Christina Block Photography
San Marco, FL
Pitt Hopkins is a neurodevelopmental disorder that has around 400 known cases worldwide. Intellectual disability, development delay, reoccurring seizures, and breathing problems are some of the symptoms associated with this disorder. While there are no current treatments available, there are things that can be done to manage the symptoms. I wanted you, the reader, to have an understanding of this disorder before I introduced the twins.
Did I say twins? Sure did! Meet Seth and Carter. Within a few minutes of talking with their mom, Tiffany, I could immediately tell a difference in the two. Seth, whom the mom refers to as sweet Seth, is a deep thinker, very sensitive, sweet-hearted, silly, and loving. Carter, whom the mom refers to as crazy Carter, could be described as wild, crazy (in a light-hearted sense, of course), opinionated, and a momma’s boy.
Let me back up for a moment. When the twins reached around 4-5 months old, Tiffany noticed they were not reaching average milestones as other babies their age. For instance, the boys never tried to hold their bottle, made no effort to sit up, no rolling over or even crawling, favoring use of their left hand, and their bodies were basically floppy (as described by Tiffany) with no real tone. She continually told her pediatrician that something was wrong and she was constantly told they were fine and not to worry. After years of this going on, and her not getting any solid input from the in-town doctors, she decided to reach out to Harvard and have the boys take part in a research study which ultimately lead to their official diagnosis, right before their 4th birthdays.
After spending time talking with Tiffany, she mentioned that an official diagnosis was want she had been longing for. Could you imagine knowing something is wrong with your child (or children) and not getting any straight answers from doctors? It would be hugely frustrating, to say the least. During the study, when the boys were around 3 years of age, Tiffany’s husband felt that their current situation was too much for him and left the family, ultimately leading to a divorce. After one struggle came another. Seth and Carter now live in a single family home. Tiffany is taking care of and raising these boys all on her own.
When I first reached out to Tiffany, I had asked her to give me a little insight on her and her boys. I could immediately tell this mom held nothing but love for her boys. Instead of treating this situation as a heartache, she is treating it as a blessing. When talking with me she said, “Our life may be difficult and different, but it’s no less amazing. I’m glad that God blessed me with Seth and Carter. They are truly the best things that ever happened to me. They make me a better person, they teach me patience and acceptance, they show me unconditional love, their happiness is my happiness, they lead me towards the Lord, and in serving them I am fulfilled.”
Seth & Carter (now 7 years old) may not be able to walk, sit up on their own, talk, or even feed themselves, but they enjoy things just as any other boys their age. Some of their favorite things to do include: swimming (being in the water), car rides with the windows down and music up, snuggling, or the simple act of being tickled. I can tell you first hand that their smiles are huge and contagious, their eyes just sparkle away and truly light up when they are loving on their mommy. I asked Tiffany what would she ask them if they could talk and communicate with her. She answered in saying, “I’d ask them what their favorites are; favorite things to eat and do and places to go. I’d ask what they would like to change and what I could do differently.” It’s obvious to me that them being comfortable and taken care of is what is on her mind the most.
There was a moment when we brought the boys into her bedroom to photograph them and I have to admit my eyes were continually tearing up. They weren’t tearing up because I was sad for them, they were tearing up because I was just so thankful that Seth and Carter were given to her. I cannot imagine a better mom than Tiffany is to her sons. During the shoot I felt and witnessed nothing but the joy and love that filled their home.
Before I left, I asked Tiffany what her life looks like in 20 years, she looked at me with a smile and said she will be taking care of Seth and Carter, the boys she loves the most.
Owner of Christina Block Photography, Christina resides in the San Marco area located in Jacksonville, Florida, and is a mom to her precious son, Asher. Her love for photography started over 10 years ago while taking a film course at a local community college. For many years she did street work with her Canon A-1 in hand and by shooting nothing but rolls of black and white film. To her, there is nothing more beautiful and inspiring than a black and white photograph that shows pure emotion. Christina has successfully been running her photography business over 5 years now, where her concentration is in portraiture, lifestyle, commercial work, and intimate weddings. Her son and life’s simple moments are by far what she holds dearest to her heart.