M Y S T O R Y
"We did not know how things were going to work out but by having faith and hope in something, we started to feel alive again and our remarkable story started to take shape."
Kodak Award Winner
for outstanding achievement, 2009 WPPI
Risking It All and Following God's Leading
We risked a lot of our savings to pay for our adoption which would total around $25,000 and started the process in 2000. We did not know how things were going to work out but by having faith and hope in something, we started to feel alive again and our remarkable story started to take shape.
Of course not knowing how I would provide for my family, I started thinking of ways to earn a few extra bucks. The adoption process can take up to a couple years so I had some time to consider how I was going to provide for my family.
I had always liked photography since high school and after coming back from a vacation in Europe in 1999, photography was a burning passion in my heart, just about the time digital photography was coming into play. I knew wedding photographers could make a lot of money from one wedding so I figured I could make a fraction of that and pay some bills.
One problem, I was not good enough to be a professional photographer. Yes, I had the desire but my skills were rudimentary. At the end of 1999, I bought my first 2 megapixel digital camera the Nikon Coolpix 850 for around $500 and started taking pictures like a mad man, probably about 1,000 per month. The amazing thing about digital photography was that it increased my photography skills exponentially because of the instant review of your photos and because every image recorded your settings. I could then start to understand how light, aperture and shutter speed created images.
Working Hard, Getting Nowhere
We were both working extremely hard, not spending much time with one another and getting nowhere. Trying to live life our way was not going well and was tearing our marriage apart. Something had to give, a new way of life or we would be stuck with a broken marriage and bitterness.
With no conceivable financial plan, we decided to put our marriage first. We had always wanted to adopt one of our children so why not do it now? We always felt that if we did start a family, Stacey was going to stay home and take care of the children which was exactly the way both of us had been raised and seemed like the direction God was leading us to.
How was I going to provide for my family on $10,000 a year, living in Los Angeles and owning a home? I had no idea but from years of being a devote Christian, I knew the Lord was leading me to take a step of faith and to put my family first in my life. I vowed, I would provide for my family even if it meant taking on three jobs. I wanted to finally give Stacey the dream and purpose in life she had been wanting over a decade to live no matter what the consequences.
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