I really can’t tell you how excited I was to do this session. I seriously prayed for this session!! Let me back up and give you a little bit of Louie’s story…
Louie’s mom Laura is my Eri’s dance teacher and Louie and Cam are very close in age (six weeks difference). Louie’s family and my family attend the same church and I remember waking up on the morning of May 1st to a post in a Facebook group for moms at our church. It was Louie’s birthday week and I’d been following Laura’s posts on Facebook about how Louie hadn’t been feeling great. On Thursday night, she posted they were taking him to the ER and asked everyone to pray. By Friday morning, he was admitted and was starting chemo for leukemia. I was in shock. She’d just posted pictures of him relaxing with his sunglasses on (inside, of course), his first hair cut, and the obligatory screaming Easter Bunny picture. He was just sick. Normal 2 year old sick. You go to the ER and they tell you your child has the flu, not cancer. I was shocked. And scared.
Laura shared some pictures of Louie while he was in the PICU and sedated. My heart ached for her and Josh. I would look at my Cam and couldn’t imagine not hearing his voice for three weeks. Not holding him for three weeks. I’m not going to lie… Cam got away with A LOT for a while!! 🙂 Extra snuggles… kisses, hugs, and attack tickles… and I would sit on the couch and hold him at night long after he went to sleep. I almost felt like I was filling in a gap for Louie. It’s hard to describe.
I find myself looking forward to Laura’s post every night on Louie’s progress. It is so awesome to see how strong and brave this little boy is!! And it is so awesome to see how strong and brave and FAITHFUL his parents are!! They are always by his side and involved in every step of his care. (And major props to the PREGNANT momma who spends months sleeping in a hospital room with her two year old!!! As if she didn’t have the Super Mom award already!!) 🙂 It’s just amazing to see what God is doing in this little guy and through this family.
For weeks, I thought how I wanted to offer to do pictures for this family but I didn’t want to overstep. Of course this isn’t the most ideal time in his little life but it’s a big deal. One day, he will look back and say “I went through this and I kicked butt!” About two weeks ago, I was thinking again how I should just email Laura and put it out there if she ever wanted to do pictures. That night, Laura’s latest post said she was looking for someone to do Louie’s 2nd birthday pictures since they hadn’t gotten them done before going into the hospital. I’m not kidding when I say I didn’t finish reading the post before I emailed her. It was a God thing!! Everything she said in her post was everything I’d wanted to say to her. When she said yes, I cried. Seriously cried.
Louie’s getting stronger and stronger and was able to get outside for our little birthday session. We found a nice little grassy area with some trees between CHKD and Sentara Norfolk General and made it work!! Louie brought some AWESOME smiles and loved sitting on the different chairs and boxes I’d brought. (I joked about the looks I got pulling my wagon of furniture around but decided it’s probably not the strangest thing people carry around there!!) And like any two year old, when he was done, he was DONE!!! But we made our 20 minutes or so count and boy did he rock it!!
Enjoy a few of my favorites and leave Louie some love!! You can follow Louie’s story on Facebook at Teamslice432. (Make sure you click on posts to page to see Laura’s updates.) You can also support this family on their journey by clicking here!
This may be one of my absolute favorites. He’s so intense and serious. You can see his strength and his bravery in those eyes. You’ve got this, Lou!! You are a fighter! And we are ALL praying for you! Stay strong, little man!!
Thank you again, Laura and Josh, for allowing me to capture these moments for you. You’ve truly blessed me and made my heart so happy. You guys are such an inspiration and thank you for sharing this awesome guy with the rest of us!!