2018 Cover Photo Contest Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 2018 Adoptive Families Cover Photo Contest! See the nine photos selected from 1,000 entries, and read stories from the proud parents.

Adoptive Families' 2018 Cover Photo Contest Grand-Prize Winner Sadie Jane

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.


Sadie Jane (2, U.S.)

Daughter of Grace and Jeffrey, Washington, D.C.


Adoptive Families' 2018 Cover Photo Contest Grand-Prize Winner Sadie Jane

“This photo captures the fun, sweet, adventurous spirit of Sadie Jane while she was enjoying the warm breeze off the evening ocean. It was taken by Sadie’s aunt on our annual family vacation on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.” —JEFF


Ethan and Zach (7, U.S.; 6)

children of Kristen and Ted, Illinois


Adoptive Families' 2018 Cover Photo Contest Finalists Ethan and Zach

“Ethan joined our family through domestic adoption; Zach is our birth child. When people ask me about the relationship between my boys, I tell them, ‘They love and fight like brothers.’ The boys were staying with their cousins the weekend this photo was taken. Cameron always has her camera handy and captures great photos of the two of them interacting. I selected this one because it shows the natural affection they have for one another.” —KRISTEN


Mary Grace (4, Philippines)

daughter of Debbie and Kevin, Ontario, Canada


Adoptive Families' 2018 Cover Photo Contest Finalist Mary Grace

“This photo was taken on a family vacation in the Philippines—our daughter’s first time returning to her birth country. After a few days in Manila, we traveled to Bantayan Island. Mary Grace especially loved the white sandy beach. When we adopted Mary Grace, it was very scary for her to leave her orphanage, crib mate, and caregivers, and she has come such a long way since that first day. I chose this photo because of her smile—it shows how happy she is now, and how happy returning to the Philippines made her. We are forever grateful to her birth country for making us the lucky parents of this beautiful, strong, and caring girl.” —DEBBIE


QingYang (14, China)

daughter of Angela and Ben, Pennsylvania


Adoptive Families' 2018 Cover Photo Contest Finalist QingYang

“We were asked to provide a photo of QingYang for her school’s website, but felt that a studio photo did not capture her spirit, so chose to go to an outdoor location near our home. We have always thought that when we adopted QingYang at age four, she was like a sapling, with shallow roots and in need of light and love. Over the past 10 years, our family and support network have been the sun, light, and nourishment to allow her to grow into a tree. For us, this photo so subtly captures our sentiment.” —ANGELA


Evie (7 months, U.S.)

daughter of Ana and April, Virginia


Adoptive Families' 2018 Cover Photo Contest Finalist Evie

“We adopted Evie at birth after being chosen by her birth mother early in her pregnancy. She gave us the honor of being by her side for all doctor’s appointments and let us witness our daughter being born! Evie had a rough few months in intensive care after being diagnosed with a rare lung disorder. This was our first family photo shoot after she got well. We were so excited to finally be tube-free and enjoying the outdoors together as a family!” —ANA


Devon and Darion (6 and 7, U.S. foster)

children of Christine and Kevin, Michigan

PHOTOGRAPHER: Stephanie Kaslly

Adoptive Families' 2018 Cover Photo Contest Finalists Darion and Devon

“Just 13 months apart, Devon and Darion are biological brothers and best friends. Highly competitive and full of energy, they are always ready to have fun. After moving three times in their first year of foster care, the brothers finally settled in with us—the foster family that would become their forever family. Two and a half years later, at the ages of six and seven, they were ecstatic to don their ‘team’ jerseys with their new last name on their adoption day. This photo was captured at the courthouse immediately after the adoption hearing as they spun each other around in a big bear hug.” —CHRISTINE


Emily (12, Colombia)

daughter of Lyndsay and Nathan, Wisconsin


Adoptive Families' 2018 Cover Photo Contest Finalist Emily

“Emily looks for the humor in everything, and when she laughs, she involves her whole self and it’s completely infectious. Now that she’s a tween, she finds her parents less entertaining—she’s more likely to laugh at us than with us. This photo was taken during her brother’s soccer practice. She was bored and started pushing buttons on my car’s keys, to make it beep. Of course, the more annoyed I got, the funnier it was to her. Typical tween, right?! But, as this photo shows, even when she’s laughing at her mom, she’s got a natural light in her that makes her beautiful inside and out!” —LYNDSAY


Bennett (8, U.S.)

son of Jessica and Brett, Michigan


Adoptive Families' 2018 Cover Photo Contest Finalist Bennett

“This photo was taken on a family vacation we took this summer on Lake Michigan. It captures Bennett’s sweet and carefree personality, loving every second of our time together at the beach.” —JESSICA


Karis (1, U.S.)

daughter of Jen and Jaime, Michigan

PHOTOGRAPHER: Jennifer Hillebrand, of Hill Brand Photo

Adoptive Families' 2018 Cover Photo Contest Finalist Karis

“The photo was taken by a family friend in her backyard. We were there to take some family photos, but we had a hard time getting Karis to smile—until Daddy got in the photo with her! She loves to be with him at mealtimes and bedtime, sharing kisses and hugs, or singing at the top of their lungs! My husband was one of the reasons Karis’s birth mom chose us—she wanted her child to have both a loving mom and a dad. Karis is now two and their bond is still very strong.” —JEN


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