“All you’ve got is all you can give and that will always be enough.” ~Unknown

Late last week I was contacted by Kim who recently had a baby with spina bifida. I’ve lost track of the hundreds of people who have contacted me since my son Chance was diagnosed with spina bifida. Each message has pulled at my heartstrings and I suppose helped remind me that I’m not totally alone in raising a child with spina bifida. Kim was suggested to contact me to photograph her son by one of Chance’s doctors. I’m not certain but I believe her son Gabriel might be the first baby born with spina bifida in central Florida since Chance was born in February. If I recall correctly, 1 out of about 1000 babies are born with spina bifida and I believe in central Florida only about a dozen or so babies are born and referred to the spina bifida clinic. I know that makes Chance and Gabriel two very special little ones.

I elected to begin Gabriel’s photos with some of the most special shots. Before I had Chance I’m not so sure I would have been begging parents to let me photograph their baby’s imperfections. However, I’ve come to realize just how special the scar is to a family who has a baby with spina bifida. I suppose it sort of symbolizes the whole reason for the challenges they may face in life. Just like my son Chance, Gabriel also had back closure surgery and a surgery to have a shunt placed due to hydrocephalus.

There’s no doubt how much this little guy is loved. As Kim mentioned to me…he’s a miracle.

All too often it’s tough to get people to smile with a true smile for photos. Of course candid moments usually lend well to the authentic smiles I adore. We can all thank Gabriel for peeing the very moment this shot was taken. Good job Gabriel, our plan worked out perfectly.:)

Kim was a great sport and held him a moment longer for one more shot. Yes, priceless moments that neither of us will forget.

Gabriel is about five weeks old and he did a super job during his first photo session. Okay, this is only the second baby with spina bifida I’ve photographed but thus far I swear they’re superstar baby models!:)

And just like Chance, he smiles a lot! I suppose he also realizes how much he’s blessed this world with his presence.

Though Gabriel also has a scar his is uniquely different.

Did I tell you this kid rocks?! Okay, you’ll just have to see for yourself…

I got to admire some of his fine details because he was so content.

He slept nearly the entire time he was with me for photos, however, he did open his eyes briefly. He sure is one sweet little guy.

Once we were done we decided to try to get the boys together for a few photos. It was not an easy task to get them both together without crying, but thankfully they were both still a tad bit sleepy. I wish I would have taken a video of them both as we posed them. They are two of the noisest babies who are so much alike. Both of them were grunting and making some of the most hilarious noises as we set them up for these photos. Perhaps it was baby talk…you know, perhaps Chance was warning Gabriel how much I torture him by taking his photos virtually every day. Yes, I broke a sweat trying to get a nearly 10 week old and a 5 week old in one shot…here are three that should make you all smile of Chance and his new friend Gabriel….two tough little guys!

Kim I hope you enjoy the photos of Gabriel. I can sense just how much he has blessed your family. Best wishes to you all.

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May 2, 2011 - 11:59 pm

Shelby Wright - Absolutely in love with this! Completely melted my heart!!

May 3, 2011 - 1:23 pm

Kim Heming - Wow! These pictures have blown me away! I love, love, love them!
Thank you so much for capturing these moments for us! Can’t wait to get the boys together again… :o)

May 3, 2011 - 2:17 pm

Fran Cherepon - These pictures are truly beautiful. God Bless

May 3, 2011 - 2:44 pm

Darlene Cherepon - I just melted when I saw these pictures. Both Kim & Gabriel are so beautiful ~ Mother & Child. And the pictures of Gabriel and Chance are so precious. Truely Blessed

May 3, 2011 - 2:55 pm

Allie Lovette - Oh my goodness, Gabriel is certainly a beautiful baby! What wonderful pictures… just amazing.

May 3, 2011 - 3:13 pm

Carrie Chancellor - I love that baby already! What a beautiful smile! He is such a blessing. :)

May 3, 2011 - 4:54 pm

Bonnie French - Blessings come in such amazing little packages don’t they? They are wonderful pictures. Kim is a beautiful lady inside and out, and Gabriel will bring her and Chris a lifetime of joy.Congratulations to you on the birth of your son also.
Thank you for sharing.

May 5, 2011 - 8:29 pm

Joan Szymonifka - Just beautiful….the babies, the mom, just beautiful…..Thank you for sharing these pictures

May 6, 2011 - 7:04 am

DeAnna Parton - What a precious miracle given to two of the best parents in the entire world. Gabriel could not have been given better parents. Kim and Chris are the best. Gabriel, you are a lucky little boy, remember that in your teenage years. Kim and Chris, remember the miracle he is, in his teenage years. :-) God Bless your family!

May 10, 2011 - 10:19 am

bill heming jr - great pictures God Bless.
Love Bill Jr and family

May 10, 2011 - 5:07 pm

wendy - Oh wow!! Our loving God is so great! thank you for filling my eyes with tears…..and reminding me how precious my own children are and were then…..Chris and Kim, congrads and what a gorgeous, blessed and lovely miracle, Great, great Pics!!!! aunt wendy

May 15, 2011 - 11:47 am

Gretchen Soares - What a blessing to have another mom SB mom so close in distance and age of child! Amanda, you and Kim are so strong to have made the choice to walk this journey, and while it may never be “easy” it does become normal and we are always blessed by our special children! Both of your guy’s boys are adorable!

August 5, 2011 - 10:24 am

Nance Kidwell - The pictures are absolutely precious. I am a friend of Gabriel’s grandma Deb who shared these great pictures with us. What a perfect way to remember how beautiful new babies are and how lucky we are to have them in our lives. I love the pictures of the feet. I took one of my son’s when he was only a couple months old as I knew they would never be that tiny again. Of course I was right as now grown he wears a size 14.

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