We spent this weekend putting together our family book. This is a scrapbook style document which includes a letter to the birthmother and several pictures of us and our lives, this will be the first thing a potential birthmother will see of us when selecting a family for her child. It is a strange thing to try and capture a family’s essence in 21 pages of photos and a letter. Trying to show someone who has never met us that we are the right home for them to place their child has been a challenge. We know we’d be good parents, and would lavish love and affection on a child entering our home. We know that we have a wonderful family who is eagerly awaiting the newest addition and has already purchased tons of clothes and toys. We know that our friends are excited for us to add another baby to our growing numbers. We know that a child growing up in our house, with our people, would grow to be a happy, healthy adult. How do you extend that knowledge to a perfect stranger in scrapbook format?
We started out making decisions about what the most important things in our lives were. We settled on; our relationship, us as individuals, our families, and our close friends. This settled, we began the great search for photographs depicting all of these things in the best light. Most of our photos are digitized, so this wasn’t too difficult. We also dug into our family and friends’ stashes. The search for the best photos took about two weeks.Our biggest challenge was finding photos of Joel. He is behind the camera 90% of the time. We managed to get enough after much searching. Having a photographer in the family means lots to sort through 🙂 I, as token English teacher in the house, was in charge of the birthmother letter and captions. Joel, as token graphics designer in the house, was in charge of layout. One might look at these qualifications and say that we had it in the bag. Not that easy.
We wanted to make sure that everyone was similarly represented, that we had serious and crazy times, that we showed the full gamut of our lives. We spent the majority of two full days on the task. After several versions and updates, the first draft is complete and we’ve sent it off to our social worker today. Phew!
She gave us a little advice and her seal of approval, we’ll be ready to print up a few copies of the book and send them to the agency by the end of the week, then we’re in the pool!