When you finally bring your child home, you want to share your joy with family and friends—and keep a log of the journey for yourself. AF readers tested new options for recording those precious memories.
• Photo-sharing website
• Free to join
Reviewer: Elizabeth, mom of Kendall (six, China), Maryland
Getting started: Setting up an account was easy, and I was surprised by how quickly large photo files uploaded. But, once they’re stored in the Collections area, you can’t make any creative changes, like adding borders or cropping—you can only change the order and orientation of the photos. You can edit your photos first in a regular Shutterfly album, then transfer them to your Collections page, but that’s a hassle.
Sharing: The biggest complaint I heard from friends and family members I shared our page with was the requirement to sign up for an account to leave a comment or add their own photos. Many were reluctant to do this, so they sent me e-mails instead. No one ordered prints, but when I’ve placed orders in the past, the quality was good and the turnaround was quick.
The result: If you only want to store and share photos online, this is an easy-to-use tool. However, other sites (like flickr.com and smilebox.com) let you get creative with your pictures.
My Family, My Journey
• Baby book for adoptive families
• Chronicle Books; $16.95
Reviewer: Kellie, mom of Nora (five) and Henry (two months, U.S.), Wisconsin
Getting started: I had been documenting the process in a generic baby book that wasn’t appropriate for our situation. Some of the adoption baby books I saw online were expensive, and seemed to involve a lot of work, but this one is easy to fill out.
Sharing: The book has spots for basic baby details—height, weight, and milestones—as well as pages to record what we know about the birthmother. Depending on how much we include about her, this could be either a private keepsake or a fun baby book to share with others. Since My Family is so adorable, we decided to share it and keep private details elsewhere.
The result: The fields were well thought-out, and most worked for our story. There was plenty of space for people who helped us find Henry. But there is only one page for travel—not enough to describe our big adventure and all the funny and frustrating things that happened—so I’ve been recording additional details in the “Notes” section.
On AF's Radar
When Kelly Romano adopted her son from Korea, in 2005, she was dismayed by the limited choices in adoption announcements.
“I didn’t think a stork or the Korean flag was an acceptable way to celebrate our child’s arrival, and I realized there was a need for more stylish announcements,” she says.
So Kelly created a line of fridge-worthy letterpress cards suitable for announcing your international or domestic adoption.
Select from a variety of images and personalize the wording; turnaround time is four to six weeks (shorter for a rush order).
Find more product reviews from AF readers at adoptivefamilies.com/gear.
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