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.
Photography for this session by Karen Feder Photography Website
From the photographer:
It was a joy for me to be a part of Elena’s adoption process. When my good friend Kate told me that she and her family were adopting and starting the process, I was ecstatic for her. Because other friends I know have walked the road of adoption, I had an idea as an on-sider of what the process looked like. The Wenzels were transparent and open about the process they had to go through on their blog and on social media sites, which I think helped others to understand more about what the process looks and feels like.
Last spring I was able to be a part of helping them announce their adoption through photography. What a joy it was for me to be able to hold this sweet little one in my arms a year later and to photograph her as an amazing gift and addition to this family.
Interview with Kate and Jeremy:
How were you introduced to adoption? How did you know adoption was for you?
Before Jeremy and I even met, we both had a heart and desire to adopt someday. For Jeremy, the seed was planted while in high school when he was challenged to read James every day for a week; he kept coming to and stopping at James 1:27. This verse, which speaks of caring for the orphans, pulled at his core and impacted him deeply. For Kate, the call to adoption came from an overall love for children, which grew during a mission trip and solidified while reading Isaiah 61. We were delighted to discover we shared this passion for adoption while engaged many years ago.
For years, we prayed and sought God’s will. After some infertility issues and challenging pregnancies and deliveries, we were blessed with Isaiah and Noah. Shortly after Noah’s birth in 2012, God made it abundantly clear that now was the time to begin the adoption process.
We believe that earthly adoption mirrors our own adoption into God’s family. Earthly adoption is costly—emotionally, financially, and more; however, our spiritual adoption as sons and daughters of God through Christ’s sacrifice was far more costly.
When we were married over seven years ago, we selected Psalm 34:3 as our wedding and marriage verse. It reads, “Oh magnify the Lord with me; let us exalt His name together!” This focus is not merely for our marriage, but for our entire lives and our family as it grows through adoption.
Tell me about your adoption journey.
Our journey was full of tremendous mountains. Agency challenges, switching to a new agency, facing the mountain of finances, emotional weariness, and much much more. But more than these trials and challenges was a growth in faith, an amazing showcase of support from friends, family and even strangers, and an incredible example that where God guides, He provides. We see the way He weaved our story so beautifully—for His glory, and for our sweet daughter Elena to have her forever family.
How has adoption changed you?
We are still processing this. It changed us dramatically. It shaped, refined, stretched and grew us. It changed our perspective on what’s important and allowed us to live and walk the heart of our God’s passion for adoption. We will never be the same and we will constantly be growing as a result of adopting our Elena. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
What is the most rewarding aspect of adoption?
Obviously the blessing of being parents to our daughter. But also, the growth and change in our characters and perspectives, and the friendships gained as we walked this path, were all very rewarding and beautiful.
What do you wish people knew about adoption?
That adoptive parents are very much needed. That it is a wild, crazy, beautiful, hard and wonderful experience and journey. It is all this and more and yet it is so worth it. And also—to have faith. To cling to faith in this emotional journey.
What are some myths about adoption you wish you could dispel?
So many people don’t adopt because of finances. Dozens of people have shared with us in the last year that they would adopt if it wasn’t for the money. It IS expensive. But again, there are resources and ways to creatively fundraise and find a way. And these children’s lives are worth that time, effort, and energy. It is possible to do it and it is amazing to see how God makes a way.
What are some of the greatest resources that you have used in the adoption process?
We couldn’t have done this without many friends walking closely with us. We had several friends and gained many more who have adopted and their support and experience helped us more than words can say. There are several amazing books as well, and people in this field- they are passionate and knowledgeable. There were also several grants that helped fund about 15-20% of our adoption and were so crucial to helping us get here.