07 November 2012

The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Adopted Child

This is the most important post I ever have or ever will blog. I wish I could share the information in this post with every single adoptive parent. The absolute best thing you can ever do for your adoptive child is to make a lifebook for him or her. I found out about lifebooks a while ago and had always planned on making one for my daughter, but not until I started making it and then read the finished product to my daughter did I realize how very important it is.

Like I said, when I started the lifebook I was doing it thinking it would be an easy way to tell my daughter about where she came from, and that's about it. I had no idea where to begin, how to word it, or what to include. So I did a "lifebook" search on Amazon and came across this book:

It's "Lifebooks: Creating A Treasure For the Adopted Child" by Beth O'Malley. I adore this simple little book. It has helped me work through my feelings about my daughter's adoption (feelings I didn't realize I had), and to create a beautiful, well-worded story of how my daughter joined our family.

The author lists the different pages a lifebook should have, gives suggestions as how to word sensitive situations, and gives several examples of each page. 

I bought an album with matching paper and stickers from Hobby Lobby, borrowed a straight-edge cutter and a couple fancy-edged scissors from a friend, and went to. "Lifebooks" told me step by step how best to create this treasure for my child.

It covers every situation, even when you have almost no information on your child's life before he/she came to you. It covers domestic adoption, international adoption, and fostering. The author also explains why a lifebook is such a very important  piece of an adopted child's life.

I highly recommend this book to every adoptive family out there, and highly suggest you create a lifebook for or with your child today. It's not near as hard as it seems. Promise.

My daughter adores her book. We put her name on the front and she refers to it as [Destiny]'s book. She asks us to read it all the time and has learned some bits by heart. It has also been a wonderful way for her older brother to learn about where she came from.

After much consideration I have decided to share my daughter's lifebook with you. I think it is just that important. However, I have erased and blurred much of it to keep personal information personal. I share it to give you an idea because when I searched the internet for an example I found none.

Like I mentioned before, I made it easy on myself and bought an album with matching papers and stickers. Then I borrowed a straight-edged cutter and a couple pairs of fancy-edged scissors. I am not a scrapbooker, so was nervous, but it turned out easy to do. I used photos from the internet, and ones that friends and family found and emailed to me. When I finished I couldn't wait to read it to [Destiny]. I was disappointed to discover it just could not keep her two year old attention. That's when I went to a couple craft stores and bought 3D, shiny, colorful stickers to add to the book. It worked.

If she were older I would have had her help make the book. Instead I left a couple places for her to add her own drawings when she gets a bit older. Also, because of her age, I paraphrase a bit and skip parts she won't yet understand when reading it to her. For example, she won't be able to understand the birth certificate law or care about it until she's older, but it is an important part to include for when she is older.

I know. It seems daunting. Just start. It'll come easier the more you do. Besides, it doesn't have to be perfect. It just has to be honest and heart-felt.

Please feel free to post any questions you might have.

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  1. this is awesome, thanks so much for sharing! ;-)

  2. We have included a lot of this in her scrapbook, but I do think a separate book would be great.
    I will have to make one for both of our adopted children soon.


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