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Lisa J Copen

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How to Scrapbook Your Child's Adoption
by Lisa J Copen   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Monday, January 14, 2008
Posted: Monday, January 14, 2008

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Every adopted child needs a scrapbook or life book about how they came to be a part of your family. With these tips you can have one done in no time for them to enjoy now.

Scrapbooking your child's adoption story is a wonderful way to get it down in a book for him or her to be able to share with you for years to come.  As a busy mom, however, too often our good intentions turn into an overflowing box of memory items that get stuck in the closet, waiting for the day when we can sit down an concentrate without a little voice interrupting our thoughts. We so want to do the perfect album, it often becomes a task larger than we can take on.

Don't put off your child's baby book any longer. It's important that you finish it up before they leave for college!

Here are a few ideas to guide you in scrapbooking your child's adoption keepsake book (or a "lifebook" as some call it):

[1] Write everything down. As a new parent it's easy to believe you will remember every special moment, but in no time you'll be making loads of memories and some of your favorites will fade.

[2] Share what you know that is appropriate for little ears. Maybe you were able to spend time with your child's birth mother, or maybe you don't have any information about her at all. Share what you know, but make sure that it is some something you will feel reading to your 5-year-old. If your child's birth mom has 6 children and kept the rest of them, or your child was the result of an abusive environment, don't write this down!

[3] Arrange the photos you want to use in your album. You don't want to use every phot you own, but rather just choose the ones that are the most precious for this particular album. Make sure everything is in order if you are you arranging the book chronologically

[4] Consider what size of album to you'd prefer. They are typically 8" x 8", 12" x 12" or 8.5" x 11". The 8" x 8" albums are a good size for little hands to hold and flip through.

[5] Try to find whatever supplies you'd like to use. I had a hard time being able to find anything other than a couple of stickers that mentioned adoption. Frustrated with this, I designed my own 8" x 8" overlay transparencies. Overlays are great because they make your book look like it was done by a professional, they is no glue or tape needed and anyone can use them (no skill required)

[6] Keep it easy. Don't try to put every thought you have in the book. You want to be able to share it with your child so consider her attention span too. You can always add more pages later and your child may ask questions while reading it that you want to answer in the book.  You may also think of other things that could be represented. For example, if you adopted your child from a foreign country, you may see the value in adding a page about that country.

[7] Poems and quotes are nice to add to pages. If you lack information about your child's early months or are just overwhelmed by journaling your thoughts, include a few adoption quotes. But don't rely on them completely. Poetry is beautiful, but your own personal thoughts will be most precious to your child years down the road.

[8] Use child-friendly language. For example, don't ever write, "Your birth mom loved you so much that she gave you away." This could scare your child into believing that pretty soon you will love him too much and give you away too. Keep the wording simple: "Miss Clara wanted you to have both a mommy and a daddy and she knew that we were really excited to be your parents."

Too often we get caught up in creating a masterpiece of a baby album that will include every bath, haircut, smile and tear. Instead, focus on just the adoption story for this small book and put a lot of the baby or family pages in other books. The sooner it's ready for your child, the more time of their childhood they will reflect on it.

Web Site: The best Adoption Scrapbook Album is one done in just hours

Reader Reviews for "How to Scrapbook Your Child's Adoption"

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Reviewed by Malcolm Watts (Reader) 1/15/2008
Good tips on an important subject. Being an adopted child myself, as well as a retired social work professional, I can attest to the import of these issues. My novel, Reflections from Shadow, is in part, the story of a foster child and is written from the child's point of view. This book is helpful from a number of perspectives but can offer some insight into the mind of the child growing up away from his birth parents. All the best. Malcolm Watts
Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 1/15/2008
I have read about this very thing and I think it is absolutely wonderful! Adoption can be a beautiful experience for both mother and child if it's done the right way. I have a lot of respect/admiration for people who choose to adopt; not everyone can do it. Very informative article! :)
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