Thursday, June 23, 2011

Adoption tip: Creating your adoption storybook.

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For anyone out there who may be considering adoption for the first time or who may be knee-deep in the trenches of completing your adoption paperwork, I thought this post might be helpful to you in some way.  As many of you know, Jody and I hoping to adopt more children.  We have experienced the beautiful blessings of adoption once already and are hopeful to experience it again someday soon.

Once you attend your adoption orientation, you are given a packet with a rather extensive "TO-DO" list to complete.  Aside from completing the required forms and classes with either your private agency or state agency, you are encouraged to put together an adoption storybook.  This is a very helpful  tool for both the agencies trying to match you with a child as well as for the potential birthmothers who may be considering you as their child's adoptive parents.  It is a great way to tell "your story" to a birthmom or in our particular case --the state caseworkers and adoption committee who will be determining the placement of the two little girls we are hoping to adopt who are currently in foster care.

I recently put together a new photo storybook and wanted to share it with you.   I remember how helpful it was for me personally as I was trying to get everything ready for the adoption agency with our first adoption.  I felt very overwhelmed at times with all the paperwork, trying to write the perfect letter to the birthmom and putting together an adoption storybook.  I found it extremely helpful when other adoptive moms shared tips with me on things that they did during the pre-adoption phase.  I even had one friend who was so sweet....she made copies of all her adoption questionnaire answers and her photo album for me--to use as a guide when I was completing our paperwork.  It was extremely helpful.  I can also tell you the adoption storybooks can make all the difference with a birthmother in her choosing you.  

The storybook played a large role  in Noah's birthmother selecting us.  I remember her telling me in a conversation I had with her after his birth that she had looked at hundreds of profiles during her search for his adoptive parents.  Our photo album was one of the first that she received and she shared with me how she held on to it and kept coming back to it during her search.  Something about the story that the pictures told about our family touched her.  So my dear friends...if you are considering adoption--definitely put some time and thought into your adoption photo storybooks because they may make all the difference in connecting you to a birthmom.

For this storybook, I compiled all my pictures by uploading them into my Flickr account and then created the book using Snapfish.  It took about 2 hours to place the pictures where I wanted them and to write the narratives for each picture set.

I was super pleased with the turnaround time with Snapfish.  I ordered it on a Wednesday afternoon and received it the following Tuesday....a very quick process!

Here are just a few examples of pages from our adoption storybook....

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I went with the black background for all the pages because I think it makes the pictures "pop" more.

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I tried to showcase just various things about our family and life together....like what we do for Christmas and Thanksgiving.

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How we celebrate birthdays...
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Fun family activities we do on a regular basis like going to the zoo and visiting San Antonio to go to the Riverwalk and Rainforest cafe.

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Playing golf on date nights...

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Going to the beach as a family...

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Our storybook is a little over 100 pages...primarily because with Snapfish, you don't have a lot of space to do your writing for the narrative portion, so I had to space out my pictures onto more pages to write our story the way I wanted to.  It cost me a little over $100, but to me--it is well worth the price.  You want it to look nice and make a lasting impression on your potential birthmother or state adoption placement committee.

If you are just starting your adoption storybooks, you should click here to find some great reviews from other adoptive families of top vendors you can choose from to create your own special and beautiful storybook.

As always, feel free to email me if you have any questions about the adoption process...I enjoy getting your emails and would love to help in any way I can--particularly for those of you who are new to the world of adoption.  I am by no means an expert when it comes to adoption, but I know from experience, it helps to talk with someone who has in essence, walked in your shoes.

XOXO...

Jennifer

2 comments:

  1. that is soo great jen! love it. your blog is soo beautiful and youve done a great job on it. it's happy cheerful place. love coming to it.

    hope you are enjoying your summer! lots of love.

    xoxo.

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  2. Your book turned out so nicely! I hope you get those two little girls!

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