Your profile book, whether digital or bound, is often the first impression you make upon potential birth parents. Your pictures and captions can tell your story better than 1000 words. Below is a list of ten suggestions to help you tell your story and make a beautiful, attention grabbing profile book.
1. Start by compiling lots of fabulous, smiling pictures! Pictures should show you with your loved ones, friends, pets, on vacation, enjoying your hobbies or sports and celebrating holidays. Crop your photos so we can see the faces of the people in the picture. Use clear, in focus pictures and lots of them!
2. The next step is to introduce yourself. Your first page is a picture of you, whether you are single, a couple, or perhaps you have children already at home, it is your nucleus family. Also on your first page is a short, gentle hello inviting the birth parent(s) to learn about you by looking through your book and briefly describing your dream of building your family.
3. DO NOT go down the path of telling the birth parent(s) you understand what she is going through or how difficult you understand her decision to be. You do not understand what she is going through. It is nice to wish her good health, peace and serenity. It is ok to thank her for taking time to read your book.
4. The next two pages are dedicated to each of you. It is particularly nice when one spouse writes about the other, describing his/her partner’s best qualities and what he/she loves about the other. Dedicate one page of pictures and text to each of you.
5. If you have a child, dedicate a separate page describing him/her.
6. Fill out your book with pictures showing your extended family, hobbies, travel and sports adventures, holiday traditions, wedding pictures, and outings with friends. It is ok to have a short narrative explaining some pages, but equally fine to use captions under pictures to make your pages more attractive and less wordy. Captions should be catchy! Why say, “We like to cook” when you can say “Sunday morning buttermilk pancakes bursting with blueberries, fresh maple syrup and bacon!”
7. It is always nice to include pictures of your home and neighborhood. You might highlight pictures of your Christmas tree, a beautifully set dining room table, or cuddling in your favorite den chair with the dog/cat! If you have a lovely garden, backyard or live near a park or beach, by all means show it off! You have to be in the picture though – the picture should be you hanging the Christmas decorations or building a sand castle, standing over your bike in the neighborhood.
8. The first pages of your book/website should be an introduction to you alone. Save your friends and family story for the middle pages. It is great to share a couple pictures of you with friends and extended family, especially nieces and nephews. Make sure you are in the pictures as often as possible and that everyone is smiling!
9. One of the more creative pages adoptive parents may want to add is a “Favorites” page. Create a chart of categories where you each list a few of your favorites such as: food, vacation place, sport, song, movie (books are not as universally known as movies), maybe even something silly like favorite superhero! Do this near the end, as it is a light and fun way to finish up your book.
10. The last page should be a nice sized photo of you with contact information such as a toll free 800 number or specifically designated email. It is best to consult with your attorney or agency concerning what contact information you list, but you will need a way for the birth parent(s) to find you. Always say thank you for reading your book!