Thursday, October 25, 2012

I made a book!

My husband and I are off to Ethiopia at the end of November. Many of you who know our story may know we have been in the process of attempting to adopt a child we met in the orphanage in 2009. We have been advocating for her case for years and it's hard to find the words to explain the emotions I have experienced. What I've learned the most is whatever those emotions are, I have nothing left but to fall at the feet of Jesus and give it up to Him. What I have also learned is that there are few things in this adoption process that I allow myself to get excited about because of the letdowns we've experienced.

I can tell you, however, I am EXCITED! I made her a book! I was so excited, in fact, that I FaceTime-d a friend and read it to her. Although our little girl is a little older now, probably seven, and could probably handle a regular picture book, I thought it would be nice to create a type of board book for her. I did a ton of research and landed on a company based in Hong Kong. They have a feature where you can design your own photobook. The reviews I read were for the most part good, although customers repeatedly said they lack any customer service and shipping takes quite a while (although only costs $4, go figure), as in up to one month. It took me hours (many of them) to create a 24 page 6x6 book and cost about $26 which included shipping.

I just got the final product in the mail today (took about 3 weeks for printing and shipping) and I AM IN LOVE. It's not completely a board book but the pages are super thick, almost board-like but not. Does that make sense? Well anyway, the quality is really, really good. The pictures are bright, everything is really clear and I can't wait to give it to her. You see, pictures of yourself in Ethiopia are really important, and I'm not entirely sure that not only does she not own a picture of herself, but that she also has never actually seen what she looks like because there are no mirrors in the orphanages. Dr. Purvis talks about how important it is for a child to see themselves and know they are precious. I hope she loves it even a tenth as much as I do.

If you're looking to make a picture book for the child you've been referred, I would highly, highly recommend it. Our book is more about her and less about us because our future with her is uncertain, but I am so glad she will have something to cherish. If you have the time to play around with the software (it's not super user-friendly and takes a little time to learn) and the time for shipping, I'd recommend ArtsNow for the design your own books. The company that has the identical website but is based in the US is UrbanLoad, but I can't speak to the products since I haven't ordered from them.

You can certainly not appreciate the quality of the book from this picture, and the years are based on the ethiopian calendar (they are seven years behind us).

If you've have the opportunity, what have you sent over to the child you've been referred?


  1. We were able to send a voice recorder to our daughter who was about 5 years old. We recorded ourselves reading and talking. She still loves to listen to it!

  2. Stuffed animals, snacks and instant cameras--we're hoping they'll take some pics for us to have!