011 when Jen experienced some terrible abdominal pain and nausea. She went in to check it out and after all was said and done they were told that she had stage 4 breast cancer with lesions on her liver and mets all over her bones. It has been a roller coaster of chemo treatments and various medications since then, some working more than others.
You wouldn’t believe her story if you met her. You’d have no clue she was even sick. Her strength is amazing. Jen is a fighter. She told me that she can’t feel sorry for herself, not when she has a beautiful little girl to wake up to every morning, and a husband who adores her and stands by her. And not when she has an adoptive son waiting to come home……
She just finished a round of chemo and is waiting to hear the results from a scan on her liver. Would you please join me in praying for her. For her sweet little family. For complete healing!
When we began taking these photos, Jen said she hoped it was alright that she put a little make up on and that she wore her wig. I told her she was beautiful. That every single woman I’ve ever taken a picture of has put make up on. I told her that she is real. And normal. And perfect. I want our sessions together this year to reflect that. Reflect her beauty. Because friends, this girl is beautiful. Not only on the outside (um, hello gorgeous skin! no need for retouching here!) but on the inside. Her faith. It humbles me. I feel like I don’t even have the right words to describe it. She is truly a light. A reflection of Jesus. I am in awe of her strength. And so very blessed to be a part of her journey.