Emily's Adoption Finalized - Divine Reflections Photography Blog

Emily's Adoption Finalized

I was sitting at my desk at work when Crystal called me with the news. I couldn't believe it; all I wanted to do was cry as a flood of emotion washed over me. These were happy tears though -- tears of joy and relief. You see, Crystal and I were on a journey that had begun nearly five years before when we were living in Kentucky, a journey that had been filled with pain and roadblocks. It was our journey to parenthood.

About a year after we got married, we decided to throw away Crystal's birth control pills and have a baby. So, we threw away the pills, but no baby came. Month after month passed, and Crystal still wasn't pregnant. So we started going through test after test to see what might be the problem. Finally, we discovered that the problem was with me. None of our doctors could explain exactly what caused my problem, but they told me that there was no way that I could father a child.

At this news, our world fell apart. We found ourselves broken, spending the next several years asking why. It is one of the most difficult things we've ever had to go through.

In the meantime, we started to look into adoption as a way to have the children we so desperately desired. We called the California state adoption agency, and they told us that the best way to adopt through them was through the foster care system. We had told ourselves that we would never become foster parents because of all of the horror stories we had heard about people in the system. Nevertheless, we found a foster agency in Chico and started the long approval process. A few months later, we met our first foster child.

In the year that followed, six other children came into our home and then left for one reason or another. At the beginning of October 2005, I took a week-long trip to North Carolina to spend some time taking landscape photos. In the middle of that trip, Crystal called me to tell me she had accepted a foster care placement of two girls: a ten month old and a two and a half year old. One of those girls was Emily, and she has now been living with us for a year and a half. In that time, we've fallen madly in love with this sweet, intelligent, little girl.

Now let's return to the phone call at the beginning of this story. Crystal called to let me know that we had received a date for the finalization hearing for our Emily's adoption. The hearing took place this morning. We finally have a daughter that we can officially say is ours!

Here are a few of my favorite pictures of my youngest baby. Emily, I love you with all my heart, and I can't wait to spend the rest of my life being the daddy you never had before you became my daughter.

Posted by Greg on April 2, 2007 at 12:00PM.

Permalink / Comments (5)

Filed under babies and children, coates family, photos and portraits.


  1. Yeah, the journey is over for 1 precious girl, let's hope the other two come quickly too. Congratulations on your official new daughter!

    Posted by Erica Harper | April 2, 2007 at 9:01PM

  2. Yay! Congratulations to you all. I love Emily's lips on the bottom right, by the way! So cute!

    Posted by Nancy Christiansen | April 3, 2007 at 3:54PM

  3. What a beautiful family you all make! And what a sweet and beautiful little girl you have! God has truly blessed you.

    Posted by Jules | April 3, 2007 at 8:57PM

  4. Thats my baby sister, she is a doll. I love you.

    Posted by Ariana | April 6, 2007 at 2:18PM

  5. Oh my goodness this made me cry! It's so wonderful hearing your story and hearing your joy! As someone who has had experience with the adoption process, I am so happy that your long journey is now over and a great new journey is now beginning! It was great meeting you both at the OSP shoot.

    Posted by Amy Schuff | April 12, 2007 at 4:33PM

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