There is so much to say about your life, but how do you fit all that into just one book! One book that will reach just the right birthmother. One book that will paint a picture of who you are. One book that speaks volumes about how your family so desperately wants to adopt, without looking desperate!
Our birthparents picked us from our book! Yours might too, so you want it to be perfect! Our birthparents carried our book with them to the hospital and shared with the nurses how excited they were about us, even thought they didn't want to see us there. Adoption is heart breaking for them. You want to give them the real you. The you that is going to raise their baby, and give them peace that they are doing the right thing!
Creating a beautiful book is so easy today with the help of online companies like Shutterfly, Mixbooks, and more. They even have ready made templets you just have to provide the content! So, Let's talk content!
Pictures: Your book will be filled with amazing pictures that will weave the story of your life! Make sure there are no identifying qualities like tee shirts, house numbers, etc., and add a caption to most if not all pictures. Not all need to be professional. Show the real you with real photos of you doing things! Also, make sure your husband looks good! I know this might sound strange, but from a birthmother's perspective, NOT ALWAYS, but she may not have a very good relationship with the babies father or any male figure in her life. She may be looking for just the right caring strong father to raise her child.
Written Content: Keep is simple! Everyone loves lists and bullet points (well at least I do); they are easy to read, get to the point, and pack a lot of information. We were told our birthparents looked at our book several times before ever slowing down to read anything. Could you imagine sitting down with 10-20 profile books in front of you and reading each one! NO, you would scan them all first and narrow them down just like any one would do!
DO NOT WRITE A NOVAL! Some pages will require more writing than others, so peak their interest with pictures first so they want to come back to read and dig deeper into your life!
Front Cover: Use an eye catching photo, and make it the biggest thing on the cover. The photo does not have to be professional. (I set up a tripod in front of our house.) Choose one that makes your family look friendly and inviting!
First page: Always include your Dear Birthmother/Birthfather letter. Most agencies will want you to create a letter written to prospective birthparents. This will be your first page!
Pages 2 & 3: Your Personalities in a nut shell! As a couple: list of strengths, years married, number of children (if needed), family facts. Other possibilities: family ethnicity, pets...
individually: list of personality traits, interests, occupation...anything else you could easily list instead of write. Include one to two sentences about each of you. Possibly about your greatest accomplishment, Your favorite thing to do, an interesting fact...
Pages 4 & 5: Marriage timeline. This is a great place to show your love story with pictures. Use short sentences and captions for your pictures instead of a long written story! You could also make a Family timeline and include children.
Pages 6 & 7: Why adoption. Here is where you write! You write about the reasons you are adopting. If that is due to infertility, share that here. Share your heart and show a vulnerable side, she is in a very vulnerable place herself. Do not paint yourself as her hero or savior, because you are not!
Here is where you share what you want this adoption to look like. Are you willing to share pictures, keep in touch, or have a fully open adoption? Honesty is key, and don't say it if you aren't willing to do it! Will you share with your children they are adopted? (If NOT we need to talk!) My kids know their story and love hearing it. It's a great idea to state you will be honest with your kids and allow them to question and find answers!
Pages 8 & 9: Family Life. Paint the picture of what living with you will look like. Write a short paragraph about your parenting style or how you will parent, discipline, and encourage.
Pages 10 & 11: Extension of Family Life with more pictures. What are your family traditions, favorite activities, experiences and opportunities your family can provide. Don't forget to caption those pictures! Include a few sentences about what you want for your future kids.
Pages 12 & 13: Extended Family. Describe your extended family, make them fall in love with their child's future grandparents, and show that you have support. Support raising your children, but also that they support you adopting!
Pages 14 & 15: Home. Showcase your home, help them picture where their baby will be raised. MUST include a picture of the nursery. If you don't have a nursery set up yet, take a picture of the room that will be the nursery. Describe how excited you are to redecorate it! You don't need a picture of every room in the house. What rooms will the baby spend the most time? The front or back yard...if you have a swingset or big yard showcase it. Living room, kitchen, dinning rooms, and again the nursery are great! Your master bedroom, laundry room...not needed!
Pages 16 & 17: Extended Support. Write about your neighborhood, community, church. What type of school will your children attend? Are there parks near by? What opportunities are available? Leave out names of schools, parks, churches... Check your pictures on this page for names or mascots on tee shirts.
Final Page or pages: Your promises. List or write whatever conveys your heart the best. Again, I love a good list, but If writing a sincere paragraph fits your style, do that! What do you promise for you child and birthparents? Do you promise to keep in touch? Do you promise to always put your child first?
On the very final page we opted for a fun picture! We are silly, and it fits us much better than a posed serious picture. But, again, you do what fits WHO you are! This is not the time to put out "fake news". Let your personality shine through the entire book and you will attract the perfect birthmother and/or father that is most attracted to you. Meaning you will have a better fit with your child in the long run!
However you end your book, leave them with a smile or a tear and they will remember YOU!