You never know who you may cross paths with when you buy something off of Facebook marketplace or a buy, sell, trade group.
A few months ago I was looking for a shusher (it's just a small little device that makes a shush sound for baby) for my new born portrait sessions and I came across a local one for sale. I messaged the seller and we made arrangements for me to go to her home and pick it up. As I waited in her foyer to retrieve the little device, I looked at their photos all around (I'm a photographer - it's what we do). I noticed some medical equipment around and assumed they had an elderly parent or grandparent living with them.
Then I heard what I assumed was a dad playing with a child. It was the distinct sounds of dad laughter and "I've got you!" I wanted to get a peek at this sweet moment so I inched in to see dad clowning around with his baby on the couch.
It took me a second to realize the medical equipment I had been seeing were all connected to this sweet little girl playing with her daddy.
Well before I knew what to do or say, mom came with the shusher and I was on my way out the door. I got into my car and told my husband what I saw. Days passed and I couldn't shake the feeling that I wanted to reach out in some way. But how?? I didn't know this woman and let's be honest it was a little creepy of me to have seen what I saw.
The more I thought about it, I wanted to take pictures for this family. I didn't know their situation or what their circumstances were, but I felt in my head and my nagging heart that having family photos done weren't on top of their priorities list but something they would cherish forever.
Like most of us would do, I turned to friends and Facebook to figure out how to approach this stranger without being too terribly weird. Everyone just said to bite the bullet and message her. So I did.
And boy am I glad I did! This mom was so appreciative and was thrilled to have the opportunity. She explained that her one year old daughter has Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 1 (SMA). It's a rare progressive paralysis disease that makes it hard for her baby to breathe, swallow and other muscle functions. She has a machine to help her breathe and a g-tube for nutrition. After talking for a bit about their family, she took me up on the offer for a family portrait.
A few weeks ago we were finally able to get together to have their session and I got to deliver their photos over the weekend.
This family's love and strength knows no bounds. And this little girl's mixture of sweetness and spunk is hard to miss. It was such a pleasure capturing these beautiful moments between three people who couldn't love each other more.