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Taylor’s Adoption Story | Tompkinsville, KY

We had the privilege of meeting David and Courtney Taylor a little over a year ago. Such a sweet couple! We learned of their struggles and of their strong desire to have children. After much prayer, they decided to look into fostering. This is the beginning of their adoption story. So many unknowns, but they were willing to take a leap of faith.

Then shortly after going through all the requirements, they got a very unexpected call. Would they be willing to foster an infant? It was almost too good to be true! Could their very first placement be a baby they might one day get to adopt? They were able to bring her home from the hospital at only three days old! It didn’t come without its challenges, but it was definitely love at first sight. Big round eyes. Lots of hair. Just beautiful! Not long after, they called us and asked us to take their first family portraits. It was an honor! At that point, we didn’t know we would one day get to share these images as part of their adoption story.

I was struck by this sign in their home. The little one was less than two months old, but she belonged here. This was her intended home. Here with these two wonderful people she would know from the very beginning of her life.

They were so attentive from the very beginning. Doing all they could to protect her and help her grow. Absolutely enamored with this beautiful gift that had been bestowed upon them. Learning what things calmed her down and what things could get a little smirk out of her, even from this very young age.

From an outside perspective, anyone could see the roles of “mom” and “dad” came so natural to these two. And even though they didn’t share any of the same DNA, you never would have known. They loved this little one with all their hearts.

We don’t blame them for not being able to take their eyes off of her. Just an absolute doll! It was so hard for me not to share these photos before because we had such a great time! But the law of sharing photos of foster children is very strict and we respect that completely! The safety of children should come first. And now that this precious one was with these two amazing people, that’s one of the many things she was….safe.

Look how tiny her hands and feet were! And perfectly pink! She was so soft and her grip was so firm. She didn’t want to let go. We get it, little one. We get it.

The left photo above was one of my favorites. I could have made so many memes! Who wants to be placed with an amazing family? Who’s the cutest baby in the whole world? Who needs a diaper change? Haha. If you happen to see this baby in any memes from here on out, sorry, she’s too cute not to share! Here are several more precious photos from her first shoot:

She was very alert! Looking all around, making cooing noises and some of the cutest expressions! But then she got sleepy and we let her take a little snooze because sleeping photos are so angelic!

That was the end of her session for that day. But we knew it wasn’t the last we would be seeing of this precious little one. Thankfully we got regular updates of the progress in her case. We loved getting snapshots of how big she was getting. They change so quickly; it was so touching that we were kept in the loop. We felt like family! We kept them in our prayers, knowing how much this bundle of joy meant to her new family. And one by one, the pieces all fell into place. They got in touch with us a little over a month ago and asked for portraits because it was decided, they would be able to adopt her even before her first birthday! We were going to get to tell her adoption story after all!

It had been nine months since we had seen her! In baby time, that’s forever! She had changed so much! Smiles came easily to her now. And these two people who had brought her home from the hospital were her world! She had definitely made a home here with them.

Her mom was a teacher and finally the school year was over so she could spend more time with her! Most moms have to work these days and I don’t know how they’re able to leave their little ones at home. I know it breaks their hearts, but we also very much need teachers to help children grow. Especially a teacher as caring as Mrs. Taylor!

But I’m not sure yet if she is a momma’s girl or a daddy’s girl. She is completely comfortable with both of them. And she sure does laugh when daddy sings his elephant song. Gotta admit, we had that song in our heads for days after this session!

Look at that sweet smile! She already knows how to wrap people around her tiny little fingers. And she’s such a good girl! You couldn’t ask for any more from a child if you picked her yourself! Someone knew she was exactly who they needed in their life!

And she needed them just as much as they needed her. Someone to take her hands and to help her walk through life. Someone she can look up to and show her the right way to go.

And she’s just as excited about it as they are. We loved getting to watch her squeal with delight during her portraits.

We took some portraits inside of a tent on a white shag rug. She was enthralled with all the greenery. And she sat in front of a pillow embroidered with the word “blessed”. Very appropriate. The parents were blessed. The child was blessed. Everyone involved was blessed.

And oh the faces she made! It doesn’t matter if she smiles or not. This girl is absolutely beautiful. And then her parents brought out the Bible, opened to Hannah’s words in 1 Samuel. “For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of him.” It was as if these words were their own. Their adoption story was an answer to prayers for sure!

We were able to get a picture of just her feet. Look how much she has grown in just the few months since her first portraits! But she still has such cute little piggy toes!

A few days after this photo shoot, they let us know that the adoption date had been set for June 16th! We had been waiting for this day! The day that really matters in an adoption story. A little less than a year from when they brought her home from the hospital and she would legally be theirs! This is the day that has fondly been dubbed “gotcha day”.

Even here in the courtroom, she knew how to steal the show. As her new parents were getting sworn in, she was watching what was going on behind her. These incredible people she will come to know as mom and dad vowed to take care of her and give her all the legal rights of a child of their own.

They legally changed her name to one she recognizes. She was sleepy due to the car ride to the courthouse in Edmonton, but there was so much excitement in the room, even a baby would have a hard time falling asleep! It only took a few minutes for the legalities, but these were the most important minutes of their lives.

Once Judge Pence pronounced her to be legally their daughter, the courthouse erupted in applause. And there were also many happy tears. Family and friends who came to support them have been waiting for this moment for almost a year now. Grandparents have been waiting for this day since even before she was born. They just knew she was going to be a part of the family. They could sense it. To see it finally become a reality was such a beautiful thing!

Then the judge let little Anna Grace sit on her bench and pound the gavel to close the case.

You could see the pure joy on her face to know that this was the best part of her job. Getting to see a child become part of a deserving family. They would take care of and love this little one for the rest of her life.

She gave the new parents a bag with family supplies, a backpack with Anna Grace’s monogram embroidered on it, and a teddy bear for the newly adopted child. To say it was an honor to witness this exchange is an understatement. Getting to see this beautiful part of humanity is something we will never take for granted.

The judge told us that adoption days are her favorite and we could see why. So many happy faces in one room. A happy ending for sure! The case workers were just as happy to see this case go so well. Every adoption story is a win for them.

And the grandparents, well you know they are all about grandchildren! Whether they live close or far away, you know this child is going to spoiled by these wonderful people. And what child doesn’t deserve to be spoiled? I think of all my trips to see my grandparents while I was growing up. She will get to experience this too. Something to look forward to!

We were introduced to her babysitter and it was so beautiful to see the bond they shared as well. What a relief to a parent to know that while they are at work, their child is in the care of someone who loves them just as much as you do. And man, can she get her to laugh!

Well now it was time for the first official family portraits! We took family portraits a few times already. But now it was real. Because she was theirs. Forever. I’m not sure how they were able to contain themselves. I was a bawling mess and it wasn’t even my child! But they were so elated, you couldn’t hide the smiles!

We are so happy for this family! They deserve the best and we’re so grateful we got to be a part of their adoption story from the beginning. We truly feel it’s an honor to be able to capture the highlights of people’s lives. And to feel part of their families. It means the world to us!

Now, I’m sure by now you’ve read the shirts. But they have such significance for people of faith. The parents’ shirts are a quote from Jeremiah 29:11 which says “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD”. And the baby’s shirt says “The Plan”. How beautiful is that?! When they signed up for foster care, never in their wildest dreams would they have been able to bring a perfect little girl home from the hospital and adopt her within the first year. But God knew. She is just what they needed. And they are just what she needed. Talk about a match made in heaven!

Thank you, Taylor family, for trusting us to tell your adoption story, both in pictures and in this blog. This has been an amazing year. We love you, Anna Grace! We can’t wait to see what else is planned for your future!


Kevin and Reneé


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