This post was originally published on AdoptionBlogs.com on August 30, 2010. Republished here with permission.
The Adoption Profile Scrapbook is one of those things about adoption that you either love or hate. You have to create a book that “sells” your family to expectant parents. You want it to communicate all that is good and fun about you. Some people freak out about this. Me? I love it!
I started planning our profile scrapbook as soon as I knew we needed one. In 2005, before I had even heard of digital scrapbooking, I selected pictures and printed contact sheets (using Picasa for the first time – yay!). In my adoption notebook (hmm… that should be another post), I drew each page. I wrote down how big each picture was supposed to be. I shopped for the perfect papers and stickers. I even ponied up the cash for letter stickers, which I never did because I vastly preferred hand-lettering. Making the book took more than one month. But it was so worth it.
I don’t think I sought advice. I didn’t use Google to search for “adoption profile books” or the like. I just put in my favorite pictures. Our agency did offer one sheet of suggestions, now that I think of it. (Perhaps I’ll dig them up for a future post.) When they received our book, our counselor told us it was one of the best she’d seen.
Fast forward to 2010. I’ve been thinking about what pictures to use in our new scrapbook since early 2009. I now scrap digitally (although I miss paper), so the mock ups and meticulous sizing will not be necessary. It will be necessary to wade through more than 10,000 digital photos and choose only those that are absolutely necessary.
In 2005, I discovered Picasa (now owned by Google). It is a great photo management and organization tool. When I bought my MacBook Pro in 2008, I discovered that Picasa did not come for the Mac. I used iPhoto. I hated it. Last year, Picasa came out for the Mac, and I am loving it once again. I believe that a good photo organization application is necessary to create an adoption profile scrapbook. You can organize your photos into albums without moving any of them. You can print contact sheets. You can edit photos. All in one, handy place.
That, my dear readers, is how to start an adoption profile scrapbook: Organization! How you organize is up to you. I organize by year, but some people organize by events or subjects. If you have boxes of photos, take some time to clean them up and scan the photos you need. Organizing pictures need not be a chore. You just need a big open space (such as a table you can leave cluttered with photos), an acid free pen or photo pencil, and photo storage boxes.
Perhaps you have your photos all in albums already. Look through them and bookmark the pages that contain photos you want. Scan the photos. You can even save to a special “Adoption Profile” folder on your computer.