I’d like to start this post by saying this contest has been SUCH a blessing to me. I had sixteen people nominate their friends and family and I am SOOOOO glad I decided before hand that I wasn’t picking the winner. It was amazing to read the nice things you all said about your family and friends, and also to hear all of the stories of the deserving families you nominated. Another thing I never expected was the blessing I would receive from the people I asked to choose the winner. I ended up choosing six people to decide… some men, some women, some younger, some older, some single, some married. I asked all of them to give me their top three in order. I then gave the winners points… 3 for 1st, 2 for 2nd, and 1 for 3rd. They all had very different selections, but one letter appeared in all six judges top three… the Hampton/Lemons Family. The family lives in the Springfield, Missouri area and I CAN NOT WAIT to shoot their family photo session in the Spring! And Julie… because you took the time to “be third”, you can expect a little surprise also!
I would like to nominate a family for the be a blessing contest. The Hampton/Lemons Family
My husband Chris and I decided to become CASA volunteers (Court Appointed Special Advocates) the beginning of 2007(if you aren’t familiar with what CASA does, go to www.nationalcasa.org and see what it’s all about). We were assigned our first family March of 2007.
The family we were appointed to consist of 4 very young children who were taken away from their parents due to neglect, drug use and physical abuse. These children had been through a very unstable environment their whole lives (living in hotels or wherever else they could find to sleep) and didn’t know what a true family was. The children (Jacob who is 7, Lexi who is 6, Kira who is 3 and Gage who is 2) were placed with their maternal aunt and uncle. Chris and Niki Hampton have taken in all four of these children and will be adopting them as soon as the paperwork is finalized. Chris and Niki have two children of their own, Dakota who is 10 and Hannah who is 8. This family lives in a house with 2 bedrooms and one bath and there are a total of 8 people now in their family (their house is approximately 800 square feet).
Chris and Niki have went above and beyond to make these children feel loved, feel like they are a part of a family and to feel safe in their environment. Having a family portrait would mean the world to this family. Not only have they changed the lives of these children, but to be able to portray the love that they have for each other, the joy in the children’s eyes that they have never felt before and just to capture these young children all together would be a blessing to Niki and Chris. Since the children have lived with Chris and Niki they have been involved with extracurricular sports and rodeo. The children are thriving in this environment and will soon be adopted. They are all very excited for the day when they all become the Hampton’s.
This family is very deserving of having their pictures taken. Chris and Niki have gone above and beyond their duty as an aunt and uncle and have done what is right and what is the best for these children. They would love nothing more than for a family picture to show the love that they have for each other and the joy that the children now have in their lives. Please chose this family as they would be more appreciative than you could ever know.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you that took the time to send in an entry. Your letters were WONDERFUL and I hope you share them with the people that you nominated… they deserve to know how much you admire them!