Right now as I type this, Jerry is in the first few hours of his new career!!
Don’t worry, he will still be shooting weddings with me too :)
Until now Jerry has been in the construction and remodel industry as an Interior Designer for Lowes, specializing in Kitchen and Bath remodels. He is amazing at it. But despite his extensive experience in construction and his joy of building and remodeling, his heart the last few years has been aching to take a different direction.
If you have followed Jerry’s story over the last few years then you likely know about his angels, his kiddos, Hudson and Leila. Hudson and Leila, 3 years apart in age, were both born with a genetic brain disease called Batten’s that eventually claimed them to heaven in 2014.
They began their lives as normal kids. Talking. Running. Playing. But around age 4 for both of them, the seizures began and their speech and motor function started to decline. With the instruction and help of special needs mentors and professionals, Jerry started implementing therapies at home that would help preserve their motor skills and speech, and keep their brains exercised as much as possible throughout the slow decline that Batten’s would take on them. He loved seeing the difference these methods would make on his kids!
When they passed away in 2014, Jerry knew immediately he would love to work with special needs children somehow, maybe through the Special Education program at the school that Hudson and Leila attended. He inquired with them about a career there but of course a degree in special education would be a necessity and our lives at that time were not conducive to going back to school for a degree. So the thought of a career in helping Special Needs children was on the back burner.
Fast forward to early 2016 as we grow closer and closer to some of our most favorite people in the universe – our friends Heather & Jared! Heather, alongside her career as a wedding photographer with her husband Jared, is a Behavioral Therapist and works for a company specializing in assisting children with Autism.
In describing her job there and the joys she gets from connecting with these children and witnessing their milestones of progress, Jerry knew immediately he wanted IN. After a lot of prayer about making this career change and so many doors opening for him to be able to do this, we knew exactly where God was leading him.
Last week, after months of preparation, Jerry passed his exam and is now a Registered Behavioral Therapist! Beginning today he will be working with children primarily diagnosed with Autism and helping them learn and develop in speech, education and life skills.
Just to clarify, our wedding photography business will remain the same! We will still be shooting weddings together and with this new work schedule having him home earlier each day, he will actually be able to accompany me to more of our engagement and bridal sessions too :)
I am SO so proud of this man of mine and his huge heart and desire to honor his kids and to be a blessing to other families in an effort to pay forward for all the blessings he received from so many others who helped him with Hudson and Leila.
But more so than my pride for him – I know without a doubt that Hudson and Leila are the most proud of their Dad!
Here are some photos we took in September of 2013 with Jerry, Hudson and Leila. Hudson is 8 here and Leila, 5: