ISO: layout ideas/suggestions for adoption profile

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ISO: layout ideas/suggestions for adoption profile

I would greatly appreciate the community's help with this, because I am good and stuck and it's a project (obviously) very important to me.

Now that we're moving towards being court certified to adopt our second child, I find myself stumped once again as to how I want the profile "book" to appear. I actually tripped across digital scrapping four years ago while preparing for our first adoption, and wow, how far I've come. The text of an adoptive profile is so hard to write, because you're never going to know who reads it, but I also struggle with the colors and layout of the thing, too, and that's where you all come in.

For a general overview, a "book" is somewhere between 6-12 pages (sometimes more - I've come across 20+ page examples, which I would not do), usually 8.5 x 11 size; our first one was eight single pages, so it was four pages when put front-to-back). For the first one, I used a neutral pastel palette with yellow/white/pink/blue quilt patterned paper from the scrap program I was using. The first page is usually (but not always) a single photo, with basic intro text, and its purpose is to catch the eye and invite the reader open the profile. The remainder of the profile offers a glimpse into the prospective adoptive parents' lives, with enough photos to make it attractive, but not so many that it becomes overwhelming (I placed three to four small pictures among the text to break it up, then included a two page spread of pictures in lieu of overwhelming the pages with graphics). The last page is a closing page, thanking the reader for taking the time, and so forth.

I might do something along the lines of ten pages since there are a couple of things to add in terms of topics, but I don't know how long it would wind up being.

I'd like to canvas some of the talent here for suggestions as to layout, color, structure, and template ideas. Obviously I don't want someone to do a ten page template - that's just nuts! smiley I'm not going to give restrictions on color or anything because I want to see what y'all come up with. I'm curious as to how everyone would approach this.

Thank you so much for your help!

so silly question here, more related to the adoption process... but you have to become "court certified" as you put it above every time you adopt another child? just curious about this, as we'd love to adopt someday. smiley

My Superlatives bundle is pretty simple. The quick pages and layout templates are pretty simple and have lots of room for journaling.

Shawna: Generally, yes; but one can certify - which is only valid for X time (every state in the US is different) - and then recertify before it expires... but if you're like us and had to let the previous one lapse, then yes, you have to recertify every time. I can "talk your ear off" via message anytime if you like. smiley

Not exactly addressing your concerns, but wanted to alert you to a couple of adoption sketch templates which you can find here:

Some of Jennifer's items stay up only briefly...hurry over to get these. smiley

Hi Cindy,
My layout templates stay up forever. I hate that I have to retire everything but I can't afford to pay more than I am for my storage site so I have to delete things every now and again to make room for the new items. But the layout templates usually don't get touched.

If you want anything changed to another size that I have or want something special made please let me know. I would love to help. My friends are trying to adopt and I have helped them with their baby calling cards. I think that's great you're adopting.

Thank you very much, Jenn - I'll certainly let you know. I'm vacillating on the layout and wording, even the stupid colors, although I'm slowly narrowing it down. I've changed my mind 10 times in the last two weeks, giving my hard drive a heck of a workout as I have about 15 various things in PS at various stages of completion. smiley

Can you enlighten me on this process, too? I'm not clear about the book, I guess. You're saying "profile" this something physical or digital? Like a brochure for yourselves? I think some adoption-theme kits would be awesome!

Sure, Tina!

Yes, it's usually physical, but more of a booklet as it's bigger than a brochure (I'm thinking a brochure being 2 pages front to back, where a booklet would be 6-20 pages). There is also the "dear birthmother letter" which tends to be shorter (1-2 pages), and more like a brochure, where it's a very short introduction. Some placement agencies/attorneys want one, others the other, some want both. Many people use the terms 'profile' and 'dear birthmother letter' interchangeably; the idea in both are the same, the difference being the length.

In a way, it's like telling a story via a small scrapbook where it's all about the family with whom a potential birth mother might want to place her child. Or like a longer resume/portfolio. Either way, you want to create interest and further discussion and, ultimately, a placement.

Nowadays it's almost always digitally created (digi scrap software is perfect for this), and printed out somewhere like an office store like Staples, or even through an online printing service that will ship the completed 'booklet.'

Here is an example of what I'm generally aiming for (PDF format). You can google 'adoptive parent profile' for further examples of what I'm working on. They are unique to every individual or couple hoping to adopt, yet the format tends to be generally the same. Intro, a sketch about the person(s) wishing to adopt, their interests, home, pets, philosophies, and so forth, complete with pictures.

I'm doing the photos and some templates in PS and finishing it off in my scrapbook program, eventually to flip to PDF and print out.

Does that help?

Hi Allie! Good luck to you and your family during what looks like a very ardous process. I'm sending good thoughts your way.

Anyway, I was just doing a search for quick pages that are already arranged and you could just paste on pictures and journaling.
I didn't come up with much in 8.5x11".
BUT I did stumble across this printable quote that I love: We're All In This Together.
Do you find a theme/color scheme you want to stick with?
This has an upbeat message and the colors are fresh, maybe you could use this as your jumping off point.

That's a pretty awesome quote. It'd make good wall art, too!

The 8.5x11 is a challenge in terms of resources, but I think I've found a way around it without taking a class on Photoshop. smiley

I'm using the color scheme/ kit "That's Life" from the May 2013 Sweet Shoppe digi scrap parade... at least for the moment. It's neutral without being all green or all yellow, doesn't have the obvious pink and blue, isn't overtly baby-themed, and has an amazing amount of variety in it because it's just so huge. It took me a long while just to pick my baseline kit. I pepper some other complementary kits with it. Now I just need to make up my mind. I just changed my mind on background colors/design again the other night. smiley haha!

Writing the dang thing is harder than the home study...

I think that is the perfect kit to use!
I'm actually planning a family book for us using that kit for the same reason.
It has so much cute stuff!

I did find a freebie set of layouts here by Traci Reed. They're 4" x 6" so they're smaller scale than what you're looking for, and they're full of chevrons, which may be more trendy than you're looking for, but they do coordinate with the That's Life kit really well and theres 14 of them!

I looked at your pages you've posted in the gallery, you are an excellent writer with a very distinct voice! I could really feel the love in your words, especially in the page about your family home. I'm sure it's really tough to narrow down the pictures to use too. If I were you I'd use pictures that you love the most, even if they're not perfect, because then it will be easier for you to write about them.

I agree with what Fran said, if you keep your journaling in the first person I think it will seem much more authentic.

Thank you everyone!

The example I gave is obviously not mine. I just wanted to give a general idea of how it is laid out, pics, etc.

Fran, thank you for the good ideas! Tiffany, you're too kind, thank you.

I'll post some draft pages in my gallery if that's ok with Marisa and all.

Oh, yes! That's awesome! I'd really like to see if I could make some templates for that! That's a wonderful concept!

Side note...what are adoption-related words that could be used??? Thanks!

The awesome thing about working in 8.5x11 versus 12x12 is that things can ALWAYS be scaled down or cropped if needed! smiley

Just in case you don't know about it, you can do File>Place and it's kind of like pasting except that you can resize the item - just be careful because you can get the ratio out of whack and make it look stretched or squished. Just press Enter when you're done with it and it becomes its own layer that you can further move around with the Move Tool.

Also, you can open an file (like, for example, a journal box) and go to Image>Image Size to change the size of it. I like to change the drop-down boxes so that they say "percent" because I can't always visualize pixels - but I CAN visualize "oh, I want this to be about 75% of the original size" etc. smiley

I had NO idea that to adopt you had to make a brochure. I think that is REALLY awesome! smiley

Here is a layout from Scrap Orchard (by member lorryfach) that uses the kit so you can see the color scheme.

Black, white, dark aqua, coral, yellow-green, golden yellow. It's a great gender neutral palette with so much potential and flexibility.

Here is the origination of the blog train... I would imagine that most of the links are expired but there will likely still be images on some of the links if you're inclined to poke around.

Fran: I'm completely dithering on which direction to go in terms of design. I even created a pretty stark front page that is black print on white, with color photos in a 2-over-2 frame template, thinking I want it to look like a magazine layout. Then I go to my color block front page with the single photo and think 'man, that still looks great.' Then I see the sort-of quilt-looking theme I toyed with and I'm like "Hmmm..." I'm so torn.

I don't want to go too nuts on embellishments because they're distracting from the text we want them to read. Lucky for me I have months to work on it.

The written contents in the example provided is the general idea of what mine will look like - makes sense, yes? We're introducing ourselves in print. I'll post some drafts when I have a minute to go in and convert it to an image for y'all to look at (drafts with text are in Scrapbook Factory right now).

Tina: Buzzwords to start: paperwork, the paper chase, home study, certification, the wait, waiting, adoption timeline, your story, our story, the call, new family, birth (mother, father, family), child of my heart, adoptive family, blessed, joy, meeting you, court day, gotcha day [a term I don't really care for, but it's very common], worth the wait, waiting for you, welcome home

That's a start. I could brainstorm that all day. smiley

Mollie: re letter size format, you are right. It's also MUCH CHEAPER to print. smiley Thanks for the tips!

How many 'books' one winds up making depends on what the agency or attorney you're using wants, or how far and wide you're spreading it (one can use multiple outlets), so yes, it can get pretty pricey. That's why I'll be soft binding it on my own.

I 'favorited' the Debbie Hodge page - I'll definitely be poking around in there later tonight or in the next few days.

I've read that article you linked to before; it has excellent tips and a realistic example of how things can go. Some people wait years and years, and others get a week's notice, like we did with our son, or 24 hours notice, as an acquaintance of mine has. It just varies so widely.

Maybe we could make this a designer challenge (hint, hint)? smiley

Okay, ladies, I uploaded four draft pages into my gallery. I'm linking them so the thread isn't too image heavy.





Time to go to bed. Thanks for a really informative day. smiley

@Allie: TFS your heart and soul with us about this process! You are an inspiration to those of us hoping to adopt someday, too! smiley Please continue keep us posted on it all and if you need prayers throughout. {{{huugggs}}}

Allie, I think that kit choice is perfect! Your pages so far look great. Here's some more templates that might help.

Here is the first front page I did about two months ago, just playing around and getting comfortable with PS (and it shows).

So, a question: clean lines, or (some/a lot of) elements?

The front page is going to be our first impression. Obviously one wants to stand out from a crowd (or pile, as it were), but one doesn't want to look so cluttered that it's distracting. How do you find a balance? I always find it hard. NOT ready to release yet, but I'm still working on a kit for you and here's a sneak peek of what I have so far! It's 8.5"x11" and the back page is going to be a template. I so far only have solid papers and am trying to keep those elements simple.

Right direction or no???

Holy cow!!

I'm floored, Tina! A whole kit? I don't know what to say, other than it's beautiful and yes, I think in the right direction.

That is so very sweet of you Tina to do that to help Allie and others out! Thanks for your kindness and generosity! smiley PS I think it looks great so far too.

Well, here's the preview for the kit...

I'll upload it to my store this evening (I'm at work with no FTP access right now) and post back the link then!

It contains:
15 8.5"x11" .jpg papers
2 layered .psd/.png files templates
109 .png elements

That is really fantastic Tina! You did a great job!

WOW Tina: How very generous of you!!! I'm absolutely loving the layered templates, too. smiley TFS