Adoption Journey Books: FAQ

what is a legacy book and other frequently asked questions about tribute memory books in honor of deceased loved one

Frequently asked questions about our Adoption Journey books. 

If you don’t find the answers to your questions here, please don’t hesitate to contact us to better understand how we could work together.

What is an adoption journey book?

While a life book is your child’s story, an Adoption Journey heirloom book is your story—you as an adoptive parent, and you as a member of your growing family.

Your Adoption Journey book might include:

  • memories of the first meeting, the long journey home, first weeks together, first bonding experience...the memories that you don't want to fade
  • a visual timeline of the adoption process
  • photographs through the years
  • maps of your child’s birthplace & where you physically traveled
  • handwritten notes from your journal, especially during the early days as a new parent
  • typed or handwritten letter with dreams for the future
  • thoughts on what it means to be a parent—and a family
  • memorabilia such as your ticket to your child’s birthplace, or the email alerting you to your approval as adoptive parents
  • insights & feelings—the inner story of your adoption journey

There are so many paths to parenthood. Your journey, though, is the one that matters to you and your family. An Adoption Journey heirloom book is a beautiful means of honoring your family’s unique story and of preserving the memories and emotions for your children—and, just maybe, for the next generation.

How long should an Adoption Journey book be?

There are no rules. Your Adoption Journey book may be anywhere from 20–300 pages, though on average ours tend to be about 70-100 pages. Because we design coffee table books that are meant to be opened to any page to enjoy, there is great freedom in designing photo-heavy spreads to make a smaller book feel more substantive, or text-heavy pages that preserve many family members’ memories in one longer book. 

Do I have to be a writer to make an Adoption Journey book?

By no means must you be a writer to create any book with Modern Heirloom Books. Our process involves interviewing you and other subjects who can contribute meaningfully to the story you want to tell. For Adoption Journey books in particular, that typically means we interview one or both parents. On occasion it might be appropriate to also speak with grandparents who were a support during the process, and even to the children themselves if they are old enough.

That said, if you are in fact a writer and prefer to write your own words to recount the experience of becoming a family through adoption, that is a wonderful option, too. Our editor will work with you to plan the structure of the book, edit your text, and fill in any gaps. We will even work directly from your journals, calendars from that time period, and any boxes of items you may have stashed to mark the experience (plane tickets, emails, official forms).

Whatever your preferred method of story gathering, our team is here to help guide the process and craft a professional and engaging Adoption Journey book for you.

What if I don’t have many photos of my child(ren) when they were little?

No worries. We will work with whatever materials you have to create a meaningful and beautiful book. It is sometimes surprising to find that we can often enhance and make the most of small or not-so-great images, such as a fuzzy baby picture from your child's original adoption file. 

What if there are some parts of our adoption journey we would rather not tell?

Always remember: This is your story. That means you only share those parts that you choose to. You may reveal certain things during the interview process that we include in a first draft of your book that give you pause later; anything may be removed or softened or told more delicately during the revision process. We are skilled listeners and editors, and it is our mission to tell your story with respect and honesty, not to reveal more than you may wish. If there are portions of your story that are sensitive in nature, we can discuss how to best include them, if at all. And your conversations are always kept confidential.

What if we have adopted more than one child?

Count your blessings! (We have no doubt your love has multiplied!) You may choose to create one book that documents the combined journeys of how you adopted your children and became the family you are today; or, you may choose to create a smaller volume for each child, gathering all the books together into a slipcase that unites the collection. Whatever the size of your family, we will find the best narrative structure and design for preserving your journey meaningfully.

What is the turnaround time for creating a book?

It typically takes about 6 months to complete an Adoption Journey book. After the free initial consultation, the process involves:

  • an initial meeting where we create a plan of attack 
  • interviews, for which timing depends on subject availability and any necessary travel
  • book production (writing, editing & design)
  • book review (client revision, copyediting, and final proofs)
  • book printing (turnaround time is dependent upon the style of book chosen)

We are always willing to work with you to try to accelerate a schedule when feasible, but timing is truly specific to each individual book.

When should I begin an Adoption Journey book?

We love the idea of beginning the process of making an Adoption Journey book within 5 years of your completed adoption. Within that time frame, your memories of the process will still be fresh enough to access (you'd be surprised how the details may fade over time!); your sense of self as a parent will have solidified in a way that makes speaking or writing about your journey easier; and your children will have grown enough that you can reflect on them as individuals over a period of time, including photographs that show their personalities and their growth.

Honestly, though, when you choose to tell your adoption story is an individual decision, and there is no wrong time to begin. The tone of your book will vary greatly if you are telling it as a brand new parent (there is a beauty and immediacy to the rawness of your emotions during that time); or as an adoptive parent whose children are now all grown up (you will be more reflective, and the distance from the actual adoption process will lend a perspective to your journey that could only come with time).

Can I get a digital version of my book to share with family?

Absolutely. We offer an upgrade to our printed books which includes a full digital copy of your book, delivered to you on a flash drive.

Can I get multiple copies of my book?

Of course! We can have as many copies of your Adoption Journey book printed as you would like. We will even customize books for different individuals, so that each child in your family has the same book with one section (or introductory page) tailored just for them, for instance.

How much does an Adoption Journey book cost?

Because all our books are fully customized, we cannot quote an accurate project fee without first having a consultation. Most Adoption Journey books, though, typically fall within the range of $2,600–8,000. Some factors that may impact final cost of an adoption book include:

  • number of children adopted
  • total number of photographs & mementos
  • custom timeline & travel maps or other graphic storytelling devices
  • number of people interviewed for book
  • size and style of book

What if I have more questions?

By all means, please reach out directly. Call Dawn at 917.922.7415 with any questions about our Adoption Journey books or other offerings, or contact us here.

We want to help you preserve the story of your Adoption Journey in the way best suited to YOUR family. Are you ready to begin?