The Vance's Adoption Story
What if you could say that Mixbook changed your life?
Sean and Megan Vance can. The couple used a custom family photo book to reflect their personalities, day-to-day lives, hopes and dreams, to connect with their first son's birth mother. Together, the Vances built a personalized family profile that helped Gavin's birth mother choose them from a pool of waiting adopters.
How the Vances Used a Mixbook Adoption Profile Photo Book
"For both of us, family's always been important," says Sean. About 9 months after the pair married on a Michigan farm under clear, blue skies - and after they'd extensively discussed having children - the Vances discovered that they were unable to conceive due to inexplicable infertility issues. That's when Megan says they started exploring adoption.
"When we started the process for the adoption, I was most fearful of how long the process would take, says Megan." The timeframe to adopt a child varies, but according to the National Adoption Center, the process can stretch between two and seven years. Even after the lengthy wait times, home studies and other requirements, families who want to adopt must still connect with a birth mother who's comfortable with them.
And that's when the Vances put together a custom photo book.
"Basically, you're trying to put your best foot forward because you know that the birth mom is going to be sitting with any number of these books - and you're just kind-of hoping that their choice is you," says Sean.
"Gavin's birth mom called the agency and said, 'I'm ready to pick a family.' They drove right to the hospital and gave her our Mixbook," says Megan. "From there, she knew right away that we were the parents she wanted for her son."
Gavin, whose high energy keeps both Mom and Dad on their toes, gets to relive special times with the Mixbooks his parents still create - and one of them is his entire adoption story.
"We always do story time, so he picks his stories that we're reading. Looking back at those pictures, and then putting the story together - you're almost reliving it again," says Megan. "It's important, I think, for just any child to have their story - but especially for an adopted child to have that story of how they became a part of our family. It's their story, and we just want to be able to document that for them."
Gavin's little sister, Tessa, also flips through family photo books to relive special family moments. The bouncy toddler had a month to gear up for Tessa's arrival, and could hardly contain his excitement for her to join the family. The family continues to document their adventures and capture milestones in photo books that they'll enjoy for years - and they frame them in stories that one day, Gavin and Tessa will share with their own families.
Have You Used a Photo Book in a Creative, Life-Changing Way?
If you've created a Mixbook that's changed your life, we'd love to hear about it - please share your story in the comments below!