Examples of well-written public photolisting narratives

The four examples below are real narratives of waiting children and youth, with minor modifications. These narratives are positive, strengths-based, and descriptive. We’ve included one narrative written about a child with significant medical needs and noted the items included that helps make the narratives effective.

Read more about writing children’s narrative in our guide Creating Effective Narratives for Children Waiting to Be Adopted.


Great Scott! There’s a new superhero flying around the planet! It’s Marvelous Max! This caped crusader wants to save the world one day, and if he had his way, he would also strap a giant piggy bank to his back and drop money off to charities. Of course, that’s when he’s an adult. As a kid, Max just wants to tackle the heavens from the ground through a love of science. “Sometimes,” he says, “when it’s windy, I like to fly some kites. And sometimes I just like to relax, lay in the sun and look at the clouds.… Sometimes at night I like to look at the stars” … and perhaps wish upon one because Max wants a telescope one day, not to mention a forever family. “I would like to have a forever family who will provide me with a new home to live in and take me to Cosi!” Yes, this superhero/scientist might seem ordinary on the outside. After all, he likes listening to music and playing basketball and video games. But since when is saving the world “ordinary”?

What makes it great?

In addition to painting an entertaining picture, this narrative is effective because it includes:

  • Quotes from the child
  • Positive personality traits
  • Interests, hobbies, and favorite pastimes
  • School interests
  • Dreams for the future
  • How a family might be part of their life

Antonio, Juan, and Ignacio

Antonio, Juan, and Ignacio are active and fun-loving children with charisma and hearts full of hopes. Their sibling bond is strong, and they consider each other teammates. They look forward to being with each other and having a family who will support their dreams and passions. All three love sports, riding their bicycles, and listening to Tejano music. Antonio and Juan are the oldest and are protective of each other and their younger brother, Ignacio. Juan and Ignacio are quite outgoing—Juan likes to make jokes and Ignacio loves to chat with others. More reserved Antonio takes a little time to open up. These brothers are uniquely talented and are looking forward to sharing their love with their forever family.

What makes it great?

This is an effective because it includes:

  • Description of the siblings’ relationship
  • Cultural connections
  • Positive personality traits
  • Interests, hobbies, and favorite pastimes


“My name is Rogelio and I am 19 years old. I am in high school, and have plans to go to a local college upon graduation. My focus will be graphic design and I hope to one day work for a gaming company in some capacity. I have varied interests, including woodworking, metalworking, art, history and writing—that could also one day turn into a career. I am currently writing short stories with a goal of turning them into novels. I primarily write fantasy fiction, similar to Lord of the Rings or futuristic dystopian novels. In woodworking classes, I have made a keepsake box, a skateboard, and model houses.

“On top of all of my possible career interests, I also have several hobbies. I love reading and re-reading The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings series. My favorite books to read are in the same genre I like to write—futuristic dystopian societies. I love being around and caring for animals, and even worked at a pet store. I especially enjoyed working with injured and disabled dogs and was amazed by their abilities despite their challenges.
“I enjoy tinkering with technology by taking things apart, putting them back together, and attempting to repair them. I am also a big fan of video games and sleeping in occasionally. Growing up, I participated in Boy Scouts and especially enjoyed camping, hiking, and learning survival skills.
“I would describe myself as very curious and often ask a lot of questions as a way to connect with people. I like to cook and would love to help make meals. My favorite thing to make is stir fry. I would love to have any kind of pet and would be happy to help take care of them. I am looking for a family who would support my creativity and desire to try and learn new things. In the last year, I have reconnected with my birth father and other family members, and would like to remain in contact with them. I am looking for a family who can help me gain the skills I need to become a successful adult.”

What makes it great?

This is an outstanding example because it includes:

  • The youth’s voice
  • How a family might be part of his life
  • Important family connections
  • Dreams for the future
  • Interests, hobbies, and favorite pastimes, with details
  • Strengths and positive personality traits

Note: It is better to include a child’s birth year, rather than age. Because this narrative is written in the youth’s voice, it made sense to reference his age.

For a child with significant needs: Lexi

Meet Lexi (born in 2005)! If you want every day to start with a smile, there’s no doubt Lexi will bring one to your face. She greets everyone with a big smile and has been described as one of the happiest children you will ever meet. Her spirit is like no other, and the rewards of her love and smiles will be endless. A very social girl, Lexi loves to interact with children and adults. Lexi loves to be talked to! Lexi likes playing with soft baby toys and chewing on them and rolls around on the floor to get to what she wants. She can amuse herself by playing with toys attached to her chair tray (her favorites are toys with music and lights). Watching TV and animated movies are also fun for Lexi.

Lexi likes going to school and being part of everyday life. She enjoys outings and going to church with her foster family. Lexi has overcome many obstacles in her life, and the special family for Lexi must be willing to learn how to meet her needs and be willing to accept a lifetime commitment. If you are that family, please don’t miss out on another minute without this wonderful girl! Lexi is the kind of child that will enrich your life forever.

What makes it great?

It doesn’t focus on what Lexi can’t do but instead focuses on her strengths and includes:

  • Interests, hobbies, and favorite pastimes
  • Positive information about how she interacts with others
  • Strengths and positive personality traits
  • Things that are important to her
  • Accomplishments
  • Appeal to family