Adoption story book DIY

You won't be shocked to hear that one of the hardest parts about adopting from Russia is having to make three trips to complete the adoption.  Aside from the long flight and being away from home, the leaving your child behind part is.... well, hard.

John and I want to start the bonding process with our little man as soon as possible (yesterday would be great), so we've done two things to facilitate bonding through the distance.

First, we've been sleeping with a little "lovey" which we intend on leaving with our little man at the orphanage.
If he takes to the lovey and plays or sleeps with it himself, it will help familiarize him with our scent.  The hope is that when we see him next he will remember (even if subconsciously) our smell and associate it with good things.

We also hope to take the lovey back home with the three of us on our final trip.  By then the lovey will smell like the orphanage and provide some comfort to our little man as he deals with feelings of homesickness, adjusting to his new life with us.

How well this will work depends on whether the nannies at his orphanage allow him to keep the lovey and then allow him to take it back home with us.  We've heard that most items become "common goods" at orphanages, so we'll see.  It's at least worth a try!

The other thing we've done is put together a board book with our pictures in it!  I originally stumbled upon this great idea via a pinterest pin from blogger Chef Messy.  She has a great tutorial on how to put one of these books together; her idea was for a gift but it works perfectly for our adoption purposes!

I don't have photoshop so I just used photobucket.com to re-size my photos into squares and had them printed on regular paper in 6x6 squares at FedEx.  I bought the blank board book on amazon.

Here's a picture of the finished product (almost, we are going to cover the pages with packing tape to improve durability):

I "translated" using google translate, so I'm not sure the Russian part is grammatically accurate, but the sentences are very simple so hopefully his nannies will be able to read it to him! 

Here are the pages:

Very simple way to help prepare him for the adjustment.  Once again how well this works will depend on his nannies, but we are hoping and praying they will be receptive to it!

Thanks for looking!



  1. Jillian, I have just come across your page this evening via Pinterest. I have so enjoyed the posts I've read and most of all appreciate your godly perspective. Your story has such similarities to my own. Just recently has the Lord changed mine and my husband's hearts to yearn for adoption as a way of building our family. After five years of struggling with infertility, the Lord is graciously bringing peace to our hearts and hope for a family.
    Thank you for your post referring to "Thy will be done..." Please pray for us that we seek the Lord's will for our lives instead of merely seeking parenthood.
    I see on your timeline that your trip to Russia is coming soon. I will be praying for you, your husband and your precious baby. May the Lord richly bless your trip and have His guiding hand on your journey.
    I look forward to following your story and hope to have my own adoption story to share one day. May the Lord bless you! Thank you for sharing your story.

    1. Thank you for this wonderful comment! I am so sorry that you've had to struggle with infertility for five years; I can only imagine what a journey that must have been for you two. As you said, what grace that the Lord is starting to give you peace and make you yearn for adoption. The moment when I knew that adoption was the right way to move forward was the moment when I first thought, "I hope I'm not pregnant this month so we can start our adoption." That was a complete 180 from where I had been the previous month. It is amazing how God can do that. I pray he moves in your hearts until they begin to race with excitement at the thought of your adoption. Please keep me updated! God bless. xo

  2. So neat! I love your book!

  3. Jillian, I LOVE how you did this book for your little man and am inspired to make one for my little bean when I get the official invite to go and meet her. Gorgeous!!

    1. That's great Candice!! Post pictures and be sure to come back and show them to me when you do! It is a fun project. :-)

  4. Love it! I thought about making a board book, but had no idea how! Instead, my friend gave him a little fabric photo book. We gave Gus a couple of things, over our trips-- a rattle, a photo book, some photos, and a teddy bear. The only ones we got back where the things which were obviously his-- the photo book and photos.

  5. Meghan8/17/2012

    An idea to cover your pages with instead of packing tape is Mod Podge! It works amazing and would be perfect to seal your pictures/book!

    1. Oh that is a great idea! Wish I would have thought of that!

  6. Made me cry! So beautiful. Honestly. I pray he's home with you as soon as can be. A friends parents adopted twins from Romania when we were in elementary school and though it was a struggle I know how powerful that love can be <3 wishing your family all the best.


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