Thursday, June 2, 2016

Aaron (2012 post)

Aaron! What can I say about Aaron? You cannot be around him without smiling! He has sparkling eyes, and a smile that will make smile! Aaron is joy! 

WHAT IS TRISOMY 18? Aaron's mother ( Rebekah) gave the best DESCRIPTION- check it out!

"Trisomy 18, also known as Edwards syndrome, is where a child has three of the 18th chromosome. Most people have two of each chromosome, one from mom and one from dad. In a trisomy, the child gets two of one chromosome from one parent and one from the other. Think tricycle, three.
Imagine if you made a batch of cookies and it called for two cups of sugar. Sugar is good, it's necessary for the cookies to turn out the way you expect them to. But instead, you put in three cups. You then proceed to mix and bake the cookies. 
They're not going to be the way you expect, and it's the same way for that extra chromosome. Our bodies don't "read" the code well when there's an extra portion added in, and it causes all kinds of complications.
But just like "typical" children, there is a wide range of abilities and challenges for children with a trisomy. Many of the anomolies occur along the mid-line: the brain, the mouth (cleft lips and palates) the heart, lungs, diaphragm, and kidneys. Some are more severe than others. 
Each child is unique, each is special. I like to use the sugar in my analogy because each one child is so sweet. In our home, we say that the 18th chromosome holds the secret to love. Aaron got an extra love chromosome, and he uses it to bless our lives.'

Aaron has defeated many of the odds that stood in his way, and overcome many dark days with the light he brings! Aarons gave me a sense of "believing". It is hard to put it into words. Hope with an assuring peace that life is to have joy.
50% of babies who are carried to term will be stillborn. Baby boys have higher stillborn rates than those of girls. Less than 10% of children like Aaron make it to their first birthday, Aaron is now 4, still teaching all who come into contact with him.
One thing I noticed right away was that Aaron was part of a big loving family! His brothers and sisters love him so much! They were all more than willing to show us how to get Aaron to smile, and all of his machines!
Aaron has been a constant and continuous source of hope and inspiration for many years. How has he been able to to so much? Because, his mom rocks, and has this AWESOME blog ( link below). Rebekah is SO talented, and well- Aaron got the best mom he could possibly give. As I was talking to Rebekah I was astounded with all that she had to do. Taking care of Aaron seemed to be a job for an army. Even with the nurses, and other children, It was hard for me to see how she could handle this all together. Near the end, however, I was beginning to see how. Rebekah had learned what Aaron was teaching us- hope, and joy. There is no doubt in my mind that she is one of the strongest ( mentally, physically, and spiritually) mamas I have ever met. Im sure there are days that are hard, and seem too much. Im sure I am not the only one to say," Rebekah, you are the best, and I have no idea how you do it. You do it so well, and Aaron is blessed beyond measure to have you as his mom, never doubt that!!!" Thanks to Rebekah's blog, Aaron's story can be shared all over the world to bless the lives of everyone! I encourage and challenge everyone to read and share this blog. It will change your life- I promise!


Thursday, March 10, 2016

We are still here!

HELLO EVERYONE! I haven't forgotten about this project. Promise. It's always on my mind. I have been creating ways to make this project bigger and better! AND a schedule to keep it up....ha! As many of you know I am a full time photographer, and I am getting a degree in special education. I recently got married to the most amazing man ever, who also shares my passion, for showing the world that everyone is beautiful just the way they are! Together we will capturing stories to share with the world. Thanks for your support and patience! We will be posting the rest of 2012, and begin posting 2016 stories in the next couple month. We are excited, and we hope you are too!  - Lizzy & Sean
Photo Credit: Samantha Little Photography

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Whitney- Overcoming The Odds

Meet Whitney! She loves writing music, and wants to produce an album! Within the first few moments with Whitney I was laughing. She is such an amazing person!

I hope I can do Whitney's story justice! Whitney is unique in the fact that she is an abortion survivor born in Russia.

When Whitney's parents learned that they couldn't have any more children, they knew that they wanted to adopt a child from another country. They found an adoption agency, and even a little girl ( not Whitney) that they felt was meant to be a member of their family.

When they arrived, and met the little girl, Whitney's mom said that she wasn't the baby they were suppose to bring home. I can't imagine the sorrow. They went to Russia to bring home a baby, and it wasn't right. Whitney's dad when home, while his wife stayed in Russia, hoping to find the baby they were suppose to bring home.

While placed in the orphanage, Whitney's hands were tied down to her chest ( making an "x"), and a bottle of diluted formula was propped up in the corner of the crib. As a newborn, Whitney learned how move her head back and forth allowing drops of formula to fall into her mouth. At this point of the story I was an emotional mess! Her father went on telling me about some of the trials his wife faced trying to keep Whitney even alive. Because of the water downed formula she was receiving, her little body was shutting down.This little baby wasn't given a chance. No one to hold her, or feed her. Yet she overcame the odds.

Whitney's story has been shared all over the world! Check out Amy Donaldson,  of Deseret News, report!

"Kayla Wayment looked at the tiny, sleeping baby and listened to the pediatrician's question in anger and disbelief.

"Why would you go to Russia and adopt a baby that is so severely mentally retarded she'll never be able to do anything?" Wayment said the doctor asked. "I picked Whitney up in her little baby carrier and walked to the door. And then I turned around and said, 'My baby is just find and she'll prove it to everyone.' ""In fairness, when the Wayments brought Whitney to Utah at 7 months old, she weighed just 7 pounds and suffered from a long list of medical conditions, including malnutrition and a hernia.

But that little girl had done more fighting in seven months than some people do in a lifetime. In fact, just her survival was a miracle.

"She was born in Russia and she was just 1 3/4-pounds when she was born," said Jim Wayment. "Her mom went in for an abortion, and Whitney was born."

No one thought she would live, but she did.

No one thought she would ever walk, but she did.

No one believed she'd be able to talk, but she can.

"There have been so many miracles," said Jim Wayment, wiping away tears.

"With numerous health problems, the only reason the Wayment couple was allowed to adopt her from Russia was because her health was so poor.

In fact, the woman they paid to broker the adoption left Kayla alone in Moscow with no paper work, and she faced the threat of being prosecuted for kidnapping. It took two months and the help of another couple duped by the same woman to work out the adoption and arrange to bring Whitney to the U.S."
In fact, she knew the minute she held Whitney in her arms that the baby girl was meant to be their daughter. She calls it a "mother's instinct" and said she felt just as she did when she gave birth to her other three children.
Jim Wayment said they can't really explain why they know she was always meant to be part of their family.

"I've never second guessed it my whole life," said Jim. "She was supposed to be ours."

Still, he admits through tears that, "she looked rough."

Since then, her life has been blessed but it has not been easy.

When she was about 7 years old, she was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, which is a developmental disorder on the autism spectrum, and usually means that a person has normal or high intelligence but poorly developed social abilities. The disease can look like other issues, but the Wayments have chosen to treat it with years of therapy and by involving Whitney in just about any and every activity the little girl could handle.

It paid off.

Whitney no longer looks any different than any other cowgirl at the rodeo. She followed her siblings into rodeo and 4H because she loves animals so much. She was riding through a neighbor's pasture with her father when she saw Buck and asked her dad if she could buy him.

She used her own money, earned from showing steer, to buy the horse and she's used him in pole bending, as well as in barrel racing, although she didn't do much barrel racing until recently."

Her father told me she was with a family friend when she saw her horse in a field. She asked him how much he wanted for the horse. He told her it wasn't for sale. Being the ambitious woman she is, she challenged him to a price. He gave off some numbers that were way over the price of the horse, because he wasn't selling it. Whitney showed over the normal amount of steer to get enough money. Then went to the friend to get the horse. How could he say no? She knew he was worth the price. The bond they have is so beautiful!
Well, I cried like a baby, when I took this photo. Actually, everyone got a little emotional. When we was riding most of the people in attendance stood up to watch.

I was just told an amazing story about a girl who was told she couldn't do anything, and now she is competing in barrel racing.. amazing!!! She is simply beautiful, just the way she is. A constant reminder that nothing holds us back but ourselves. Thanks Whitney!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

My Story: Colton

Colton is one of my best friends. He has taught me so many things.

Whenever I was having a bad day, Colton made it better.
There is just something about him, that makes me smile...

I was asked to be Colton's helper at the LDS seminary. At first, I was kinda scared. Colton is a BIG guy, and strong. From what I knew he was nice, but I wasn't sure how to handle a bad situation, if one came about.

Colton and I clicked right from the get go! We would sing and skip to and from school. We would sing, " High ho, high ho, its off to seminary ( or school ) we go! " Or we would sing song from our favorite Disney movies.

Usually the helpers change every Trimester... but I was lucky to work with him all year.

Colton taught me to find joy in the simple things, to love everyone, to be gentle and caring, soft touch, and to use a kind voice. Thanks to Colton, I am the person, I am today. Thanks Colton. I love you!

Sunday, December 22, 2013


 Oh sweet Kenadee! If you ever want a good laugh, or a smile to make your day better, all you need is Kenadee! Kenadee is my best friends niece! I was so excited to take pictures of her, because i already knew she was adorable, and fun to work with! Kenadee's Mother Rori, was kind enough to write down her story for me! I hope you can just feel the love radiating from this little girls hands! I love her! 

"Kenadee Clark Woodward born March 30, 2005 was the best birthday present I could have asked for. Yes she was born on my birthday, which was also her due date, what are the odds! This is the day my life changed forever and not in a bad way. It changed me for the better because I was blessed to have my first child be born with down syndrome. Some people would not consider this a blessing, but I am not like other people. I was scared and sad and was asking the same question everyone else would ask themselves, why me? This thought quickly left my mind when I was sitting there holding her for the first time. I remember looking down at her and I looked up at my mom with tears in my eyes and I said, "She is so beautiful." I never knew strength until Kenadee was born, I never truly knew what it was like to put someone else's before yourself. I remember thinking many times that I wasn't strong enough to do this, but those thoughts always left my mind as quickly as they entered. Among having down syndrome Kenadee also has a lot of other medical problems. She was born with 4 holes in her heart which caused her to receive a pacemaker at 3 months old due to heart failure in the bottom chambers of her heart. She was also born with a club foot, mal-rotation of her intestines, growth hormone deficiency, hip displasia, dislocating knee caps, partial deafness due to fluid build up, poor eye sight, skin problems and that's about all I can think off the top of my head. Everyone always tells me, "Kenadee is lucky to have a mom and dad like Aaron and me." What I say is "no, we are lucky to have a daughter like her." Kenadee is the strongest person I know. For being 7 right now, going through 8 surgeries, 3 of which were pacemaker replacements, and still continuing to be happy with a big smile on her face shows me how strong she is. When you see her she will always make you smile, and definitely make you laugh. Because of Kenadee, I was hoping that my next child I had would also have down syndrome! LOL people thought I was crazy for saying that but after having Kenadee in my life I wanted more children just like her. We love her so much and we are so grateful to have her in our life's. Our family wouldn't be complete without her and we would never have it any other way. Kenadee we love you more then you will ever know! You are such a blessing and have the sweetest spirit. I don't think anyone can be angry while being around you because you make everyone happy. Always be yourself and never let anyone change you, you are beautiful just the way you are!

Love Always,
Mom, Dad, & Matthew "

Monday, December 2, 2013

While I am gone....

Don't worry I will be back February 2014.
 Hello! As you are reading this I am probably on my Mission!
I have been given the wish of my heart! I have been called to serve a mission for my church! I get to serve God's children for 18 months in Knoxville,TN!
I will miss this project, but I will still be going around trying to do good! I want to show people how important they are. That in a world so dark and mean, that we are never alone.

 I cannot tell you how much this project has blessed my life. I dont think I could ever stop taking these pictures. If there is one thing that I have learned its that God loves ALL of his children.
The smiles,giggle,tears, and love. Who wouldnt want to be apart of something so beautiful. I feel so blessed to be around these angels! When you look into their eyes, you can feel the love that Heavenly Father has for you.
See ya soon!

Thursday, September 5, 2013


Oh beautiful Heather! I was connected to Heather through a photographer I know. She told me that Heather was the most beautiful woman inside and out.
Heather is deaf. I kept making a fool of myself when I would tell her what to do. I am SO glad her awesome Mother was there to help me communicate with her!
Heather glows in all of her photos. She really is an amazing woman. At the end of the shoot, she signed, I love you, but a little different. Her Mom then said, " that sign means, I really love you!" Then after saying I love you many times to each other, I thought to myself. We all really need to express our love to each other more often. Spread the love =)