Create an Adoption Lifebook – Capturing the Day You Were Born

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

Making an Adoption Life Book - You Were BornAs we were preparing for adoption many of the books we read and education classes we took kept mentioning the importance of a Lifebook.

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:

  1. I wanted him to be a part of the process.
  2. 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.

Making an Adoption Life Book - You Were BornThe 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.

Making an Adoption Life Book - You Were Born

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





Scrapbook Page Layout Credits:

By |2017-10-12T12:43:53+00:00April 16th, 2014|

About the Author:

Full time working mom making the most out of time with my family through travel, crafts & photography. Owner/designer of Capturing Magical Memories® and co-owner of the Magical Blogorail travel co-operative. In my free time it is all spas, wineries and concierge.


  1. HeidiPortzlineStrawser April 16, 2014 at 6:48 am - Reply

    Oh my gosh – this looks fabulous already and I’m so jealous.  I made a nice scrapbook for Gracie and started one for Ian.  Got several pages in and never finished it.  I wish I knew what I was doing and could create something like this for him. 🙂  Man, why can’t we live closer so you could help me?!

  2. athomemoma April 16, 2014 at 7:41 am - Reply

    I think it is so important to know where you come from, whether adopted or not.  It is your history and I gives a sense of self and belonging. This scrapbook is such a great idea.

  3. CapMagicalMem April 16, 2014 at 8:20 am - Reply

    HeidiPortzlineStrawser Now that would be fun.  I could then learn t-shirt making!!

  4. StyleDecor1 April 16, 2014 at 10:14 am - Reply

    Awwwwe. Love this idea! This is so beautiful it’s making me cry! It is such a special way to document an important day in your life and your baby’s life. God Bless all of you! 🙂 <3

  5. valmg April 16, 2014 at 11:21 am - Reply

    What a lovely idea! I’ve never really thought about it in any other terms then baby book but your way of looking at it is so much nicer!

  6. MakobiKelly April 16, 2014 at 12:06 pm - Reply

    What a wonderfully sweet idea! I have friends who adopted and have had issues about not being as open about the beginning of the journey. I think it is really important.

  7. ladyboarder9669 April 16, 2014 at 12:16 pm - Reply

    Wow this is such a great idea! Absolutely great!

  8. mausekindmom April 16, 2014 at 7:44 pm - Reply

    How fun and what a great idea… totally love this and you did such a beautiful job.. LOVE it…

  9. mail4rosey April 17, 2014 at 8:13 pm - Reply

    I agree, even though it’s little it’s very important.

  10. CapMagicalMem April 18, 2014 at 7:26 am - Reply

    MakobiKelly Since he is 2 and a half, he knew what was going on.  Honestly is definitely going to be the best policy here.

  11. Brittany Pines June 8, 2018 at 11:14 am - Reply

    This is a great idea! Just got licensed for foster care & our classes talked about a life book but no examples. Thank you so much.

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Mary Connor

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