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Georgia

Columbus, Ga Birth Photographer | Ker-Fox Photography| David

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Columbus, Ga Birth Photographer | Ker-Fox Photography| David

Giving birth in general is no easy feat. Giving birth unmedicated, during not one but two separate tornados is next level status. We knew bad weather was in the works for our area, unfortunately no one could have prepared our community and surrounding neighbors for what unfolded that day.

Becca was moved to three different locations during the birth of David, all at varying stages of labor. First you will see her laboring her her normal room, then she is moved to an interior hallway alongside the blue draped cart usually wheeled in just before pushing. She, Paul, and her midwife patiently strolled the halls until they were told even that wasn’t safe, and they were then placed into a small triage room. Becca progressed further. The all clear was announced and she was moved back to her labor room. We thought the worst of the bad weather was done for the day. Another hour passed, bringing Becca into transition. My heart dropped when the tornado siren went off, again. How in the world could they move her now, how would this effect her mental state this close to pushing? This time she was was moved to a different triage room, as the other was now occupied. This room, much smaller, would be the room she would welcome her sweet son into just minutes after settling into her new space. The lights flickered, the sound of generators could be heard coming on, portable lights were being brought into the room, cold washcloths and make shift fans helped cool her off without air conditioning. None of that mattered, she was laser focused on her son and her son alone. Even in the midst of organized chaos, everyone and everything worked like a well oiled machine. He was here safely, as was Becca.

As the excitement of the afternoon went from a roar to a whisper, the gravity of what went on outside the walls of the hospital came to light. Our hearts rejoiced at both the beauty of new life, and the grief of lives lost that day.

To the people of Beauregard, Alabama that lost their lives that day, you were in our hearts then, and you remain there today. As do the people of Columbus, Phenix City, Eufaula, Ellerslie and beyond who lost their homes and property.


 

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Columbus, GA Birth Photographer | Ker-Fox Photography | Spurgeon

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Columbus, GA Birth Photographer | Ker-Fox Photography | Spurgeon

Completely not intentional that I have two back to back, multi-racial birth/adoption related stories to share. But brace yourselves for big brother by 9 months to steal the show when he smother's his new brother in kisses.

Brianne and Marc had a rough road to conceiving, they had tried for quite some time, but always knew adoption was part of their bigger plan, regardless of conceiving biologically. Baby Zeke came into their lives, and took the world's heart by storm. His big brown eyes, and a smile that lights up a room... not to mention the hugs he gave as he got older. 

I'm not sure if Brianne remembers this or not, but shortly after they adopted Zeke, they were at my house shooting his now famous Milk Bath session. Disappointedly, Brianne said she felt crampy, and was frustrated at the thought of her impending upcoming cycle. And I very stupidly (as I never would want to cause emotional pain on the subject) said, "Maybe it's implantation cramps!". Well little did either of us know, but she was in fact pregnant. Sweet baby Spurgeon was crashing his big bro's Milk Bath session!

I've never met two people more on fire for the Lord than these two. I mean they live it, they don't just talk the talk. I can't imagine two greater parents, for these two precious boys. The Lord knew what he was doing when He knit these lives together. Their family, their testimony will live out for years to come... as they show the world what God's love looks like. 

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adoption story | columbus, ga | ker-fox photography | tigner

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adoption story | columbus, ga | ker-fox photography | tigner

I've been able to photograph each one of the sweet kiddos in the Hawk family... and nothing could've made me happier than being asked to come along to photograph them bringing their daughter home from China. It was a LONG road to get to this point. Adoption is not for the faint of heart. It's grueling, it's exhausting, it will make you pull strength from parts of your body you didn't know you could. It's messy. BUT adoption is beautiful, it's rewarding, it's love in the unconditional form, it's parenthood. I could barely hold it together as we all waited in anticipation. Will and Karan Anne's phones were turned off, their was no way of knowing how close they were to coming up the arrivals escalator. My hands were sweating, my chest was flushed... and then there they were.

A crowd of their closest friends, their biggest cheerleaders were there to greet this little girl SO many had prayed for, for SO long. She was finally here!

The brother's expressions are just too much. They were just as excited to see their sister, as they were to have mom and dad home!

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Any of you who frequent my blog may get tired of me saying this, but it's the truth. It's never lost on me these moments I get asked to document. What a blessing and an honor to share witness to God's work and His miracles of life.

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Perfect Imperfections | Childhood Cancer Awareness Month | Ker-Fox Photography | Columbus, GA | Carly

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Perfect Imperfections | Childhood Cancer Awareness Month | Ker-Fox Photography | Columbus, GA | Carly

I first had the privilege of photographing Carly and part of her journey back in 2009. She was about to face another tough round of treatment and a double lung surgery to remove where her cancer had spread. This young lady is a walking, talking, dancing, fireball of a MIRACLE. I am SO grateful to know her, to know her story, to witness her strength, her testimony, her love of life and impeccable sense of humor. I asked her mom to write about Carly's journey. It has been a long one, and one that still isn't over. But, honestly all of our journeys are ongoing aren't they? We are all on a path of constant changes, ups and downs, trials and triumphs. Carly's tests keep coming back stable and we will keep rejoicing with her. From her mom and dad: Carly was diagnosed with a rare, aggressive form of sarcoma when she was 7 ½ years old. The name of this cancer diagnosis is a mouth-full…mesenchymal chondrosarcoma. There is no known cure, so she will live with it like a chronic disease, and there is no “roadmap” (or a structured plan) to treat this cancer. In Carly’s case, her tumor was resistant to traditional chemotherapy treatments so we had to think outside the box for her treatments. She now takes biological agents, which is a new alternative to traditional chemotherapy, to keep her cancer from growing or returning. Because she has microscopic disease, she will never be in standard remission; but we like to say she is a fighter even though she will never “beat” this cancer. The biological agents are working and I am happy to say she has been stable now for 2 years and 4 months, which is a HUGE blessing!

Carly has had a rough road, to put it lightly. She has had over 16 surgeries, 5 relapses, and 3 radiation treatments and has spent more time in hospitals than can be imagined. With every treatment and relapse, we had to come to the realization that the odds could be building against her. Some occasions we had to think about the inevitable and thought “was this it, are we were going to lose her?” But, of course, God had different plans! It does not matter what we thought. Through it all, Carly has handled every situation with strength, grace, dignity, and an amazing smile that lights up the room! We truly believe her spirit through this is God’s light. He lives in her and carried her through some of the hardest days anyone can experience.

The day she was diagnosed will always be etched in our being. To this day, I still remember hearing the words “Carly has a fairly large tumor in her sinus cavity”, and how these words knocked the breath out of me. Carly’s dad says he still remembers the blood curdling scream I let out when my worst fears had been realized by these words. Carly would tell you the worst surgery ever was the gruesome lung surgeries called thoracotomies. According to Carly, the pain is absolutely unbearable. After one of her procedures, a double thoracotomy (both lungs at once), she was lying in her bed in the ICU in pain. Our tough 9 year old child was standing strong, but I could see a tear rolling down her cheek. The pain from the procedure was so bad, and the chest tube took up so much of her lung capacity that she couldn’t even get a deep breath to scream. All she could do is lie there and let tears roll down her cheeks. So I held her hand and I told her how I wished I could take her place and that she didn’t deserve this. I told her I would do it for her in a heartbeat if I could. She looked me right in the eye and whispered, “No, Mommy, you aren’t strong enough. I can do this”.

Carly has always had an optimistic outlook of her illness and treatment. In the beginning of our journey, the song “Stand” by Rascal Flatts was the song that inspired her to fight every day! Carly’s journey has taught us how to appreciate every single day we have together. She lives her life like any normal teenager (15) and expects to live her life to the fullest for a very long time. Because of her positive spirit and her faith in God, she has taught us to be the same way. We are thankful for every single day we have with her, and we are even thankful for the emotional, teenage outbursts that occur more frequently these days! It’s all worth it because God has chosen to allow us to keep her here with us! And for that we are blessed and thankful!

All the procedures have given Carly many scars on her body. She never complains about them, seeing them as her battle scars. She maintains a positive outlook and is quite light-hearted about them. There is a large scar on her leg from a surgery where they used muscle in her leg to create reconstruction in her head. She tells people she was bitten by a shark. She will also be glad to show you the hole in the soft palette in her mouth that causes her speaks differently, but if someone comments on the way she talks she will just say that she speaks differently because she was born in Australia. Carly tries to find humor in many difficult situations, and is very open and honest with anyone that wants to know her story. To us, she is perfectly formed in the eyes of the Lord with surgical imperfections that only tell her amazing story. She is and always will be our Hero! She is proud to be a part of such a wonderful blog, Perfect Imperfections.

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