For those of you reading, I have a big treat for you today! I had the honor of photographing this beautiful, fun, energetic, compassionate, and kind family two weeks ago. The Oates family is so special to me because the big brother was one of my first students at The Rise School of Austin! It has been so neat to watch their journey unfold and for their family to grow over the years! You guys, this mom is a supermom! She has three kiddos under 5, is an advocate for children with Down syndrome, keeps it real, and has never met a stranger. These two together as parents know how to still have fun, laugh at their crazy life, and enjoy each day as it comes. Christie and Tim, you two are amazing people and anyone in your life is blessed by your presence!
Now, can we talk about the little cuties that they have created together? Big brother is quite the adventurer and has the athletic ability of a twenty year old. (But really, he was climbing rocks at Bull Creek like it was NO big deal. I think Bull Creek was the perfect version of a playground for this guy. It was amazing!) Big brother was being so helpful in our session and didn't miss an opportunity to make brother and sister laugh! Also, I've never seen him more excited than when we told him he could finally dip his toes into the water after being so patient all session! Little brother is, simply put, the biggest heartbreaker! He stops the show everywhere he goes and knows exactly how cute he is! :) I had the honor of being in his classroom for a period of time and grew close to him. He loves a good tickle fight, will sit on your lap anytime you are remotely close to the ground, and loves a good dance party! Little sister is beyond gorgeous! She is seriously going to have a hard time finding a boyfriend later in life due to her older brothers protecting her. She is in very good hands and treated like the princess she is!
Lastly, I want to get a little personal here. I had a close friend in elementary school who had Down syndrome and it completely changed my perspective growing up because I knew that there were people who were different than me. My friend inspired me to volunteer for Special Olympics at an early age, be an advocate for her at school, get my degree in Child Development from TCU, and ultimately become a teacher at The Rise School of Austin. My students taught me more about myself than I could've ever imagined and continue to inspire me. There are so many organizations that are working to make sure that ALL children are respected, treated fairly, and loved unconditionally because that is what they deserve. I urge you to watch these two videos here (you may see a cameo from me) and here, or visit DSACT.com and http://cstx.wish.org and to see how you can volunteer or donate! Lastly, if there are any parents out there that have children with developmental delays and have been putting off a family photo due to your crazy schedule, I am running a special offer for you!! Please email me for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org. I cannot wait to hear from you!