2017 Cover Photo Contest Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 2017 Adoptive Families Cover Photo Contest! See the nine photos selected from more than 1,200 entries, and read stories from the proud parents.

2017 Cover Photo Contest Winner Jesse, cropped

Thank you to all the Adoptive Families readers who entered this year’s contest! Please post comments about the photos below, and visit AdoptiveFamiliesCircle to enter themed photo contests throughout the year.


Jesse (6, U.S. foster)

son of Susie, New Mexico

PHOTOGRAPHER: Heather Galto, Days Go By Photography

2017 Cover Photo Contest Winner Jesse

“Jesse had waited 2,345 days in foster care to be adopted. He was so excited during his finalization in court, and hearing the judge declare everything official was such a magical moment. A few days later, we held a big family photo shoot with Jesse’s grandparents, aunts and uncle, and four cousins. This photo was captured when the photographer asked him about his adoption. He threw his hands in the air and exclaimed, ‘It was the BEST DAY EVER!'” —SUSIE


Leanndra (14, U.S. foster)

daughter of Lisa, Virginia


2017 Cover Photo Contest Finalist Leanndra

“This was our first official family portrait nearly two years after becoming a family—me, Leanndra, and our dog, Barkley. It was long overdue family picture, but it was definitely worth the wait. We both love it because it shows us as happy and healthy, and our photographer, Mark, captured the joy we feel together. We are now coming up on our fourth year as a family. It’s been my honor and privilege to mother Leanndra; she’s an awesome kid.” —LISA


Olivia (4, China)

daughter, daughter of Kathy and Dave, Michigan

PHOTOGRAPHER: Vision Photography

2017 Cover Photo Contest Finalist Olivia

“Olivia is energetic, excited about life, and a beautiful soul. She will happily pose for a photo, but her natural environment is moving, dancing, skipping, jumping, and playing. This photo, taken as a candid while walking from one location to another during our family photo shoot, is Olivia’s spirit captured in a picture.” —DAVE & KATHY


Agustin (9, U.S. foster) and TJ (7, U.S. foster)

Agustin is the son of Amanda and Leonard, Texas; TJ is the son of Lisa and Dan, Texas


2017 Cover Photo Contest Finalists Agustin and TJ

“A family we knew from church was preparing to adopt Agustin. They learned that the family fostering his biological brother, TJ, couldn’t adopt him, and asked us if we would consider it. We did, and our families finalized both of their adoptions in the same ceremony this past summer. These boys have been bounced around between family members all of their lives. Now they are in their forever homes and see each other at least once a week.” —LISA


Mohini (1, India)

daughter of Kristen, Ohio


2017 Cover Photo Contest Finalist Mohini

“Mohini is the youngest of three children I have adopted from India as a single mom. My two older girls traveled with me to bring her home. While in their birth country, I bought these beautiful Rajasthani dresses for the three of them. They were so excited to wear their matching dresses for a photo shoot in the park to celebrate our first month as a family of four. I just love the joy and light in Mohini’s eyes in this shot!” —KRISTEN


Declan and Drake (4, U.S.)

sons of Angie and Kevin, Wisconsin


2017 Cover Photo Contest Finalists Declan and Drake

“My sweet twins have some similarities—they are both happy little guys, and very funny—but are also very different.  Declan and Drake are in separate preschool rooms this year and really thriving on their own. We don’t usually dress them alike anymore, but I put them in matching outfits to take four-year-old birthday shots at their great-grandparents’ farm.” —ANGIE


Arielle (5, U.S.)

daughter of Traci, Pennsylvania


2017 Cover Photo Contest Finalist Arielle

“Arielle and I do a lot of exploring, and this photo was taken at one of our favorite farms near our home, where we go often in the warmer months. It has pick-your-own flowers, and we went to pick zinnias for our home that Friday evening. As usual, I had my camera with me, and took photos of our outing. Arielle is my muse; her smile lights up a room. This photo shows her compelling warm personality, but also has a bit of mystery.” —TRACI


William (10, Taiwan)

son of Judith and Craig, Pennsylvania


2017 Cover Photo Contest Finalist William

“William loved to climb the cherry tree in front of our house. Whenever he’d get home from school, he’d rush up to it and climb its branches. Sadly, a storm brought the tree down recently, but the joy that it brought him is evident in his expression.” —JUDITH


Abigail (2, U.S.)

daughter of Amy and Andrew, Texas

PHOTOGRAPHER: Aimee Hamilton

2017 Cover Photo Contest Finalist Abigail

“When my husband and I began our adoption journey, after 12 years of nonstop infertility heartache, we had many conversations speculating about our child’s personality. ‘Will our baby be super smart? Will our baby be quiet and reserved? Will our baby be detailed oriented? Will our baby laugh and be silly?’ Just weeks after finishing the adoption process, we got a call from our agency about a five-week-old girl. We said YES! and, within 48 hours, were back home with a tiny newborn in our arms and our hearts. And, guess what? She’s very silly, just like Mom.” —AMY


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