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 by Slice of Lime Photography Website

Raising five little ones age six and under . . . meet the Bay Family. They are Beauty Revived.

Erin and Trent were first introduced to adoption when there was an announcement and a flier during a church service they were attending. Erin looked at Trent and asked if he had ever considered adoption, and he responded “Have you?” Erin indicated this was the first feeling they got that this might be something for their future. They shared that they didn’t know that adoption was for them just yet, but moved forward in faith until a door closed. They prayed a lot and really felt that this was something God was leading them to do.

They started their adoption journey with a focus on international adoption from Uganda, where Erin had spent some time and fallen in love with the people and the country. Erin shared, “I think it was a lot more natural (and less scary) for some reason to think of adoption from Africa, than local foster-to-adopt.” However, after months of Ugandan paperwork, they felt that God was shutting the door to international adoption hard. But Trent had always wanted to pursue domestic foster-to-adopt, so they started looking into that. Through a friend they looked into a local agency and since most of their home study paperwork was already done, the approval process was really quick.

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Initially, their hearts were set on a sibling group of boys, since they already had two biological daughters. But God had other plans.

After several calls from their agency that were not a great fit, Erin and Trent got a call with a sibling group of three girls. Erin shared that “This felt so right.” With a lot of people praying for them, the decision was mutual among everyone and the girls were placed in their home.

After fostering the girls for almost two years, the adoption was finalized in December of 2014.

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They shared that the most rewarding thing for them has been watching the girls grow and flourish; however, Erin noted that the most challenging aspect was not knowing what trauma the girls had gone through. What she has learned through this journey about grief and loss and how it’s tied to the adoption process is that every human/child handles grief differently. All three girls have had very different responses to the trauma they’ve endured. She says they have also learned that whether the girls remember their experiences or not, they all have had a loss that they need to grieve and will do so in their own time and way.

One of the myths that as adoptive parents the Bays wish to dispel is that foster children are “hopeless.” Erin shared that there is so much joy in their home. “We’ve seen a child go from blank, spark-less eyes, to being the biggest belly laugher and lover of life.“ Erin admitted that the negative stories she had heard about foster care adoption almost drove her away, but that Trent’s assurances of why they were doing it was the best gift. She notes that “there are harder days, but HOPE is never gone.”

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To a parent considering adoption , Erin encourages “Don’t expect perfection. Parenting is messy and these kids will require you to adjust your style and your expectations of how you parent. In return, they will teach you so much about love, grace, hope, and unconditional love.” She also encourages prospective adoptive parents to not fear how this will affect their biological children. She notes that “in this journey the relationship between our biological and adopted kids has been the most profound statement of love. My kids teach me every day how to truly love someone even when you are different. “ Erin closed her story by stating, “My biological children are seeing how we can truly be the hands and feet of Jesus as we acknowledge those in need, and then do something about it. I hope and pray they carry this forever.”

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