— -- Though the road to adoption is rarely a smooth one, most parents prefer to focus only on the happy ending.
But a Wilmington, North Carolina, mom took the day of her daughter's adoption as an opportunity to recognize the many people who were part of the journey.
"I met her the day she came into foster care," Millie Holloman said of daughter Vera Wren Holloman, 5. "She was placed with another woman but I would watch her from time to time. I told the agency if she ever needed another placement or her case flipped to adoption, I wanted her."
Holloman had just become licensed to foster and was working with the Bair Foundation. One of the women in the adoption-day photo shoot is Hilary Smith, the woman from that agency who had spent Vera Wren's very first night in foster care with her.
"She [Vera Wren] was scared and Hilary helped her,” Holloman, 36, told ABC News. “She's also the one who introduced me to Wren.”
Smith holds up a sign in the photo shoot that says, "Today I know that God is faithful."
Holloman is also a photographer, and credits her sister-in-law with the idea of the photo shoot that included "the village," which is how Holloman refers to the group of people who made the adoption, and the adoption-day photo shoot, possible.
There are many others: an aunt and uncle, supportive grandparents and cousins. But some of the most poignant photos are of those not typically seen in an adoption-day photo shoot.
There's the social worker. The attorney. The judge who got to see a "happy ending."
"It’s more than me and her," the single mom said. "There were so many other people involved."
More happy news for the Holloman family: Vera Wren is about to get a little brother. His adoption is expected to be finalized soon.