The Harbin Family - Birthday Bonanza!

I was delighted to document the Harbin Family once again. A year ago at this time I was photographing little Annie's newborn session...

What a difference a year makes! I love comparing the photos on their front porch. This might have to become a new tradition!

Harbin Family May 2015

Mary Katherine and her husband John were high school sweethearts. I still remember John's visits to Furman back in college - these two were just giddy around one another. Their love has only grown and solidified since then as they have navigated the joys and challenges of marriage and parenthood. Their adoreable children, Jack (3) and Annie (1), celebrated birthdays within one week of one another - a perfect reason for a family photo shoot! 

I loved watching the hilarious interactions between Jack and Annie - their little sibling bond strong already. Annie has grown an affinity for Jack's ears - she just loves to pull on them! Of course Jack is still deciding on whether this is funny or annoying. 

When I think of the Harbin family, I am reminded of the power of prayer and God's healing hands. You see, when Mary Katherine was pregnant with Annie, they learned that she has a severe form of spina bifida called a myelomeningocele. This means that Annie has a hole in her spine where her nerves are exposed. In March of 2014, Annie actually underwent a very risky procedure where doctors performed in-utero surgery to repair the hole in her spine. Mary Katherine was required to be on bed rest for the remainder of her pregnancy (in Philadelphia, hundreds of miles away from her home and family!) Mary Katherine and John handled the situation with such grace and humility. They were vulnerable in sharing their challenges and fears, but were so faithful - leaning on God's strength and provision at every turn. I'm pretty sure that thousands of people around the country were praying for "Little Miss Annie". Mary Katherine and Annie made it just fine through surgery and went on to have a healthy delivery months later. 

In May of this year, Annie had to undergo another surgery - this time having a shunt placed to drain excess fluid from the brain. She is recovering nicely and is back to her spunky, joyful self. 

I just see God's little fingerprints all over Annie, especially as she continues to meet EVERY developmental milestone in miraculous timing. Annie's newest milestone? Pulling up and standing on her own! I think one of my favorite photos from this session was the one of Annie standing in the fort of her new swing set. Mary Katherine is beaming in the background with joy and pride for her little girl. I just know that God has great plans for Annie and her family. 

Happiest of birthdays to Big Brother Jack and Little Miss Annie. Enjoy these last photos of Annie's epic cake smash!