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This precious little firecracker came roaring into my life at a local coffee shop when we did our meet and greet for the rest of the Perfect Imperfections participants. Her mom reached out to me and asked if Kendall could participate, as most of the others taking part were women. Of course I said yes immediately, but was so excited to include Kendall in this project when I heard why her mom wanted her to join us. She wanted to show her daughter's beauty and strength in spite of her scars and limitations as a result of spina bifida.

You would never know that Kendall has any so called "limitations", sweet pea was rockin' and rollin' through my studio... leg braces or not, I could barely keep up with her. She is a woman on the move! And personality, geez, don't get me started. I don't think her small frame can contain all of that spunk!

I say it every time, but I don't think these sweet souls that trusted me with this project quite know how they inspired me, or blessed my heart in countless ways. I am a better person for meeting her. I am a better person for hearing her mom speak of their journey, their faith, and their hope. David Crowder Band's - You Never Let Go, comes to mind when I think of all they have gone through and all that is to come.

Here is a little something from her Mom, Danielle, her hopes and desires for her daughter, and for others facing this same journey:

When I was pregnant with Kendall we found out that she would come into this world with the number 1 permanently disabling birth defect. Her diagnosis’ are lengthy, but they are all connected to Spina Bifida.  In short, Spina Bifida is a defect of the spine and most of the time effecting nerves which cause paralysis and other nerve damage. The months leading up to having my first child were stressful, but peaceful, moments filled with uncertainties from doctors and the promises of God.

On the day that Kendall was born we were all so excited to finally meet the little boy or girl we would get to carry through this journey of unknowns. In the operating room I heard her cry and the doctor say “It’s a girl”.  Everything seemed so normal I don’t remember even feeling concerned about the Spina Bifida at the time.  From day one Kendall has been a conqueror! She had her first two surgeries before she was a week old and the third right before she turned 1.  None of those slowed her down or put a damper on her smile.

Our goal for Kendall has always been to meet her full potential and be who she was created to be. It has been really hard to remember situations and capture things for her to see how far she has come and the strength that she has.  When Neely posted her blog talking about “Perfect Imperfection” my heart jumped.  I knew that this project was what I have been looking for to hold on to Kendall now, the scars, braces, skinny little legs and a the contagious smile.  Kendall today doesn’t know that those things show a disability. She doesn’t see that she is different.  Her strength now will hopefully help her weaknesses in the future when those scars embarrass, the braces want to be hidden, and the smile isn’t shining as bright.  I want Kendall to know that she isn’t defined by her disability, but that through her disability she is able to do great things.

Being at a photo shoot for an almost 4 year old is very stressful.  She wasn’t still, she faced the wrong way, and she hit and kicked the back drop just to name a few.  Neely handled her like it was a walk in the park and kept shooting through any hiccup Kendall threw at us. Before leaving I knew that Neely had gotten the shots that my heart longed to have and keep forever. She listened to my ideas as well as thinking of things I wouldn’t have. Now seeing some of the photos I am so glad that we chose to be a part of this project. My hope is that through Kendall’s story the mentality that doctors have of Spina Bifida will change, so that parents have hope for a beautiful child that will bring them so many blessings.

Kendall is redefining Spina Bifida one milestone at a time! 

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