Photography by Rachael Venema Photography
Meet Sunshine. She is Beauty Revived.
Meet Sunshine. Her parents named her Sunshine, because of how happy and bubbly she is all of the time. She has a huge heart for others and just shines brightly when you’re around her. She’s not one that likes attention drawn to herself, but it was a joy to plan her session and create beautiful portraits of her because she’s just easy to be around. She has a very calming, easy going presence and is enjoyable to hang out with.
At 9 months old she was put into foster care and was moved to two different foster homes before making it to her current adopted family’s home when they adopted her when she was 1 year old. She was adopted with her brother, Tyler. Her parents have adopted 4 kids in all.
Sunshine loves to play the piano and sing songs to the Lord and bless others with her music. She served as a worship leader in youth group and was lead singer and piano player. She also works at the YMCA’s Kids Corner and is a teacher assistant. She loves children and says her job doesn’t really feel like a job, but gives her the opportunity to do what she loves. One boy, that attends her class at the YMCA, is autistic and cannot talk or show emotion like a regular child usually can. He connected with her when she started to sit down and talk to him showing him animals and the sounds they make. Just giving him the attention he needed. She noticed that the other children do not play with him because he does not play like they do. Her supervisor told her that she has made an impact on his life by showing him he is valued and by giving him the attention he needs. But Sunshine says that this little boy has shown her that her passion and decision to go to school to be a child play therapist is where God is leading her. She wants to make a difference in children’s lives who haven’t had the best experiences in life. She definitely feels that God is calling her to make a difference in these children’s lives and make an impact on them to make their futures better.
She is also apart of a class called People Helping where they do a Christmas project and get a present for the elementary students who’s parents cannot afford to get them gifts. They also give them clothes, boots, hats, and gloves and anything to bless them and show that people care about them. Sunshine said it is very humbling because she gets to see the smiles on the kids faces, even when they just opened a simple gift of socks.
Her youth group also serves the community doing yard work for anyone, but more focused on the elderly. It has showed her how even doing something that may seem like a small task, such as yard work, makes a big difference in someone’s life.
It is amazing to see what a kind, loving heart Sunshine has for those around her. She doesn’t take her life for granted and through her parents love for her and God’s love for her, she now shows others what true love is. When you are with her, she gives you her time and attention and shows them they have someone there that truly cares for them.
About the Photographer
Rachael is the owner of a boutique portrait photography studio in Oskaloosa, IA. She loves to see her customers portraits beautifully displayed in their homes. When not working on her business, she is busy with her husband and 3 children. She has a heart for serving and loves using her gifts to bless others. She volunteers at the local school, is a volunteer for NILMDTS, and The Gold Hope Project.