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 Liv Hefner Photography.

Everyone remembers moments in their life when the world stops spinning, and everything around them becomes unmistakably clear. For Misti and her husband, Jason, one of those moments happened at 10:10 p.m. on Sept. 17. It was a Monday. That was the moment they received a call to inform them that they had been chosen as parents for their son, Maxin.

“We didn’t sleep at all that night, and we didn’t have any supplies to take care of a baby. We had figured it would never happen, and that we would have to learn to be happy without a baby,” Misti said.

When they arrived at the hospital, Misti had the opportunity to meet with Maxin’s birth parents.

“I had no clue what I was walking into. They were young and beautiful—both graduate students. I remember walking over to her, hugging her, and telling her, ‘Thank you for changing my life.’”

The next moment that changed their lives happened at 8:52 a.m. on Sept. 19. It was a Wednesday when Maxin was born. Misti and Jason chose not to be in the room while Maxin’s birth mother was laboring, but went in immediately after.

“His birth mother was holding him, and she handed him to me. This moment—I’ve never cried so hard—one of the first babies I ever held was my own child. That was a great moment, and someday, I look forward to telling him about it,” she said.

During their time in the hospital, Maxin was in NICU and Misti spent part of that time with his birth mother, determined to learn all about her, in case Maxin had questions as he grew up.

“I bought a notebook at the hospital and went to sit with her. I asked her everything from her favorite color to how she and Maxin’s birth father met. I tried to think of things that he might want to know—things that I would have wanted to know if I were adopted. I have this notebook, and other things like his original ultrasound, to show him one day when he asks about her,” she said.

After the mandatory 72 hours, all the papers were signed, but they remained in the hospital for six days before it was time to go home.

“The hospital was only about two hours from our house, but it took us four hours to get home. Between the feeding, the changing, and Jason driving so slowly, we weren’t sure we would make it home in one day,” she added.

Six months later, Maxin and his parents celebrated his Gotcha Day. Now, Maxin is a polite little gentleman with a penchant for super heroes like Spider Man, who were also adopted.

Misti plans to remain open about the adoption with Maxin as much as possible. She has showed him pictures and answers any questions he has about his “tummy mommy.” They read children’s books about adoption as well to help him with any questions.

“Now, I’m trying to raise an independent son and educate people on adoption. I want people to understand adoption isn’t ‘giving up’ a child. It’s so much more, it gave me the chance to be a mom,” she said.

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