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  • Hello!!

    Thanks for stopping by. As a wedding photographer I am surrounded by love in both my professional & personal life. The love I have for my family is what inspires me. I come to this special place to share my heart for adoption, family & photography.

    A few things about myself...
    ~I have 4 beautiful children. They all came into our family via adoption.
    ~I hit the husband lottery.
    ~I'm from North Dakota. No that's not the state with the president's faces.
    ~I love the Lord.
    ~Someday I will learn how to garden.
    ~I drive a minivan...yes, I am that cool.
    ~I absolutely love being a wedding photographer and cry at almost every wedding I shoot.

    I look forward to hearing from you!

    ~Brittany J.

Kari & Trevor: Bismarck, ND Wedding

Traveling back to ND for Kari & Trevor’s wedding was a pleasure. I hadn’t spent a holiday in my hometown for 5 years so it was an amazing excuse to take the entire family there to play in the snow and celebrate Thanksgiving with family. Two of my sons had never seen snow before and they absolutely loved it! We went sledding and to be honest I think I had more fun than they did!:)Anyways, back to this incredible couple! You can view their engagement session here. It was a very cold but beautiful white wedding! Snow covered everything in sight. Kari & Trevor along with their bridal party were good sports and even took some photos outside despite the wind & chill. I am so glad they did!

K & T~ THANK YOU for allowing me to be part of your wedding. You two share such a gentle, sweet love and I was blessed to witness it!

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Glenda - January 2, 2015 - 2:11 pm

Beautiful!!

Lacey Kuhn - January 2, 2015 - 2:53 pm

Hello,

We did the decorating for Kari, I was just wondering if you wouldn’t mind sharing some of the décor pics with me, I’m still needing to post my pics to my website for the year, my facebook site is quite updated, but my website is not, but I can be sure to indicate your name if I’m able to post them, any chance you could email them to me at weddingvisions4u@hotmail.com be great!
Thanks,
Lacey
Simple Elegance Wedding Decorators, 202-8038

Brittany & Jordan: Bismarck, ND Engagement Session

Not everyone is cut out for taking pictures in extremely cold weather but Brittany and Jordan made it look effortlessly beautiful. They braved the 10 degrees for some of their portraits and we ended in a cozy coffee shop.  Brittany & Jordan had known one another for years before they started dating. What started out as a friendship is now a fun, sport loving, adventurous relationship. They will be getting married in the fall and I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of their wedding!

B & J~ You two are amazing! Thanks for putting up with the FREEZING cold weather and making the absolute best out of your winter engagement session. Good thing you had your love to keep you warm! I just had to say it…;)

XO Brittany

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A girl!

As National Adoption Month comes to a close I can’t help but reflect on how much adoption has impacted us. Adoption not only made us parents but has completely changed our world view.  There is great loss in our children’s stories but there is also hope, so much hope.  I love being a mother to our 4 children and consider it an honor.  My prayer is that our children will always know how valuable they are, not only to John and I but to their creator, the ultimate knitter of families. The path hasn’t always been pretty or easy but life really never is.  I hope they grow up to be confident, loving adults who find peace and beauty in their story.

Last but certainly not least I share with you Zaya’s adoption story.  Our sweet girl, the one who captured my heart the moment she took her first breath.  We were blessed to have spent so much time with her birth mother while she was in Arizona waiting to deliver.  She asked me to be in the delivery room with her and made sure I was there to experience everything along side her. What an incredible gift she gave me to not only trust us with her daughter’s life but to allow me to be so involved throughout the end of her pregnancy and delivery.  It takes an incredibly strong, loving, selfless person to make the decision she did.  Since Zaya’s birth 5 months ago we have stayed in contact with her birth mother and speak to her weekly.  She has become one of my closest friends and the relationship we share is such a blessing.  Before we set out to adopt, the concept of an open adoption freaked me out a bit.  I couldn’t wrap my head around “sharing” a child with someone else.  However, the more we learned about open adoption the more we were convinced it was the best option for our child and everyone involved.  We love having contact with both Cruz and Zaya’s birth families and can honestly say it has only added to the love our children feel.

Adoption has rocked our world.  I love how God has grown our family.  Below is a picture of Zaya’s birth mother & I the day she was born. I have so much love and respect for this woman!

Eboni & Britt

Jordan

It’s beautiful to witness so many of my past couples becoming parents for the first time! Janel & Jeffrey were married just over a year ago and they recently welcomed Jordan into their family.  They don’t come much sweeter than this little guy!

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Glenda - November 21, 2014 - 3:35 pm

Your amazing work never fails!!!

Adding another…

It wasn’t even two months after Bek came home when we learned of his friend in Ethiopia who was also in need of a family.  Bek and this other little boy had been on the same “waiting children’s list”.  They even grew up in the same rural village together and were childhood friends.  Bek immediately started telling us in his very broken English that we should adopt him too.  He kept saying how he could share his room and toys with him and that this other boy was a really “good boy”.  The twist to the story is I had actually seen this friend’s picture the same day I saw Bek’s for the first time.  I overlooked it, just typing that fills me with shame but it’s true.  I saw that he had health concerns and a major hearing disability.  Surely God wouldn’t call us to that, especially with all that was on our plate already.   Again, we were brought to our knees praying for this precious child who needed a family.  More importantly at the time, he needed to get to the United States to receive medical care for his failing health.  I reached out to friends and family members asking them to consider adopting this child.  I would text them pictures and began advocating for this little boy across the world.  One of my friends said to me “do you think your family is supposed to adopt him?” I immediately shot down that comment, we were just beginning to experience some behaviors and heavy grieving with our newest son. We couldn’t possibly handle adding another child to our family.

One thing I have learned through our adoptions is that God calls you to many things in life that you are definitely not prepared to handle, but equips you in His time.  Through praying for this child we once again realized we were supposed to be his family and just 6 months later our son, Shambel,  was home.  We were officially on the crazy train and people didn’t quite know what to do with us!  We were in our 20’s and raising an 11, 10 and 2 year old.  Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought our family would look like it does.  Sha, however has been the most incredible addition to our clan. His sweet, patient, calm demeanor has brought balance into our home.  He is one of the kindest, most considerate children I’ve ever met and being his mom is an honor and joy.

The last couple of years have been challenging in many ways; enrolling them in school for the first time ever, teaching them English, walking along side them in those dark shadows of grief and loss, the list goes on.  However, we wouldn’t change a thing.  We have grown through those challenges and have gotten to witness God’s ability to restore and redeem our precious son’s hearts.  The struggles have brought us closer together and I can truthfully say I am thankful for them.  The challenges John and I have faced during our transition are small in comparison to what both Bek & Sha have experienced in their lifetime.  Adoption is a beautiful thing but it comes at a cost. It’s because of loss, brokenness, poverty & death that we have been able to adopt our children.  We celebrate our children’s adoptions but we take time and make more of an effort to celebrate and remember their lives before they were in our family.  We talk about their first family often and pray for them every night.  When the boys start talking about life before moving to America everything stops in our home and we listen.  Allowing and encouraging them to share has been very healing for all of us.  I love the fact that my boys can remember so much about their past.  That’s definitely one of the amazing bonuses about adopting older children. Along with them knowing how to bathe themselves and set an alarm clock, of course!

When I think back to bringing Sha home 20 months ago I am blown away by how much he’s grown and changed.  While flying home with him from Ethiopia he wouldn’t talk to me or eat anything. Poor kid was totally freaked out and overwhelmed! It’s amazing to look across our dinner table and see him relishing in every meal (especially if it includes warm dinner rolls & steak) and laughing with the most contagious laugh I’ve ever heard.  He has been a delight to raise thus far and I know his future is as bright as his smile!

Below is the first picture we saw of our Sha. The next one was taken recently while in Seattle. This young man is going to do great things!

Shambel Photo 3

Shaweb

Bobbi Spargo - November 18, 2014 - 8:12 pm

What an amazing family! Thank you for sharing your story. The coolest part is that God isn’t done re-writing the story about this family. I can’t wait to see what is yet to come!

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