This post is part of a series on creating an Adoption Lifebook. These posts reflect my personal journey creating an album for my son. I welcome your thoughts and tips on making an adoptee or foster care Lifebook as we go along.
“Let’s start at the very beginning, A very good place to start” – Julie Andrews, Maria Von Trap in The Sound of Music
A Lifebook is not a scrapbook even though you can make one in a scrapbook style (which is what I am doing). It is the true story of a child’s journey through adoption. From the moment they are born until they are a part of their forever family. (note the end point is vague – I think everyone’s journey is a bit different)
So I knew I had to make one for our son from Korea. I refused to start it until he was here because:
- I wanted him to be a part of the process.
- I didn’t want to jinx anything. It took us 695 days to get him and there was no way I was going to get in the way.
Unfortunately when I was ready to begin I found relatively little about how to make a Lifebook. There are lots of articles and mentions about these books but nothing that really helps you with the process.
I did get a hold of LifeBooks: Creating a Treasure for the Adopted Child by Beth O’Malley. So far this book seems to have the most detail about creating a Lifebook. But even it is vauge as they see each journey as unique. This is a nice sentiment but for those that are visual like me it is frustrating. I need directions!
I feel like I am starting this book with no clear path forward so bear with me as you join me on this journey. I welcome your experiences, suggestions, examples, etc. This is all for my son so I can use all the help I can get.
I apologize for the long introduction – let’s get started on the book.
The First Two Pages: You Were Born
There is so little around his birth that finding any details was difficult. I include they facts I could find: birth weight, time of birth, meaning of his name, last names of his birth parents, etc. Anything to make him feel like he has a beginning.
I then had to get creative. I looked up the weather at the time of his birth and found a picture of the town he was born in. I included the South Korean flag and his name written in Korean. All to show him his heritage and that he did have a starting point.
I also included what it was like in Houston that day as that is where is home is now.
If you have more details then include it. Many times you also have the name of the hospital, their condition at birth, and the foot prints. These are all precious details.
The second page has a copy of the birth certificate given to us by the orphanage. We will get another one from the state of Texas but this one is the only official record we have from Korea documenting his birth so we wanted it documented.
I also included a map of where he was born so he had a reference to where he began.
I have to admit these pages frustrate me because they have so little. But it is reality for adoptees and those in the foster care system. This is all they have so you need to preserve it and make sure they can access it.
Everyone needs to know they had a beginning and weren’t hatched out of an egg.
Thank you for joining me on this journey. I look forward to sharing it with you and would love to hear from you too. Feel free to share in the comments below or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
- LifeBooks: Creating a Treasure for the Adopted Child by Beth O’Malley
- More Pages from the Bright Pink Lifebook by Do They Salsa in China
Scrapbook Page Layout Credits: