Birthmother Book, Adoption Profile, Baby Book…all of these labels lead me to step 7: our book. The number one tool to introduce us to a person creating an adoption plan is an adoption profile. This book is like a large scrapbook that states the story of our life. When we visited AIM adoption agency, they had twenty of these sitting on a table for us to browse and get ideas of how we were going to create ours. Some were handmade, some were made by Shutterfly or Walgreens, some were fancy papers in sheet covers…lots of variety to say the least! A few had 15 to 20 pages, but I saw one that had up to 40-50. All had pictures…lots and lots of pictures. Some chose to write more than others, but each page telling a complete stranger a little about you, your family and your reason for choosing adoption.
I am not crafty. I don’t scrapbook and I don’t create art, music, clothing, food…anything really. Heck, I can’t even create a child…talk about uncreative! I say my art is on the soccer field, but my husband even scoffs at that idea. So, learning I had to be the key creator of this adoption book frightened me to say the least. Where do I begin? How do you sum up eleven years of life together in one album? It was a headache of decisions, but I dove right in and began the process in May. While continuing to teach school, I would work on it a little at a time each weekend and on nights that I wasn’t exhausted. My goal was to finish by the end of June. We are not considered paperwork pregnant until this book is finished, so we weren’t hurrying, but we were not delaying either. In June, my new job became full time adoption book maker. I spent hours on this book. Literally HOURS!
First, I chose to use Shutterfly. There were several templates for doing this where pictures could be inserted easily or words placed on a premade sheet, but I had in my mind exactly what I wanted so I went the custom route. Great for independence on doing what I want…horrible for getting it done quickly. Every single minute detail of this 24 page book was decided by me…Nathan started one page, but I even ended up doing most of his also. The color of each page, the cover, the font, the color of the font, the designs, the theme, the titles and subtitles, the angle of the picture, which picture to use, how much to write and the words to write…every detail was written and worked on with love. A huge labor of love! The goal was simple: create a book that when the person reads it knows exactly who we are. Create a book that is us.
We didn’t write what we thought would get us selected; we wrote what was genuinely us. Our favorite pictures and stories over eleven years as a couple and many more years growing up. I considered sharing the book on this blog, but I felt it was better to keep it private. You will get to know us better for sure, but then you would know us too well 🙂 I tried to keep it simple with 24 pages: a biography of Nathan and myself, our hobbies, our families, our faith, our friends, our home and city, how we met and married, our story to adoption and our “Dear Birthmother letter”. The most important things that make us the couple that we are. Each word happily or tearfully written with the love of a baby in mind. After changing it so much, I finally had to commit to just accepting it as perfect and order the printed copy.
It arrived today.
It brought tears to my eyes to see the finished product. It brings tears to my eyes to write about it now. Our life in one Shutterfly Photo Book. A culmination of our adventure to a child and a family that we have never met. Our lives crossing by the grace of God for this exact moment when we will meet and then be in each other’s lives forever. The book is so much more than a biography of ourselves…it is documentation of a journey. A journey to get to our family. The second to last page is a 50 picture collage making up all the moments of our life that we highlighted in the profile. The last page is titled “The rest is still unwritten…” You see, our book has a sequel and that sequel will be a photo album revealing the first year of our baby’s life in our new family and the many more to follow. I can’t wait! God is good. He is so very, very good.
The good news is: I hope our baby will forgive us for creating pure vomit with all the pictures of ourselves on every page. The birth parents will get sick of looking at us…we are everywhere!!! I will one day explain to this child that we love the camera, they all are pretty much posed because we are photogenic, and just wait unitl he/she is here because the picture taking has only begun!