Your childs lifebook is their story. It’s their past, present and future. It’s a record of their life though words, photographs, memorabilia, artwork and more. There is no wrong way to do a lifebook. It’s really more of a concept. If your child is old enough to participate in helping to put together their lifebook, encourage them to do so. It is great way for open up lines of communication about how they feel about having been adopted, feelings they may have about their birthfamily, etc. Plus, it is a fun thing to do as a family. For those of you who are starting the process, start early and plan it out. Invest in a journal or notebook where you can make notes of things you want to include in the lifebook. Be sure to include your feelings. When you actually sit down to do your lifebook pages, then your journaling information will be already put together and you can use it as a reference. Save mementos & pictures that you may want to use.
~ Why you decided to adopt
~ Why you chose a specific country
~ The process you went thru
~ Those who helped you with the process
~ Copies of paperwork that you might want to include
~ Agency letterhead
~ The referral call & what you did when you got it
~ Referral photos & other photos you receive (be sure to write down all those emotions you felt when you saw the photos)
~ Medical exam info
~ What you did during the wait to keep busy
~ Your child’s name – who named them, significance, how decided upon, etc
~ Their room you fixed up for them
~ Preparing your home
~ Family trees (both your family tree and birthfamily info & pictures, if any is known). If you want to wait before sharing more detailed birthfamily info with your child you could put these pages in a separate private album and let your child decide if they want to add them to their album, etc or you add them once you have discussed these issues with your child. Whatever you and your child are most comfortable with.
~ Pictures of your child that you received during the process.
~ Information about their birth place during this timeframe – significant events, stats on what life was like at the time of their adoption, relevant articles, etc
~ A newspaper from the date they were born
~Picture of you ready to embark on your journey to meet or bring your child home.
~ Travel itinerary
~ Ticket stubs
~ Brochures of places you visited
~ Something from the hotels you stayed at, etc.
~ Notable events & people from your trip
~ Pictures from your trip
~ Pictures of the orphanage, caretakers, foster family, foster family home, birth location
~ adoption quotes
~ adoption poems
~ Your first family picture.
~ Your feelings on finally meeting your child.
~ Information your child’s foster family or caretakers share about your child.
~ Your court appearances or visa appointments.
~ First day in their new home.
~ Adoption timeline.
~ Copies of any adoption announcements you placed.
copyright 2007 Joanne Greco
From the Forever Parents adoption forums:
** I combined my son’s lifebook with his scrapbook. It starts with a couple of pictures of hub and me waiting anxiously for him to arrive. The next pictures show the social worker walking into the house with him. There are lots of pictures of our first hour or so as a family. Then, we have the adoption celebration with the adoption agency. I included captions for each picture to explain who everyone was, what was said, etc. Then it moves on to the typical newborn kind of pictures until he reaches 18 days old, which is when we got ICPC approval to go home. My son was wearing a “Going Home” outfit before we got in the car. And then there are the “It’s a Boy” balloons and decorations that we saw when we drove home. (Our families waited to decorate the house until we arrived home so our son and I could actually see the decorations.) After that, it moves on to a typical scrapbook showing his life chronologically.
** My son LOVES to look at his scrapbook. He asks questions about the adoption ceremony. I included it because his adoption was a part of his history. I don’t ever want him to have a “moment” where he “learns” that he was adopted. Incorporating the adoption ceremony into his scrapbook makes his adoption a part of his history — no more and no less.
** I scrapbooked my own “Lifebook” and made it up myself. It reads more like a normal photo album in the way that at the beginning is his birth (bfamily incl.) and goes through his first year of life (so far). I used a separate baby book to record his milestones and it’s not terribly detailed apart from that. It does include an adoption section (by Hallmark). I don’t think that anything that you buy already made will satisfy everyone so that’s why I made my own “Lifebook”. I would have done the exact same thing if I had given birth so I don’t look at it as an adoption thing and give it the label of “Lifebook”, but something I would have done no matter what.Adoption, adoption agency, adoption announcement, adoption announcements, adoption lifebook, adoption lifebooks, adoption poems, adoption quotes, adoption scrapbook, family trees, lifebook, LifeBooks