I’ve been knowing and loving and photographing this adorable family for 13 years now, ever since Jolina was a wee 6-week-old baby girl. Sandra and Stefan were brave enough to show up at our monthly 46plusdown syndrome meetup, although they had just entered their new world of living with a little extra. Just in comparison, it took me four months to reach out to other moms of kids with down syndrome after Juliana was born. Luckily I did take the plunge, because these amazing women have been by my side ever since.

I remember when they had just adapted to living a life with a little extra, their world was shaken again with the news that little Jolina does have leukemia. But these guys were ready to fight and not give up. Also, every time I visited them in the hospital, I left happier and stronger than I came. These guys are true powerhouses. They are lighthouses, shining a light of hope, optimism, strength and the most important attitude of never ever ever ever giving up!

I believe that when a couple has to overcome so many challenges, it either breaks them apart or it binds them together, makes them unstoppable, and never ever lets them sweat the small stuff again. These guys laugh easily and have a wonderful sense of humor.

Six years ago little Jenna made their family complete. I remember photographing her as an insanely sweet little baby, now she’s about to be a first grader, where has the time gone! Jolina and Jenna are two sisters and partners in shine. They get along really well (besides the usual drama among sisters), and share lots of interests, one of them is modeling for Mom’s beautiful sewing creations.

Please enjoy this joyful family and have a great start into this week.

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