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My Family, My Journey: A Baby Book for Adoptive Families Diary – April 26, 2007
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--Before You Were Born (The story of us and how we came to be a family); includes space for family photos before and after placement
--The Story of Your Adoption; includes sections for "Why we chose to adopt" (only two lines for text!), "how we found you", and "our hopes and dreams for you"
--People Who Helped Us Find You; includes space for four pictures, names, and "how they helped us find you".
--Waiting; includes sections for "plans and preparations we made"
--The Match!; includes sections for "how we found out" and "how we celebrated"
--A Baby Shower!, includes sections for shower invitation, "favorite shower memories", "special guests", and "special gifts"
--Our Journey to You; includes sections on "where you were", "how we got to you", and "joyful memories"
--Our Very First Meeting; includes space for photograph and sections on "our first impression of you" and "your first impression of us"
--All About Your Name; includes sections on "why we chose your name" and "what it means and where it came from"
--All About Your Birthday; includes sections on "your astrological sign" and "what we know about your birthdate"
--Our Family; includes space for four family individuals: names, relationship, favorite foods, color and animal, and some space for text (no photo space, although you could improvise pretty easily)
--Coming Home; includes sections on "your trip home" and "you wore"
--Your New Home; includes space for a photo of baby's room and sections on "what you thought of your new home" and "what we did on your first day home"
--Introductions and Celebrations; includes sections on "some of the first people you met", "favorite stories" and "favorite presents"
--Your Announcement; includes space for announcement
--Your Adoption Buddies; includes space for four individuals, including photograph, child's name, parents' names, and favorite memories
--Page for four photos of your choice
--Twelve pages marked for months one, two, etc, meant to be the "first year with us" (so not necessarily 1 month of age, 2 months of age, etc). Each page has space for a photograph, and sections for height, weight, and memorable moments & milestones
--First and Favorites; includes sections on first word, favorite toys, first night slept all the way through, favorite foods, first step, favorite songs, other firsts & favorites
--Your Adoption Day; includes sections on judge's name, special people who were there, "how we celebrated", and one full page for a photograph
--Your First Birthday With Us; includes sections on "on your birthday you wore", "all about your birthday cake", "the special people who attended", "gifts you received", and one full page for a photograph
--"Things that Make You Smile", "Things That Make You Cry"
--One full page for "What We Know About Your Birth Family and Where You Came From"
--Two family trees, each on a page opposite each other. One is marked with aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, etc. The other is blank. There are stickers in a back pocket of the book so that you can fill in other branches/relationships as necessary, and it's up to you if you want the trees to be biological or adoptive families, or one of each.
--Two pages for Notes
While it's a good book, and I would probably buy it again, I was surprised to find out that there are just as many pages here that I'm going to find difficult to fill out as I would have in a traditional baby book, where obviously I can't fill any of the pregnancy bits out. Adoption Buddies? Maybe that's good if you're adopting your child in a group from overseas, with other families, but not for a private adoption from an agency. People Who Helped Us Find You? I'm guessing that would be our adoption agency, but I don't really see the need to give them a full two pages of my son's adoption book or to ask for their photographs.
All in all, a good book for the money. It's seriously durable, with reinforced, good-quality pages, and the cover is slightly padded. It doesn't lie quite flat now, but I suspect it will over time and as I begin to really fill it out. (Kind of need the baby to nap for that!)
- Before you were born
- Our first family photo with you
- The story of your adoption
- Our hopes and dreams for you
- 2 page spread for People who helped us find you
- The match
- 2 page spread for the baby shower
- Our journey to you
- Our very first meeting
- All about your name
- All about your birthday
- 2 page spread for Our Family
- Coming Home
- Your new home
- Introductions and celebrations
- Your announcement
- 2 page spread for Your adoption buddies
- 14 page spread for Your first year with us
- 2 page spread for Firsts and Favorites
- 2 page spread for Your Adoption Day
- 2 page spread for Your first birthday with us
- First things that make you cry and smile page
- Page for what we know about your birth family and where you came from
- 2 family trees
- 2 pages for notes
Also an envelope in the back of the book has stickers for the family tree but more importantly the envelope would be good for storing any letters or pictures that didn't fit in the book.
I have mixed feeling about this book.
Is it cute? Yes. It is better for most adopted families than a traditional baby book? Almost certainly. Is it ideal? Not really.
The assignment of space is very poorly thought out. The "people who helped us to find you" section is two pages, most of the space being frames to put pictures in, with a couple of lines for adding those people's names and any info. The "why we decided to adopt" section, however, is only two small lines. No offense to any agency folk or lawyers, you're important to the process but I think the story of how the family came to be is more important than who worked at the agency that helped. I definitely want those people in our book, but how about one page with room for a group picture and a few lines to name them all. The freed up space could be devoted to giving more space to the story of the family?
I'm not even sure what adoption buddies are. That section is empty picture frames with room for baby names and parent names so I think it's meant to be for those who are in support groups maybe? Or for those in orphanages who had buddies also being adopted out at the same time? That seems like an international thing, I don't know how that works so maybe you would know those kids names and their parents? I don't really know what we would use that for, it's pretty much two wasted pages unless we tape over the text and repurpose the pages. That layout would be better if it were just blank photo frames and text space with no mention of "Adoption buddies" so that families could use it in a way that fits their family. Same with the shower, a more generic / can be used for multiple purposes layout might have been better suited since not all adoptive families have showers.
The stickers for the family tree are way way way too big to be used in the blank spaces between the branches and in my opinion would ruin the nice look of the pages. You'd be better off writing names directly on the page.
I feel like it was trying to suit a very specific adoptive family and no one considered how maybe it was a little too specific.
I'm not sorry that I bought the book and intend to use it. But I'm also going to keep looking for something that better suits our needs and gives us more space for what we care about while leaving out things that do not apply at all. If the pages that I listed above fit what you are looking for in a baby book for your adoption then I highly recommend this book. If, like me, you have a different idea of what your want the focus to be in a baby book? It's probably still one of the better adoption baby books and I would recommend it over a generic baby book but I would recommend you keep looking as well.