Thursday, March 4, 2010

Amy Wenzel Workshop Giveaway


WorkshopGiveaway




Amy Wenzel is giving away an amazing gift to the person who sends her a story that inspires her.

I think everyone has a story, so here is mine. My husband and I experienced one miscarriage and seven and a half years of infertility before being blessed with our first son through the miracle of adoption. Four years later, his little brother joined our family, also through adoption.

We had a comfortable life. God had blessed us so much that I almost felt guilty about it. Challenged at a women's retreat to pray for God to break my heart with what broke His, I began to pray that prayer.

A few months later, God brought the plight of baby girls in China to my attention. He sent us to bring a baby girl home. And I was changed. My eyes were opened to a new world--one in which there was poverty, pain and loneliness. A few months later, God told us He was sending us back to China for another. We brought her home and thought we were done. We felt REALLY done! Yeah...like as in old, stressed and tired!

But God... He put another little one on our hearts. Instantly, our hearts changed and we were invigorated with the joy that following Him into the wild unknown can bring. This time, He opened our hearts to kids with special needs. We brought a daughter with a limb difference home. A year later, another little one came home. She would have died in China from her heart condition except that God miraculously ordered events to keep her alive. And we were done. Right, God? Right?

Nope. Not yet. There was another. A little boy who was missing his ear. But God...I am tired and I don't even like kids! But that little boy's face haunted my every waking thought. And so we brought him home.


Two weeks before we went to China to get him, God pointed us in the direction of Guatemala where another little boy with special needs was waiting for a family. Six months later, we flew to Guatemala and right before Mother's Day, I was made the mother of 8 children. What in the world?? God is so funny!

Months later, another little girl with special needs was waiting for us in China. After our paperwork was there, God brought another little one with a severe heart condition to our attention. Miraculously, rules were relaxed and we were allowed to bring both girls home on the same trip.

Last year, we had three, 3 year olds, one of whom had open heart surgery a few months after coming home, and then our family moved from Michigan to Massachusetts. Early this year, our oldest son headed of to Army boot camp. God directed our every step and gave us the strength we needed to get through each day.


I never would have imagined I would be the mom to 10 kids, but God has chosen this path for us and we are on an adventure! I have learned to stay close to Him and that He is totally, utterly trustworthy!

I started taking photos of my kids and it became a passion. My dream is to provide free photos for families whose children are in the hospital and for seniors who cannot afford a professional photographer. I am involved with a calendar project to take photos of children with special needs who have been adopted to use for a fundraiser. We want the world to see that kids with special needs are beautiful and wonderful--not something to fear. I have had the privilege of helping other families adopt children with special needs and I am so thankful God has allowed me to help in some small way.

I also want to go back to China to photograph more of the precious kids who wait for families. Pictures of children speak to hearts. I know because God used the photos of some of my children to grab my heart and want to bring them home. I am dying to learn more about Photoshop and would love to learn all the cool tricks the 'real' photographers use.


Please go read all the other entries at I Heart Faces and be inspired today!

60 comments:

  1. ok, I'm bawling. Beautiful story. What an amazing woman you are.

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  2. What a blessing you are to your children. God has truly used you to bless both them and others as you are opening the eyes of people to see the needs of others.

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  3. What a wonderful story! Good luck :)
    PS-thanks for the blog love :)

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  4. Yes...a wonderful story of blessings all around. GOOD FOR YOU! Beautiful pictures and a beautiful life. All the best to you and your family!

    {kelly @ illustrations}

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  5. Wow, bless your heart! 10 kids- I can barely manage two! LOL. Thanks for sharing your story!

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  6. WOW..WOW..and WOW!!! amazing story, people like you are so inspiring!!Thank you for sharing your story!

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  7. Certainly a very deserving winner! Congratulations on being a mom of ten and winning!

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  8. Congratulations!!! Amazing story and so inspiring. May God continue to bless you in your journey.

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  9. Congratulations!! Very excited for you--you deserve it :)

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  10. Congratulations! What a wonderFULL story; you are the living example of loaves and fishes. Look at how you've been used, simply by putting yourself wholly in God's hands! Amazing....

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  11. Congratulations Karin! You are so deserving!

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  12. Congrats on winning! You deserve it! I hope you have a wonderful experience w/ Amy and will get to pursue your dream! God Bless!

    Hana
    MomTog Diaries

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  13. Congratulations to you. You have inspired me.

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  14. Wow, you are truly an inspiring woman. Congratulations on your well-deserved win!

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  15. congrats! what a special story - love what you want to do with your photography:)

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  16. You are beyond inspiring - what a fabulous story. Congratulations!

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  17. Congratulations! What a beautiful and inspiring story! You are so incredibly deserving not only of the workshop seat but of a fantastic opportunity to have a weekend focused on YOU!! I can't even imagine with 10 children, where 'you time' falls, cause I know with my 3 it's the last thing on the list!

    inJoy!
    Leah

    www,go4prophotos.com

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  18. Congratulations! You are truly deserving!!!

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  19. What a beautiful story! I'm so happy that you won the workshop seat.

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  20. Karin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I'm so thrilled for you - congrats on winning the spot to attend Amy's workshop. What a blessing! Really, truly, I'm dancing a happy dance on your behalf!!!

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  21. What a beautiful story of strength and faith! Congratulations you deserve this opportunity!

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  22. beautiful story, congratulations on winning, you deserve it!

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  23. you are such an inspiration. thank you for sharing your story! it is so refreshing to hear about someone who prayed for God to move them, felt God moving them, and then took the action to MOVE!!! Praise God!! thank you for blessing so many lives, especially the little ones. and congratulations!!! what a FUN thing to win -- you will have an amazing time!!

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  24. Wow. What an incredible story, Karin. Thank you for the reminder to look to Him for what He has planned for our lives - regardless of how far-reaching that plan may be. Those children are blessed to called you Mom. Enjoy the workshop. Much deserved.

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  25. Congratulations Karin!! I prayed that God would direct Amy to just the right person--you are that person! God bless you with your family that He chose just for you and your hubby!! Have a great time learning from Amy!! (I love the quote about being broken with the things that break the heart of God--this will be my prayer also)

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  26. Yay Karin!!!! I am SOOOO excited for you. I didn't read any of the other entries, but after reading yours I am ecstatic for you.
    I know God is going to use this so that He can use you even more.
    Praise God!!!!

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  27. You deserve to have this chance to go work with Amy and I am sure you will continue to touch the lives of many. You are a women of God and of strength, thank you for all you do!

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  28. Here is a post about your win!! Thanks for sharing your story!!
    http://cynthiagaylephotography.blogspot.com/2010/03/giveaway-winner.html

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  29. OMGosh OMGosh OMGosh I am SO EXCITED for you!!! You totally deserve this! And I can't WAIT to see the fruits of your classes!

    OK, I'm all emotional now....

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  30. So happy for you! Congratulations and have a wonderful time!

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  31. Karin, I am SO excited for you! Excited that you get the chance of a lifetime to go to this workshop, but more so you get a much needed weekend all to yourself! WOOHOO!!! I knew you were going to be in the running after reading about your touching journey! Have a blast and tell us all about it when you get back! ;)

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  32. Oh Karin - congratulations - if anyone deserves this, you do, for not only is your story amazing, but you also have so much more in your heart to give and in such a beautiful way. I just recently saw some heart breaking photos so children with cleft palates who need surgery and my heart broke a hundred times over and I keep replaying those images in my head so you are right that images speak to people. For you to use your gift in that way is a beautiful thing. I have just started doing the same, but giving shoots to people who are having troubled times, and it feels so good, so meaningful. So congratulations - may you learn so much from Amy, but by the sounds of things, all those who are on the workshop will be learning a lot from you too. All the best and I look forward to following your amazing story. xxx

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  33. im crying!!!!!!!! i never cry!!! God is good! the woman with none now has many!! blessings to you and yours!!!

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  34. Congratulations, Karin! ENJOY!!

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  35. Congratulations Karin, I hope you benefit greatly! You seem like a very inspiring person! God bless!

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  36. I am so glad someone as deserving as you won this! You are being blessed because you are such a blessing to so many! Enjoy the workshop and your future in photograpy (along with motherhood)!

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  37. Wow....congratulations. Amy picked the right one. Enjoy the workshop (and all those beautiful kids.)

    Blessings!

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  38. I've visited here before and was touched by your sidebar, so this story was even better. It is beautiful what God can make when we make ourselves willing and available. Thank you for sharing it with the world.

    Have a fantastic time collecting your prize!!

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  39. Amazing story Karin, congrats on winning. I can't wait to hear all about your workshop. Great job, I am so happy for you.

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  40. Congratulations Karin! You totally deserve it!

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  41. Congratulations on winning the Amy Wenzel Workshop giveaway!

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  42. You're amazing! Congratulations! I sent all my love to such a courageous person!

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  44. Karin - "Thank You!" to you and your husband for opening your hearts and home to 10 beautiful children that craved and needed loving parents.

    So happy you won the Amy Wenzel Workshop giveaway. Congratulations and every blessing to you!

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  45. Beautiful. Congratulations - you inspire me!

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  46. That's a beautiful story, and I'm so glad that you will get to go to the workshop!!! God bless!

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  47. Thank you all so much for the well-wishes. I am in total shock to be chosen. My kids are truly the more inspiring members of our family. People have said that they don't even notice their special needs--and to me that is such an amazing tribute to their bright spirits.

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  48. I am so veryhappy for you Karin, to be the winner! You absolutely most definitely deserve it. You will enjoy it and learn a lot. I had the privilege to attend my very first workshop and learned a lot. I was also inspired to not worry too much about editing or how to take a picture but the subject of the picture. And your subjects are all gorgeous! Your cause is absolutely worthy. I have a very good friend, professional photographer who takes pics of children whose parents cannot afford to pay for them. So, I am thrilled to see more people with that vision. May Jesus be with your every step of the way as you serve HIm by raising these little ones. Blessings,
    Natalie

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  49. Congratulations, Karin. I pray that you will be blessed abundantly with knowledge and a wonderful group of photographers to connect with while at Amy's workshop. Have a GREAT time! I love your story! You are an amazing woman of God.

    www.maganslens.com

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  50. Congrats! What a beautiful story God has orchestrated through you! Can't wait to check back and hear about your adventures :)

    Jenn

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  51. Congrats!! What a beautiful story!!
    My heart skipped a few beats when I read this line "My dream is to provide free photos for families whose children are in the hospital..." I am feeling led to do something very similar, but I dont know where or how to get started... (I believe God has led me here!) any advice? I would love to hear it!

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  52. Woo hoo!!! Congratulations!! I can see that Amy did a fantastic job picking her winner. Have fun!

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  53. God bless!!!! I am so touched by your heart and the story you have shared with us!! Thank you and congratulations on the next new adventure that awaits you...look forward to see how this spurs you on in your future!! :) Yaaay!!!

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