and this, our friends, is what happened for us at the end of 2011

if you haven’t heard about zion yet, you are missing out. (seriously, you should stumble on our family blog at some point and read some stories about this little miracle!) this little wonder has become a dear, true love of ours, and has been a member of our family since the first moment we met him – at that time, he was just over 3 pounds, had a grim prognosis from his doctors, and needed a family. And we needed him. we needed to learn deeper and truer what real, unconditional, sacrificial love is. and what matters. and after months of red tape and state law requirements being met, we went to court with him and the brothers – all 5 of us…and about 30 close friends/family, and became fully, irrevocably, and eternally, zion’s family. Just saying it brings tears to our eyes again. we are so thankful, and love him so dearly.

to those of you who are our couples, we want to honor and thank you for how you all embraced our family, loved on us, and rolled with all of the punches as we lived in hospitals and tried to balance crisis with zion’s medical conditions and our businesses. we are so thankful for all of you. the grace, love, emails, cards, meals, gifts, and prayers you provided to us this year kept us going strong. you are the reason this job is always life-giving to us.

and to those of our dear friends and family who love us and have walked alongside of us this year – whether that meant long days sitting in the nicu with ash, or getting on planes to go second shoot weddings with jeremy, you are life coursing through our veins, and living life with you all is like waking up to christmas morning presents every day. it’s amazing. we love you.

and so, with that, we ring in a new year. new hope, new adventures, new pictures to be made, places to explore, people to love, and experiences to be had. how joyful and thankful we are! God has been so near. in the beautiful, and in the mess. this video is some of the beautiful – zion’s adoption day.

not enough words can be crafted to thank 2 of our dearest friends, jeff and erica, for surprising us with the priceless gift of this video!

Amalie Orrange - 02/01/2012 - 9:58 pm

You guys are such an awesome inspiration! Congrats on your amazing family. Your videos always make me freakin cry, love them!

Michelle Stone - 01/31/2012 - 12:59 pm

I don’t know you guys and I have tears streaming down my face! absolutely. beautiful.

Brooke Baker - 01/05/2012 - 4:22 pm

Beautiful gift! Shouldn’t all parents, adopting or considering pregnancy, be asked such questions? By such a respectful judge.

Sarah Robertson - 01/04/2012 - 12:23 pm

TEARS! Jeff and Erica ARE amazing! what a gift to have this… Zion will watch it and rewatch it and rewatch it again someday with tears too, realizing the gift he has been given in you all! His will, His way, His time.

sharon - 01/03/2012 - 1:12 am

I have been reading your blog for the past year with a baby in my arms and have not put him down much to type comments but I just have to now that I have read Zion’s story and watched all the beautiful videos. Your love for him is so beautiful and what God is doing is so incredible! I love that his middle name is Jeremiah because we have a Jeremiah too. We lost a baby during birth a little over two years ago and God gave us Jeremiah Asher less than a year later. Our God is so awesome even in the midst of storms you can’t see your way through. The beauty that your family creates is so inspiring and is one of the reasons I have pursued photography as a way to embrace what God is doing in our lives. Praying for strength and joy for your family in 2012!

xo Sharon

Reagan - 01/02/2012 - 8:35 pm

love it! Simple as that!

Olivia - 01/02/2012 - 8:27 pm

Dear me, I’m crying all over the place! Absolutely one of the best things I have ever come across on the internet. Look at how beautiful and healthy Zion looks. Your love is powerful and your happiness is clear. Congratulations on your beautiful, expanded family! I very much enjoy your work!

Susan Keller - 01/02/2012 - 8:09 pm

happy, joyful sigh way out here in Calif. congratulations to your whole family – may God continue to richly bless you, hold you, guide you, fill you …

Maggie - 01/02/2012 - 5:02 pm

That is so beautiful and moving!! Congrats again : )

nate - 01/02/2012 - 1:58 am

this just made me smile so big. congrats you two! zion doesn’t know yet how lucky he is!

Keri Bryant - 01/02/2012 - 1:42 am

TEAAARS!!!!!! and I don’t even “know” you! :):) Isn’t Zion beauttiful and isn’t God amazing? if only there were many many others with hearts as wide open to His love and the love that adoption and parenting can bring. All the best to you 5. Thank you for sharing what matters most to start 2012!!!

Jamie Young - 01/02/2012 - 12:13 am

Oh, Jeremy & Ashley! What a beautiful video! My heart smiles for you and all 3 brothers! Zion is such a beautiful boy and growing up Parsons will be the most amazing journey for him! May God continue to bless you all!

ericamay - 01/01/2012 - 11:30 pm

we couldn’t be more happy to be a part of this day, and life, with you. we love zion (and the rest of you) so much. your words are beautiful. and so is that baby. :)

Kelly - 01/01/2012 - 10:55 pm

Thank you for sharing this video with us. What a beautiful way to end and begin a year. This is what life is all about on so many levels. Humbling, touching and most of all so joyful.

nate - 01/01/2012 - 9:51 pm

overjoyed for you guys, over joyed. love you, can’t wait to meet the new and improved parsons five soooooon :)

Rosina - 01/01/2012 - 9:02 pm

love, this is pure love! really, truly happy for your family. it’s almost like reaching the end of a book and it says, ‘and they lived happily ever after.’

so grateful to have had the chance to follow you through this journey somewhat.

xoxoxo

Erin - 01/01/2012 - 8:47 pm

Congratulations! He is so gorgeous!

Jewel - 01/01/2012 - 8:36 pm

oh my goodness. ohhh my goodness. the word “gift” just doesn’t quite do this justice. I just can’t help but think when Zion grows up and faces the challenges and hardships in knowing his true identity he is going to watch this sweet 3 minute film and have the blessing of being reminded of how much he is loved and desired.

Heidi and Kevin - 01/01/2012 - 8:26 pm

Absolutely… awesome. Congrats to Zion and your family. What a precious gift in this video and that little guy. :)

Kate - 01/01/2012 - 7:59 pm

I have been following your blogs for a little over a year now, and have been so moved by your story. I have a little guy named Zion, too! Thank you so much for sharing your lives with random people on the internet! I pray that you would be blessed beyond imagination in the year to come!