Our Dear Friends, The Thomas’ // Joplin Missouri Family Photography

It’s hard to know where to begin. Our hearts are so sad but so excited for our friends, Michael, Ayla, and baby James! They are leaving on Saturday to head to Mexico to work as missionaries with an organization called Amor. (Read more about Amor HERE!)

We have known them for about 6 years now and throughout the years I have gotten to be a part of some VERY special moments!

This session was back in 2011. I did a little contest on my facebook page and Ayla won!
Then in 2012, Michael asked me to help him with something special for Ayla! He wanted to ask Ayla to marry him, but wanted it to be documented so he had me tag along for a “random photoshoot.”
Then of course the wedding!
One Year Anniversary photos!
Gender Reveal! Baby James!

Teepee maternity Photos!

The birth. I offered to document this moment for her if she wanted me to. At first she wasn’t a huge fan of the idea. Understandably so! But towards the end of her pregnancy, she changed her mind and decided to go ahead and have me come and take photos for her. It was such a beautiful experience for me. Every since I had my first daughter 2.5 years ago, birth has fascinated me. Getting to be apart of this moment with them was priceless.
Newborn photos <3
Last family photos in their home before selling all of their things.
A little mini, breastfeeding, mama and baby shoot for Ayla and James.
BFayla sneak-1BFayla sneak-4BFayla sneak-6BFayla sneak-8
And finally, one last family shoot before they leave.
This family means so much to me. They are one of the most giving and selfless people I have ever met. There have been many times where they dropped what they were doing to help us or many others they know. When they leave, they will be missed terribly. As the day of their departure nears, I feel such a deep sadness, but at the same time, I am SO thankful for their selflessness to completely sell everything¬†and¬†move to another country to help spread God’s love to those who don’t know Him. They are such an inspiration to me. They are saying YES to God’s call on their life and I’m so proud to call them my friends.

Jessica Wagner
Beauty of Grace Photography

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