Posts in family films
A quiet day at home with their new little Lucy.

I have my own little Lucy.And with her one older sister and two older brothers and then the baby after her, well, I know these days well. Simple and sweet, tender times, moments that are tiny and small yet weighted with all that is raw and real. And thus it was a privilege, an honor, a gift to my soul to be invited into this home, into their story, to make tangible the memories that are happening now, to make in art a celebration of the miracle of new life. This is a quiet day at home with the newest little Lucy. See more family films from Allison Corrin Photography in Kansas City here.

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The Motherhood Project

I don’t see this as having been a perfect day. In fact, it would be far easier to look at what was left undone,laundry unfolded, projects, conversations unfinished, kisses ungiven. But these were the seconds of the hours of the years I spent doing what we’re all doing - Doing my best to be faithful with the opportunity I’ve been given. And so like a stone into the sea, I throw myself, the all of me into each moment, hoping and praying and trusting for ripples to extend and reach and multiply, and join into what is far greater than me.

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Whitney the warrior, the protected miracle blessing, comes home.

There was a peace inside their home.A quiet resolve, steadied by storm. Because faith stays under seed husk until the clouds come, and until the rain falls, will not sprout, reach, bury, bud into root. See, four months of her life had held more than many a lifetime, and today what is left after the flood of tears and thunder of chaos is only the beginning, of the harvest stored up by a warrior's perseverance to stay hopeful for the sun. And while some would tuck their head down as so much is still to be understood, ramifications unknown, each day new in what it may hold or hold unmet, tenderly yet unwaveringly, Laura tells her story again and again, unashamedly sharing her heart, heartache and hope alike for one purpose, "We choose to share so that God will be glorified, His provision and love and mercy, evident."See, we named our second daughter Whitney because it means protected. We chose her name after finding out at 23 weeks pregnant that our daughter had gone into heart failure in utero because of something called TRAP sequence. In short, Whitney was a twin but her twin didn't have a heart, which meant Whitney was pumping blood for two babies. Statistics say she shouldn't have survived in the womb but God had other and bigger plans for her life.Two weeks later at 25 weeks pregnant, while being monitored in the hospital and awaiting a procedure, in a moment of chaos, my water broke and the nurses couldn't find Whitney's heart rate on the monitor. Whitney was breech and her feet were clamping the umbilical cord.Immediately, an emergency C-section was performed, the scariest thing we have ever been through. Whitney Parke was born on November 22, 2016 at just 25 weeks gestation. She weighed 1 lb 12 oz and though she was tiny, she came out fighting for her life. Those crucial first few days were a mix of emotions. We were so elated to have our second daughter here in the world, but scared for the long, difficult road ahead. A brain ultrasound showed a level three brain bleed, her heart was in distress after working so hard in utero for such a long time, and many of her systems were underdeveloped. She was quickly transferred to the NICU where she overcame so many obstacles including heart failure, an open PDA and much more.  They say life in the NICU is a roller coaster and it certainly is, but we know God carried us through, we were watching Him heal Whitney. I got to hold Whitney on her sixth day of life. She could fit in one hand. This was the first moment I remember feeling like Whitney was real and that she was ours. It was terrifying to see such a tiny baby, but we were so grateful for the strides she had already made in her short time. As the days wore on, they full of progress and setbacks. Throughout our time in the NICU, we became accustomed to watching the numbers — to understand her condition but trying to not obsess over them. It was exhausting, and we had to try not to get overwhelmed with the fear of the unknown.Through it all, we believed God held us tightly every step of the way, and that helped us cope. In each step we were met by our God who is gracious and never wavers. After 86 days whitney came home and we felt like we could begin our lives as a family of four! Our first daughter, Claire, has been the best big sister, always helpful and loving and attentive. We are so grateful for these girls and while no parent would choose the road God had for us, we know there's a purpose and we are better people because of it. Whitney has already taught us so much about determination and God has shown us infinite provision, love and mercy!

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The fight of faith and the beckon of hope as journeying through the valleys, they became a family of four.

A few years ago, with the choice of steady resolve, breathing in the calm after the storm, they were three.I'll never forget her words to me then, "We are a different family than we would have been." But her story wasn't over. They've journeyed more dark valleys since the sunshine of the day we walked among the color of where their story began, but now, in the morning of a new chapter, with arms around the warmth of brothers made through miracle, acknowledging, honoring the heart-broken tears that have brought them to this place, she shares the story of the fight of faith and the beckon of hope. These are Kristen's words of the story of her motherhood. "In the last four and half years, our little family has learned incredible life lessons, God’s lessons, some storms bringing intense pain, other times of immense joy, and culminating at new-found thankfulness for life’s simple pleasures. As I sit and write this, with our new precious 8 pound miracle swaddled at my side, I can barely believe we are here, our family of three, just expanded to four, by the grace of God after almost 5 years of an emotional and at times heart-wrenching roller coaster.  I can’t erase the day, at age 32, when my husband and I are dumbfounded to find ourselves sitting in an office with a breast oncologist, discussing treatment options. Somewhere in the middle of the discussion, I find the ability to ask “what about my fertility?” You see, we had always dreamed of having a few children, ideally 3 or 4, fairly close together. But there was another plan, another path that felt so painful that day, that seemed so unfair, but in the end would bring so much strength and love to our family. Our oncologist wanted only to focus on the cancer, and who can blame her? It’s her job to save my life, and we are forever grateful that she did. She did not want to entertain discussions of future pregnancies. She would not delay any treatments or put me at any increased risks to harvest eggs or embryos. We would move ahead and fiercely treat the cancer and save my life for the 18 month old sweet angel of a little boy that we had already been gifted by God. We understood; we didn’t want to take any risks and we were passionate about using the most aggressive treatment plan we could; we wanted to win, to survive. But it still hurt. It hurt because of our plans, our plans as a family that we would have to let go. We ached because of the still so new loss of two sweet babies, just 3 months before, after weeks of emotional ups and downs and uncertainty on the future of these surprise blessings. We were still sorting out the loss of the pregnancy, struggling to grieve individually and as a couple. And here we were, in another cold, unwelcoming doctor’s office, being told that we were likely shutting the doors of future pregnancies for good. Having all the dreams of what you imagined for your family taken, how you thought things would look in the future, suddenly a completely empty slate.

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The family film of the Liu family reunion over gingerbread houses and first Christmases.

With red and green and frosting and candy, the morning was early and full from the start. And reminsicing through the stories of ornaments, nostalgic laughter over decades old photographs, while generations played the piano in unison, they shared delight in their parents' home, around the table and under the tree, the treasure of together, here in these moments.

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At home with Indie and Corliss decorating their first Christmas tree as sisters.

With the twinkle of lights strung for the baby's first time,and the light of wonder glimmering bright in her big sister's wide eyes, this is the space of  home. See, this mama invited me in for their first day as sisters, but now, months later, knows this is where they're blossoming, here in the cozy days, snuggled up, tucked in together. And so here I am again for them, in love with what is real, the mess of memories in the making, the color of a family buckled down, doing life, living life, serenaded by the magic of the everyday, the mundane made miraculous by simply stopping to notice. Yes, this is the day little Indiana with dimpled knuckles and sparkling laughter decorated the tree for oh so happy baby sister, Corliss, and together in each other's arms, their family prepared to celebrate their first Christmas in their finally home.

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