50 Most Inspiring Adoption Stories with Beauty Revived: Part 13

Beauty Revived has joined with Adoption.com to bring you 50 Most Inspiring Adoption Stories.

Michelle Gifford June 17, 2015
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50 Most Inspiring Adoption Stories with Beauty Revived: Part 13

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.

Want to learn more about Beauty Revived and see the rest of the pictures? Check it out here and on Instagram.

Photography for this session provided by Jackie Harley Photography Facebook Instagram

Our Adoption Story
Our story began our freshman year of college in 1998, where we met at our dormitory and have been inseparable ever since. After six years of working through undergraduate and graduate school, we knew we belonged together forever. We made it through tremendous adversity, specifically doing a long-distance relationship for two years, and when Devon was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus in 2000, and was hospitalized numerous times for complications. We were married July 5, 2003. Paul is caring, generous, intelligent, and genuinely finds the best in everyone. Devon has an incredible amount of patience and compassion, energy and enthusiasm, love and laughter. We consider each day a gift, and never take any day for granted.

We have been truly blessed with not only each other, but also our families, friends, and our lives, and after five years of marriage we decided to share those blessings with a child. In June 2008 we found out we were pregnant. We were ecstatic, and started the “getting ready for baby” process. But by September, we were told there were “nonspecific complications” with the baby, and Devon was hospitalized with even more lupus complications. In October we found out that, at 21 weeks, our baby still hadn’t developed the vital organs that should have been present by that point, and on October 21st we lost the baby. Going through the hormonal rollercoaster of pregnancy made Devon’s lupus even more aggressive, and in early 2009 she had to undergo extensive chemotherapy to try to get the lupus back under control. Unfortunately the extreme toxic therapy rendered her unable to become pregnant in the future. We had to grieve the loss of our baby, in addition to the loss of the babies that we could never birth in the future.

But by fall 2011, the grieving process wilted, and we decided that adoption would be the best way to expand our family. We started the process in November, and by Mother’s Day 2012 we found out that we had been matched with a birth mother! We were so excited! We had 5 weeks to “get ready,” and then would fly out to meet our birth mother the night before she was induced. We spoke to her numerous times over the phone, and even though at first it was terrifying (would she like us?!), we instantly fell into an easy camaraderie. We flew out June 18, 2012 and took her to dinner. Everyone mentioned how comfortable it was, and how much it felt like family. We were so excited for the following day!

On June 19, 2012, Alexander Paul was born at 10:31 AM at 7lbs 14oz! We immediately fell in love with the cute little bundle! Since that day he has made us smile and laugh, cry tears of joy, but mostly feel overwhelmed by the amount of love that we have for him. We spend most of our time with grandpas and grandmas, aunts and uncles, cousins and friends. Now at 2 1/2 years old, Alex hardly ever spends a weekend without an (ad)”venture!” Life is so wonderful, and we are so grateful to our wonderful birth mother who not only made this all happen, but made it so comfortable and easy, and just “meant to be.”

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Michelle Gifford

Michelle Gifford is the founder of Beauty Revived. She is a Southern California senior and family photographer @michellegiffordphotography. Michelle loves to inspire people to find their true beauty and to use their talents for good. She is a mom, photographer, photography teacher, speaker and true beauty expert. She loves chasing around her four children and holding hands with her handsome husband.


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