I guess you could say that my family history is full of adoption stories. Not in a traditional, sign- the-papers sort of way, but more in a we’re-family-and-we-stick-together way. When my Grammy was seven her mother died from pneumonia. Grammy’s dad was left with seven kids to raise by himself. Working full time and taking care of all of them proved too much for Great-Grandpa Jensen. Grammy was soon sent to live with her Aunt Ruth. Part of the reason that I am the person I am today is because of this singular act. Aunt Ruth took in a motherless child and showed her love, guided her to faith, and cared enough to share her family, her home and her heart. Grammy was changed forever and so, two generations later, was I.

I grew up next door to my Grandma Jo and Grandpa Jo. When my dad was four years old, due to some family problems, two of his cousins came to live with them. Not long after, they opened their home to two more cousins. Their family of five became a family of nine in a very short time. One generation later, I have been blessed to grow up with all of these aunts and uncles and 32 cousins. These cousins became some of my best friends.

Michelle Family

So, nope, I wasn’t adopted, but I do have a love for those strong souls who open the doors to those who need love. They open their doors to the unknown. Well, I guess it isn’t too unknown. They know there will be hard times. They know that there will be trials. And they know that there will be love, happiness, and joy beyond belief. And it is just these people who I believe define true beauty.

In an effort to share these incredible adoption stories, Beauty Revived is joining with Adoption.com to find The 50 Most Inspiring Adoption Stories project. Beauty Revived is a non-profit website that joins with photographers from all across the world to shine light on the good. Our mission is to change the way photographers capture beauty and the way the world defines it.

And we need YOUR help. We need 50 amazing photographers with kind hearts to help us find these stories and capture them. We require that you find an amazing adoption story and offer a free photo session. The stories can be focused on any part of adoption, from the children, to the birth parents, to the adoptive parents. These sessions will be featured weekly on adoption.com and www.iambeautyrevived.com.

If you are a photographer, visit here to apply. If you know a photographer, forward this on to them.

Link to apply: //beautyrevived.com/machform/view.php?id=11677