Category Archives: Adoption Photo Books

Buy One Get One Free Photobooks at Snapfish! is running a “Buy One Get One Free” promotion on their photobooks. This is a great way to stock up on adoption photobooks or life books while you have the chance.  If you buy one 8″ x 11″ Custom Cover or Classic Photo Book, they will give you a second one free. Just use coupon code SPRING2FOR1 by March 14, 2011. Enjoy!

Photo Books 50% off at Snapfish!

I just wanted share with those interested that Snapfish is running a 50% off special on all of their photo books. Just use the coupon code 1211MERRY at checkout by 11:59 p.m. PST on Friday, December 17 and get your books at half price. This is a great savings for if you want to create your profile photo book or order some more (we just ordered 10 more!) It is also great for those of you who are thinking about creating a life book! Enjoy!

Waiting to be matched

We purchased our 1-888 number in preparation for our next step in the networking process – creating and distributing fliers and placing our classified ad.  If you are looking for a toll-free number service, we chose Kall-8. The cost isn’t bad, about $2 a month and 7 cents a minute, lots of fine print, but so far no exorbitant  hidden charges that I can find. They offer voice mail retrievable via email,which is kind of cool.  I plan on going to the library this weekend to do recommended research concerning which newspapers are best for placement of our ad.

Regarding the wait, our agency sends out a monthly update to waiting adoptive parents, and their recent update mentioned they had a couple of birth moms looking at the photo books.  Since we had recently dropped our book off,  I emailed the agency to find out if we had made it in time to have our book shown to these birth moms.  Our book was indeed shown (YAAAYYY!),  I am sure along with all the other books.  This was exciting, but so far as I know, we weren’t picked…yet.  The trick/struggle is to not become anxious every time something positive happens.  I am sure a birth mom doesn’t flip through the books and make her decision there and then. It is likely the kind of decision she will mull over and think on for a while.  I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences in any of the above topics.

Have you found it difficult to restrain yourself from becoming excited about positive steps forward?  Do you find yourself reigning in your happiness and optimism?  Please share!

What a relief, our adoption photobook is finally done!

We are so excited that our photobook is now complete. The project took several months to complete. Most of the time was dedicated to gathering all of the photos and making sure we had them in digital form, and if not, we had to scan them. Then we needed to get them organized into categories so the flow of the book would make sense. We took the time to thoughtfully pick photos that told our story and would give the birth parents an understanding of what our lives are like, the kind of things we do, what our home is like and the kind of life we would provide for a child. While it was no easy task to narrow the choices down, it was a interesting and enlightening experience. Once we thought we were done, about 3 weeks ago, we sent the link to our agency to give us feedback before we ordered our hard copy. I think the biggest issue for me was when she said, “oh, the book shouldn’t exceed 20 pages,”. and ours was 34!

After all the time I spent putting the right pictures and adding the perfect text to all of the page,  I couldn’t even think about how I was going to cut the book down by 14 whole pages, but it was alot easier than I thought it would be, I just needed an uninterrupted 4-5 hours to focus on it and it was done! Just finished it last night and I feel so relieved. I just sent the agency the link again as a final review. Hopefully they are good with it and we can order it in the next couple of days.  In the end, we are so happy with our final 20 page  photobook and are really glad we asked for feedback!

We used Snapfish to create our book because they offer a nice selection of background designs and page layouts, and they are a reliable company. Snapfish’s tool has some drawbacks, especially when you are trying to move images around and add or delete pictures. It has a mind of it’s own and rearranges the rest of your photos on the same page, messing up the sizing and placement of the pictures that were just fine, thank you very much. And if we had text on that page, well, it would wipe it out completely. Aaaaackkk! Thankfully there is an Undo button which lets you undo several actions,  and which I used quite frequently…In the long run, as far as we can see in the preview mode, the book has turned out really great and we are really happy with it as a way to tell our story. We even ordered our own copy as a keepsake that we will share with our child one day.

There are other online photobook sites, Shutterfly and My Publisher are two that come to mind, and seems to me there are discount coupons to be had for all of the sites with a little digging, so best of luck of you are embarking on this project and creating your own, and if you’ve already created one –  well – a hearty and sincere  congratulations to you!

Every picture tells a story

We likely underestimated the amount of time it would take to go through all of our pictures and create a photo book for our adoption agency to show to prospective birth mothers. It appears to be quite the undertaking, on a literal level – first going through all of our digital photos on each of our computers, going through our older, non-digital photos (yes, there are such things), selecting those that seem relevent, and scanning each of them into a digital file, then, uploading those images into a digital folder on one of the photo sites (we’re using the digital site, Snapfish).

Once that is done, we need to select specifically which photos we feel are the “right” ones to share – more on the philosophy for this later – and decide how we want to lay them out and organize the album. Do we go chronologically, do we go in reverse-chron? Another approach entirely?  Still undecided on that end. Once we decide on which images we are going to use, we need to figure out how many will be on each of the pages, what form of layout will work for each page, whether we should use borders or not. The combinations are endless.  One thing we have decided on are the background patterns and colors we will use. We have chosen some that are complementary to each other, serene and pleasant, and most importantly, they won’t compete with images or text…

Yes, there’s text. Captions, a letter to the birth mothers, a closing note.  Funny enough, we aren’t too concerned about the text, as we plan on writing from the heart, which, thankfully comes easily.

As we near the end of July, we know we want to have this project done soon.

We are approaching the selection of our photos from a philosophical level – we’ve decided what it really comes down to is simply being able to tell our story in picture book form.  And it isn’t the story of our entire lives, but the story of how a new life will become part of our world, our tapestry.  In order to show this, each photo we select needs to tell our story, and shed light on the chapters to come. The photos are meant to help a birth mother/birth parents  imagine.

What will the child’s life be like in our home, as part of our family? What kind of activities and traditions will the child enjoy? Will the extended family be close-knit? Will there be lots of children around to play with and will they have pets? Ultimately, will this child be raised in a loving, secure and stable home by loving and supportive parents? Will the child be happy and well?

Our wish is to share the resounding “yes!” to these questions through our book. All in the hopes that a very special person will make a decision that is right for us all.

Getting close to a completed adoption home study

At last, we have completed our third – and hopefully final – adoption home study visit.  Not that the visits were painful or difficult by any means, as our social worker was friendly and very kind. Her visits were actually enjoyable and interesting and we shared some good laughs.  We discussed everything under the sun as she took constant notes:

  • She asked about our childhoods, parents, grandparents, siblings and extended family,  and how we were disciplined;
  • She wanted to learn what is was like to grow up in our households, what our families were (and are) like, what we were into in school, and what did for fun;
  • She asked about how we met, what attracted us to each other, what our marriage is like, what we currently do for fun, what our routine is like, and asked us about the qualities we felt our partner possessed that would them a  great parent;
  • She wanted to know what we felt we have to offer a child, what traits and qualities we felt are important to instill in our child.

The list goes on and on, among the above were also the hard core basics, a resume of sorts, outlining our respective work and education histories, going over major life events, and what our plans were for our work schedules once we have a child.

She needed to come back a third time to go over some final questions, as she needed to make sure her report would reflect all of the details found in our corresponding paperwork. Plus, she needed to fill in a few minor factual holes in her typed report – like birth dates of extended family and the names of our local schools.

Now, we need to wait for her to send us a final draft to review for correctness.  Once our review is done and the updates have been made, our home study will be complete.  At that point, we will officially be eligible to adopt!

The next part of the process will be to create a photo book to show to prospective birth moms. This book will allow the birth mother and father to learn about us, our family and what the child’s life would be like with us as adoptive parents. Creating this book feels like one of the most important projects we will ever have to work on, as it will influence a birth mother’s decision to choose us, and that is big.  Hence, the procrastination over what photos to choose, what captions to write, and the big one– writing our “Dear Birth Mother” letter to place at the beginning of our book.

We have heard that Snapfish and Shutterfly have great programs that allow you to create the photo book, so, we are looking into their capabilities and the pros and cons of each site.  Ideally, our book needs to be ready when our home study has been completed – supposedly by late May. So, that’s the next big thing for us.

Are you going through the same process? I’d love to hear from you all.  Tips, thoughts, ideas and recommendations are welcome!