Category Archives: General

Buy One Get One Free Photobooks at Snapfish!

Snapfish.com 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!

Domestic Adoption Networking – Marketing Yourself

We have completed all three of our adoption training sessions – the final session dealt with networking in attempts to shorten our wait for a match with a birth family. This session provided lots of interesting information and recommendations for attorneys and agencies who are generally willing to take a waiting family’s profile into their pool without a retainer, or, in certain cases,  for a small administrative fee.  What’s confusing from the waiting family standpoint, is not knowing how all the adoption fees and expenses will pan out in the long run – How will they be allocated between the agency, the networked agency and the attorneys?  A good question, to be sure, but one to keep on the back burner for now,  since every birth family situation will be different and the fee and expense amounts and allocations will likely follow suit.

We also learned about best practices for creating a classified ad and a fliers, where to post these, how to handle contact from prospective birth families, and also, things to look out for when contacted by a birth family to make sure things are on the level.

As part of this networking initiative, we have contacted other organizations and venues, like local Planned  Parenthood centers, churches, women’s centers, ob/gyns, maternity homes and the like, to find out what their policies were on accepting an adoptive family profile to keep on hand for occasions when a birth mother is thinking about adoption.  What was most  interesting – and surprising – to me was to see how drastic the differences are in how three different Planned Parenthood locations within the very same county handle these requests. They varied widely from “we don’t accept family profiles, but we refer them to agencies we work with” to “sure, send it over and we’ll keep it in the folder we show to women interested in pursuing adoption.”

If anyone has tried networking via the above methods (or through other, more creative and unconventional ways) to  locate a birth family, and you have experienced success or failure, please share!

Domestic Adoption Training Sessions Begin!

This weekend, we attended our first training session that our social worker offers for prospective adoptive parents. This session focused on the legal side of the domestic adoption process:  What to expect during the process and the differences between temporary placement, formal placement, and the finalization of the order of adoption and the legal requirements that go along with each.  Our instructor  was well-informed and provided lots of really great, examples of situations she has actually gone through during the adoption process to help illustrate the reasons why  certain steps are required during the process.

We certainly feel more informed having attended the session.  It helped us make a mental and emotional transition from all of the prep requirements, home study visits  and creation of our photo book (which we happily handed to her in person before the session) to the reality of what we should be prepared for when the time comes that we are chosen by a birth mother.  It’s no longer a matter of if we can adopt, but simply when, and that was exciting and quite emotional.

One of the things we now need to do is find a pediatrician. Similar to an expectant couple doing research to choose a pediatrician for their child, we must now do the same.  So exciting! We’d love to hear thoughts and ideas about the best way to find the right pediatrician.

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.