By the Grace of God

We feel in love with Joe and Olivia after reading about the incredible journey they’ve both been through, and about how god brought them together in unlikely circumstances. You can see the love that they have for each other in their engagement photos, taken in Ontario, Oregon by Double Take Photography. They used Joe's family horses and his grandpa's Model A car to make this engagement session unique.

Read about their touching story below:

I have never considered myself to be reverent of God or His will until I met my husband.  

So how does meeting my husband make me a firm believer of God and His will? Here's where the real story begins...

 I was born with Amniotic Band Constriction Syndrome which disfigured my hands. By God's grace, I was able to have surgery at the Shriner's Hospital for Children in Portland, Oregon to separate my fingers which gave me the most mobility with my hands. Growing up in a small town with a population of 150 (including all pets) in Eastern Oregon was a simple life to live. I played basketball, volleyball, and softball. I was in band and choir, served as an FFA Chapter Vice President - I was your typical all American girl. My parents raised me; alongside my sisters; just like any normal kid. I had never heard the "D" word until high school when my basketball coach told me I would never make the starting varsity team because of my "disability." I would spend the next 4 years proving to him that just because I may physically look different doesn't mean I have a disability. My senior year I was a starting guard.

Joe was born a rough and tough little cowboy/farmer from the start. You could always find him outside with the horses or playing with his cow trucks and loaders in the dirt. Growing up he became quite the team roper and tractor driver. In 8th grade, however; his life would be forever changed. Joe suffered not one but two strokes. He was playing touch-football during lunch recess that turned into tackle football. He and another kid collided and Joe walked away with a severe concussion. The concussion led to a dissected vessel which caused the strokes to occur. He spent the next several months struggling through speech, occupational and physical therapy. After his strokes, the easiest activity that Joe enjoyed doing was to sleep as much as possible. The most difficult was getting his pants buttoned.

After high school graduation, I moved 200 miles away for college and everything changed. I hated school, dated the wrong guy for a couple of years, became very depressed and eventually transferred back home to the local community college where I met my now husband Joe. I met Joe at an Ag Ambassador meeting. We were friends for about six months before we started dating. After I graduated from community college, I transferred to a university to obtain a Master’s Degree in Agricultural Sciences. We continued to date long distance for two years. We were both busy with school and work yet somehow we managed to make it work. After about a year of dating, we got engaged. We were engaged for 9 months and got married September 23, 2017.

Joe and I have been able to connect with each other on a deeper level than most couples. We look at how God put us both in testing situations and how our stories have led us to one another. God knew that Joe and I needed to be together. Throughout life - God will both test and reward you. Well, folks, I got my reward.

Location: Ontario, Oregon

Photographer: Double Take Photography

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