• sarawelburn

Smith Family | San Antonio Family Photography Session | Quadrangle, Fort Sam

Families with special needs children have such a special place in my heart. Growing up with four special needs adopted siblings myself has shaped my life in so many ways and helped me to grow into a kinder, more humble, patient person. When a special needs child is introduced into the family, every single member of that family is impacted; not just the child, not just the parents - everyone. You all experience the struggles, (both familial and individual), but you're also each blessed and bettered by the unique relationships you create within your family. You laugh together, you cry together, you work through some beautiful and some excruciating things together. There's something about experiencing those wonders and those difficulties that elevates those relationships and immortalizes them, making them stronger than you ever thought possible!

I've seen exactly this with the Smith family. The Smiths attend the same church we do, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (some know us as Mormons or LDS, but those are nicknames and we prefer our real name!) so we get to see them every week and experience just how incredible each member of this family is. I see such extreme patience and love from both parents, Jessica and Tony, with an ability to laugh and find humor through pretty much anything (like when Indie got into all of Jessica's "nice" makeup and smeared it e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e). I see cute little Eden (who isn't really all that little anymore), the younger sister, showing gentleness and maturity beyond her years. You grow up fast when you're dad is in the military and your older sister has such a special set of needs, but Eden still has that youthful, childlike exuberance for life even though she's seems so much older than she really is. And I see adorable Indie, spreading sunshine and love everywhere she goes! We once had a friend mention that she would love to follow Indie around all day because it was like walking around with a little piece of Heaven, and I echo that statement times twenty!! Her Christ-like love and innocence is such a balm to our crazy world we live in! You just want to sit next to her all afternoon just soaking it up.

Because of all of this, and more, the Smith's family photoshoot was probably one of my favorites so far! We went to a beautiful location on base, the Quadrangle, with peacocks and deer just lazing about. Eden loves animals and got within inches of a deer! So cool! And throughout the whole session, Indie just wanted to walk right next to me and hold my hand. I'd been having a pretty rough week, but the love that she offered me so simply warmed me all the way to my toes and back again. The love between them ll was tangible, too! Tony and Jessica are one of those dynamite couples who you can't help but admire. Any military couple has my sincere admiration, but doing so with a special needs child is just remarkable. So so hard, but also somewhat beautiful. The strength and resilience and love required by each member of the family to make that work is something I'll be striving for the rest of my life. They truly walk through the refiners fire and become more like our Savior with each passing day.

Also, their whole family could be models. They're all absolutely gorgeous! Without further ado, check out these favorite from our family photography session with the Smiths!

Smith family, thank you thank you thank you!! We absolutely loved spending time with your family! We desperately want our future little ones to turn out just like your beautiful, strong, talented, loving girls. Your marriage and the relationship y'all share is such an inspiration to Kyle and I. Thank you for your love, thank you for sharing your family with us. And thank you for reminding us what truly matters in our crazy crazy life: family.

Love, Sara and Kyle

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