Anytime we hear of a vendor that gives back, we just have to give them the spotlight! After meeting Chris of Eden Anne Films at The Big Fake Wedding Raleigh, we were so moved by his business model of “Films Funding Adoptions.” After the loss of their own daughter, Chris and his wife Heidi started thinking about how they could help others who had been through similar experiences. After having countless conversations with grieving couples, they found just the answer. They have committed to putting a portion of each Eden Anne Film directly back to an adoption fund to help couples grow their family. Their story is inspiring and we’re thankful to get to share it with you. It’s without hesitation that we introduce you to Eden Anne Films in today’s Vendor Highlight!
Tell us more about the story behind Eden Anne Films.
Eden Anne is the name of our daughter we lost during our first pregnancy in 2015. We lost her 28 weeks into the pregnancy on the first day of the third trimester. The weeks leading up to the bad news, Eden was a lively baby. She loved to dance and especially after eating a big batch of dark chocolate chip cookies I made one evening. Every year we make a batch of the cookies in honor of her. We call them our “Eden Cookies.” Sadly, Eden came into the world as a stillborn on January 22, 2015. Her heart just stopped. Doctors said a lot of times a cause for death cannot be found. We got to hold Eden, she was a little under a 2 pounds, cutest little face, with the tiniest little hands and feet. For my wife Heidi and I this was the hardest day of our lives, but even in the midst of this dark moment we found so much joy holding our baby girl on that day.
From this experience we were reminded of the brevity and beauty of life, to be alive in this world is an absolute miracle, and we must never take life for granted.
We as people have a fear of forgetting. We want to remember people, places, moments and times. This is why I love filmmaking, because over time our memory tends to fade, and films keep beautiful moments and stories alive in our minds. Film also creates a special way to share our stories with others. Eden Anne Films will honor our daughter and the beautiful reminder she was to us while helping others cherish and share their special moments forever.
How have you incorporated a model of giving back into your business?
Through the films we make, we not only want to help others remember meaningful moments in their lives, but we also want to help fund adoptions through the films we make. After we lost Eden, and had the opportunity to share our story with others, we had many couples come up and share their own stories of loss, pain and suffering. They shared their childless or the loss of a child stories with us.
The whole concept of “giving back business model” stemmed from these conversations and our experience of losing Eden…so my initial thought, as I was driving home from work was to “help others who went through what we went through.” The specifics of how to give back became clearer a few weeks later from a dream my wife Heidi had. Long story short…as she explained her dream to me the next morning, she said she was in a school or orphanage surrounded by kids and talking with them. On the wall, behind one of the kids was a name painted on the wall “John Quill.” My response was…“John Quill?!…Who is that?” So what does any person do when they have a question? They Google it! Google has an answer for everything. So we googled “Who is John Quill?…Meaning of John Quill” We were surprised to learn from Google that Daffodil flowers are called “Jonquil” flowers…and…according to EasyFlowers.com, jonquil flowers symbolically mean “Love Me,” “Affection Returned,” desire, sympathy, or desire for affection returned…that is exactly what an orphan desires and is crying out “Love me! Show me affection!” Couples, unable to have children or who have lost a child desire to show love and affection to a child of their own. Both desire for family where unconditional love is fostered and reciprocated .
From all of this…Eden Anne Films wants to help be a part of creating families by funding adoptions and finding children homes. We have set-up an adoption fund called the Jonquil Adoption Fund through the National Christian Foundation. A portion of payment from each film project or individual donations will go straight into the adoption fund. My desire is to be able to present a family or multiple families looking to adopt with a check to help them fund their own adoption and grow their own family. Eden Anne Films is currently talking with two adoption agencies to partner with and locate families in need of financial assistance.
What is the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is being able to inspire others, create films to help others appreciate and remember meaningful moments from their lives and helping unite childless couples with orphans to start a family together through funding adoptions…I also like to make people laugh and cry. If a video makes me tear up, then I know it’s done…
Describe a highlight or pivotal moment in your career.
Transitioning out of my job as a youth minister after about 8 years take on Eden Anne Films full time.
What are you most proud of?
Family. My wife Heidi who I love and has supported me every step of the way even when it’s been a challenge. I’m proud of our sweet, silly 21 month old daughter “Elora” who fills us with so much joy.
Sarah Joann Photography