Today is Theo’s Day.
I’ve been thinking about this post for awhile, now. It is challenging to write because of the beauty and loss involved in this story.
My dear friends Sean and Emily (also my cousins by marriage) had a precious baby boy last year on St. Patrick’s Day. Theodore was born with many complications and spent his too-short life in the hospital room with his loving parents. Dan and I were asked to be his God parents (a deep honor) and we spend a lot of time visiting Theo and our friends in the hospital, and praying for a miracle.
Theo was so beautiful.
He was a picture of honest, deep love. And despite our hopes and prayers, he didn’t stay with us (well, physically at least). This is so difficult…something that many of us will never understand. Today marks one year that Theo left this world and (I believe with my whole heart) is now rejoicing in heaven. In his short days, he transformed lives. Theo unknowingly planted seeds in the hearts of the people closest to him, and also for people who never got to see him in person. If you’re reading this, please take a moment of gratitude for the people in your life that you treasure- there is no guarantee that we will always have our loved ones with us on this earth. But for many of us, Theo has stayed with us. He has stayed with so many whom he touched with his few days on earth.
Speaking of love and the importance of remembering, I am learning a type of photography called Beloved (and I’m really thrilled about it). Hopefully you will see in these next photographs, that using these techniques can bring out authentic, honest emotion. I asked Sean and Em if I could practice learning my beloved techniques and they agreed. Throughout this shoot, I was nearly brought to tears. Many of these images were taken while Sean and Em were talking about really beautiful truths- what they are proud of in each other, why they are still in love today, and some funny things, too, like what color or animal they think the other would be.
Their love and grace inspire me.
What I am often amazed at, and I don’t tell them enough, is the strength of their love and faith. There is a deeper love and understanding between them. Something they both know about themseleves, about one another, and about Theodore. Loss is so painful…and this kind of loss I can’t imagine. In the midst of it, Sean and Em have walked in grace. They have walked in love. They have walked in faith.
And I am so excited for them because they are stepping forward in faith and beginning their adoption journey. As most adoption stories are concerned, the reality is, “It takes a village”. Adoption is so expensive (it can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $35,000!) The beautiful thing is that they are trusting that God will provide for them in this act of faith, and they are inviting others into their story (just like they had done with Theodore). Please visit their website and follow their story, and donate towards their adoption if you are able! Sean and Em will be incredible parents…we have seen it already. Their love and devotion to Theodore was unlike any I’ve seen. And if you feel unable to give financially towards their journey, encouragement and prayers are welcome! Adoption (so I’ve heard) can be a challenging and sometimes very long process…they will need to be lifted up through this time. Also, please remember that life is a gift. One thing we learned from Theodore, is that life is precious. We all have this gift today- may we not take any moment for granted.
LIFE. IS. A. GIFT.
With love and gratitude,