Josiah & Jolin | Lackawanna State Park, PA Maternity

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It would seem to be fitting to post these two sweetheart’s maternity session this week as they just welcomed their precious little girl into the world this Monday aptly named Naya Annaelle.  Why aptly though?  Well, let me back up and share with you a little of their story….

Jolin and I first met in college where we shared the same dorm.  Jolin also has a love for photography and through her sweet spirit and our common interests we spent many nights discussing life, love, and passions we had.  Josiah, who also went to the same college as us, was known primarily as the guy that all the girls noticed- attractive, sweet, and could play guitar and sing. Apparently a match made in heaven for many a female ha ha.  I heard his name thrown out all the time—except for when it came to Jolin. So, as many a love story goes, an attraction started out of mere initial lack of interest from one party… that party being Jolin.

It took Josiah graduating and heading off to teach in Haiti though before anything happened between these two.  And when it happened, it happened fast and was beautiful. I remember distinctly the wide smile that would spread across Jolin’s face as she talked about Josiah and her anticipation for when their next Skype date would be. Finally they decided to date from a distance and Jolin’s heart began falling not only in love with Josiah, but with the place he called home now… Haiti.

Well, it wasn’t long before Josiah came back to get down on one knee and before you knew it and they were married and heading back to Haiti but this time together as husband and wife.  And that’s where they’ve been for the last two years- changing lives, ministering to the locals, exploring the region, making Haiti their home…. until their life got completely turned upside down this last winter.

It was with much anticipation and excitement that Jolin and Josiah were able to travel home this last Christmas to surprise their families with not only their arrival, but the beautiful news of a new little life being added to their family.  But what began as joy and celebration soon turned into much research and anxiety as they returned back to their home in Haiti to find that the Zika virus had spread all over the area.  After having some serious and hard discussions with the local midwives and friends in Haiti, Josiah and Jolin made the heartwrenching decision to leave their home in Haiti and head back to the states for the safety of their little’s life. So with a quick pack up of all their belongings, an abrupt goodbye to all their Haitian family and friends, and no plan, they headed back to the states.

And that is where they are now, friends, trucking through the hardships of life together. Living their lives day by day trusting that God’s plan is bigger than theirs.  And it is for that reason that this maternity session was so very dear to both me and them, because it will forever preserve a time in their life when they had to open their hands fully and let God take complete control.  So welcome to the world Naya Annaelle! You were wonderfully created and aptly named because…

“Naya Annaelle’s name is a reminder of Haiti and some of the beautiful people we met there. Naya meaning “new” and Annaelle meaning “God is gracious”. Surely He has been! Praising God for this beautiful gift and loving being parents already!” -Jolin

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