Beauty Revived has joined with Adoption.com to bring you the 50 Most Inspiring Adoption Stories. We have found 50 amazing photographers with big hearts to donate a session to tell the story of an inspiring adoption story in their community.

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Photography for this session by Kelly Lovan Photography.  Visit her website here.

We call Bella our angel baby. Bella is a baby who has been dreamed of, hoped for, imagined, and prayed for. Our story begins several years ago when my husband Charlie and I struggled with conceiving a child. The Lord answered our prayers and we gave birth to two beautiful sons. While we were praying and waiting for children we felt a tugging to adopt domestically.

After our second son was born, we continued to research and pray about adoption. We felt that the Lord was trying to get our attention about adoption, but the timing never seemed right. We had many fears and excuses. We let fear lead us instead of truly listening.

What we did not know was that God was not only calling us to adopt, he was working on the hearts of our children. When our oldest son, Josiah, was 4 years old he woke me up in the middle of the night to tell me that he had a dream. In his dream he said a baby girl with black hair named Isabella came to live with us. He said that one day she would be his sister. Any parent knows that when your 4-year-old wakes you up in the middle of the night standing right beside your bed, it can be startling. But for your young child to wake you up to tell you such a strange vision, it’s hard to go back to sleep. This was the moment we finally listened.

The adoption process is quite a journey. It can be an emotional roller coaster. For two and a half years we journeyed through two failed adoptions. Anyone who has experienced failed adoptions knows that at times you think you might just give up. We had feelings like this will never happen, and thought maybe God wasn’t calling us. We were stressed about finding finances to continue the process. The day after our second failed adoption I was heartbroken. Our oldest son saw me crying and he told the family that we needed to pray. He asked the Lord to help us never give up and to bring his sister home. It was at that moment that I realized the Lord was drawing my family towards Him. He wanted us to not just say we believed He was able, but that He would in fact fight for us and we didn’t have to do anything but wait. 1 Thessalonians 5:24 says, “God will make this happen, for He who calls you is faithful.”

I learned that God was taking us the long way around to what He had always called us to do. We changed the way we thought, even though it was hard at times. We were excited to see how this journey would grow our faith, and that we could choose to thank God for what He was going to do. And then God started giving us joy in the wait! During the journey, God opened up so many experiences for us to share our faith.

My God never ceases to amaze me! We would joke that we would love a Hallmark Christmas baby. And I even had a dream before Christmas about an African American baby girl that was our daughter. The evening after Christmas I received a call from our adoption agency that there was a baby born in another state and that if we left and drove there overnight, we could meet this sweet baby the next morning to adopt. I called Charlie at work and told him that we had to get in the car now. I just knew that this was the baby in my dream. As we ran around packing our bags, my oldest son told us to stop and pray. He wanted to thank God and pray for the baby girl.

We met Isabella the next day at the hospital. We ate lunch with the birth mom and prayed with her over our sweet daughter right there in the NICU. God had been leading us to this birth mom and baby girl the whole time.

This is only the beginning of the journey. We now are blessed to raise our daughter in the ways of the Lord, and give her a life full of love and support. God has a great purpose for Bella, and all our family and friends will be a part of leading her to that calling.

Maybe today God is calling you to adopt, or your heart is broken from years of waiting. Remember our God is never late. He is always on time. God pursues us. He calls out for us. He waits for us. God adopts us. Adoption is a beautiful gift that we not only can receive, we can also give. Listen to your heart and believe.

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