Years ago, long before I ever envisioned starting a portrait business, there was a woman who mentioned, on several occasions, she wanted to hire me to capture her family through the inspired lens she had seen me capture my own family. She helped to lay the seeds that would grow where Jennifer DiDio Photography is today. This is just one of the many reasons Kathi is dear to me. I have chronicled her family over the years and when it was time to celebrate Kathi’s 25th wedding anniversary, she knew just the gift that would delight her husband. Unveil your Cinderella Couture portrait work to celebrate a love affair that began back in highschool and now marks 25 years of devotion since their “I do.”
When you know Kathi, it’s easy to see why she and Brian have gotten to the 25th year mark and are still celebrating the union God has blessed between them. She is a woman who has made it her life’s ambition to build into those around her. She has boundless energy and vigor to impact her world around her with the Gospel of hope the Lord offers us. She recently went back to school to begin a new career as an RN. She was attending college classes in the same year as her daughter and now is a graduate working as an RN. She has embraced this new challenge with excellence, desiring to be just a tiny piece of healing to a hurting world.
Last year she journeyed to Haiti on a mission trip to Mission of Hope. She returned after a week, but a part of her heart remained. The devastation she saw rocked her world in a way that has moved far beyond sympathy…she is a woman of action. The stories she brought back compelled her whole family to want to go to Haiti as well. This family connection to Haiti has so captured the hearts of Kathi’s family that they have decided to further put feet to the Gospel of hope they bring by giving two Haitian orphans a permanent home with them! That’s right, with two kids in college and a high schooler, Brian and Kathi are planning to embark again on the journey of parenting little ones. They are requesting two children, hopefully a brother and sister, between the ages of 3-7. They believe adopting young children will give the children the best chance at adapting to a new language and culture.
At their stage of life, when most parents are seeing their daily responsibilities wind down, they are investing more heavily than they ever. They have been asked repeatedly why, with their biological children almost gone, they would consider adopting young children. Their response–‘The neat thing about having older kids is that they really aren’t gone. It’s just a different stage. They are still very much part of our family and home for weekends, holidays and all summer. We aren’t quite ready to move into the “Golden Acres Retirement Home” yet. Talk about making this one life count! Incredibly they have also seen God work in amazing ways to provide the funds an expensive adoption like this requires. In ways that have blown them away and helped them to know God is a friend to the orphans.
As if this was not enough, Kathi is also spear heading an effort to help equip women in Haiti with sewing machines so they might have an employable skill and earn income to help them support their families. Jobs are the key to ending the poverty and devastation that seems to have a a strangle hold on Haiti. This dream started with a journey to donate her sewing machine and a pile of supplies from Joanne Fabric from the borders of Maryland to the shores of Haiti. There are piles of hurdles to jump over to make this happen on a scale larger than a handful of machines. When all the process seems to overwhelming, Kathi questioned if she was the one to lead this charge, ‘I don’t even sew,’ she says. That’s when Brian said, ‘if not you, then who?’ The marching orders have been spoken. That’s just part of why these two are such a great team! Here’s to your next 25 years Kathi & Brian! Can’t wait to see the story of your life unfold further!