I have a passion for adoption photography. Adoption is such a beautiful thing, but the details of its process are so complicated and not without heartbreak no matter what the outcome. I won’t get into the long drawn out details of our story. I’m sure everyone has heard it too many times, but I will tell you that it was expensive.
We had two beautiful, healthy boys. I don’t say that to say we were doing anyone a favor, but to say that the desire to adopt came from a place that is hard to explain. It wasn’t a need we needed to fill and adoption was the easiest path. Trust me, it wasn’t. But it came from a place that felt like it was something that we had to do. We took out an equity loan out on our house. It ended up not being enough, so we had to borrow from our 401K. When I say it was expensive, it’s not an exaggeration. While it didn’t make logical sense then and it doesn’t make logical sense now, it was that deep desire (along with some inexplicable signs) along the way that made sense. We were matched with a baby on the other side of the country. We helped her mother financially through a tough time. With that being said, she didn’t receive substantial help in comparison to the cost of the full adoption. We also flew to attend an ultrasound with her (made possible by some very nice people who should not go unmentioned,) have lunch with her, and generally get to know each other. We flew out again when the baby was born with our children. I had a photographer booked in Vegas to take pictures of us and her birthmother with her before making the journey home. In the end, our birthmother chose to parent once we landed in Vegas. The director of our agency refused to take my calls or meet with us and we were told to go home. The photographer I had booked did not return my email to let her know the adoption had failed although I ensured her I did not expect our deposit back. We lost $22,000 in 3 months. From our house. From our retirement. A few months later, I got pregnant with our third son. We had created a beautiful nursery for a little girl. We painted over it before we knew I was pregnant. I had to sell the things from her nursery to be able to afford a beautiful nursery for our son.
I don’t tell you these things for any sympathy or for any admiration. I don’t deserve either. I tell you these things to help you understand why I volunteer my time for adoption photography through Red Thread Sessions and why these adoption photography sessions are so important to me. Is it hard to see successful adoptions? A little, but that wasn’t our story. She wasn’t the baby we were meant to meet. She was our journey to Declan. And not only that, but a successful adoption means that they went through the same financial struggles as we did. Some of the same heartache. But everyone deserves beautiful pictures of their beautiful family. I hope I bring them as much joy as they bring me. I truly hope you find what you are passionate about and find a way to giveback to it. It’s worth so much more than money can offer.
Meet Bodhi. And his beautiful family. I absolutely loved meeting them and getting to know them while we captured Bodhi’s first set of professional pictures. I really hope it’s not his last because those curls were meant to be captured. <3 If you or someone you know has adopted or is in the process of adoption, please send them to Red Threads. They will receive one complimentary session upon the finalization of their adoption.
Another wonderful organization I volunteer for is Capturing Hopes. This group of photographers volunteer their time to capture infants that need an little extra love in the NICU after they are born. Check out this Capturing Hopes session that just happened to be a Red Thread Session as well. I met beautiful Macy just one month after our adoption failed. It felt divine and restored my faith. Thankfully, I have been able to watch Macy grow through the years and those are the little things that cannot be explained. <3
charlotte | fort mill newborn and family photographer.
email@example.com | 704-807-6626 | www.alissabrayphotography.com