Adoptive Families, the award-winning national adoption magazine, is the leading adoption information source for families before, during, and after adoption.


Capturing Our Favorite Shots

We asked readers about your most treasured photos from your trips to the hospital or country where your children were born. Here are some of the most meaningful scenes and stories you shared from your adoption journeys.

by AF readers

AF reader photo "My partner and I proudly finalized the adoption of our son from foster care last summer. The very next day, we took off for a bold five-week camping adventure across the country to introduce him to our families. Our son went fishing with Grandpa and cast his pole and himself in the pond--this was taken right after we 'fished him out' and is one of my favorite pictures from that trip." --JEFF LEECH

AF reader photo "I wanted something other than the swaddled, hospital blanket photo we're all used to seeing, so I had professional photos taken at the hospital after my son was born. This picture, which is now blown up in the nursery, really speaks to our instant bond." --REBECCA

AF reader photo "Every chance Ella, adopted from China, had to make a wish, whether it was blowing birthday candles out or throwing a penny in a fountain, she wished to be a big sister. This is the moment that dream was fulfilled. She was the first to hold her little brother, adopted as a newborn in the U.S., and was so proud." --ELIZABETH HOURIGAN

AF reader photo "Our most treasured pictures were taken by family members at the exact moments we met each of our sons, both adopted from South Korea. I love that they are not posed, they captured the real emotion behind the moments. In this one, our oldest son is meeting his new baby brother for the very first time. I remember every detail of those precious days." --ANGELA

AF reader photo "I took a ton of photos at each of my sons' births. This photo is so special because it's of all of us--our older son Liam, Dad, Mom (me), his birthdad, his birthmom, and his two half-brothers." --CYNTHIA


Readers shared their best tips for taking great photographs and preserving once-in-a-lifetime moments.

Try to have your camera at the ready whenever you can, or you are sure to miss some special moment."

Our must-capture moments: holding our son for the first time; the front of the hospital; the NICU where he spent his first days; the whiteboard that the nurses wrote on; his crib labeled 'Blessed Baby Boy.'"

Don't forget to have someone take a picture of you with your child. We ended up with only one photo of us and our new daughter in China."

We adopted both of our children through domestic infant adoptions. We made sure to get photos of each of us the very first time we held our kids. Also, their first bottles, first baths, and so on. We took pictures of our kids with their birth families because we knew they would be important to our children as they grew up."

The lighting in the hospital can be tough. Newborn babies don't especially like flashes in their faces, so consider a tripod."

If you're traveling with a group and happen to be present when another family is meeting their child, start snapping away. They may not be prepared, or you may offer a different angle or the scene taken from farther away. Either way, they will appreciate the pictures you surprise them with later!"

Back up your photos during the trip--upload them to a cloud server or at least copy them from your memory card to a hard drive. Bring extra cards and keep the photos on the cards until you get home!"

We took a lot of pictures on our trips to Russia. Most were pictures of our daughter, Elena, but some of the most useful pictures have been of places in the orphanage. For example, I took a picture of an empty hallway on the first floor of the orphanage.
AF reader photoElena remembers walking down that hall. She's also pointed to the end of the hallway and told us there's a doctor's office there, where you go to get a Band-Aid, and that led to a conversation about doctors, getting sick, and getting well. In retrospect, I wish we had taken more pictures of the 'boring' places in the orphanage."--ANDREW AND TERESA

Get a good camera, know how to use it, then use it. Cell phone cameras don't cut it. Decent point-and-shoot digital cameras are cheap, and even an SLR, which gives better results, isn't that expensive. Make sure you bring extra batteries and a charger (and if you're going overseas, find out if you need a voltage adapter)."

How did you capture your favorite moments? Share tips in the Welcome Home group on AdoptiveFamiliesCircle

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