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How To Scrapbook Your Child's Adoption

Jan 15, 2008
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 tips to assist you in your child's adoption scrapbook album (or as some call it, a lifebook.)

[1] Journal about all your memories. If you feel exhausted at night and too tired to write then just start tape-recording them to use later. Though you think you'll remember it all, soon new memories will overlap some of those early precious ones. So take the time to write down both important and unimportant details.

[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] Spread out the photos you want to use. Don't feel like you need to use all of them; just pick the ones that are the most precious for this album. If you are you arranging the book chronologically, make sure everything is in order.

[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] Find whatever supplies you'd like to use. When I was unable to find more than a couple of stickers that mentioned adoption I designed my own 8" x 8" overlays. Overlays are an easy way to make your book look professionally done, crisp and clean (no glue or tape needed) and anyone can use them.

[6] Keep it simple. Start out by just getting the basics into the book and then you can add to it later. As you read through the story to your child and hear her questions, you may think of other pages to add or things that should be represented. For example, if you had a foreign adoption, you may want a page about "that year in history" from your child's country of origin.

[7] Use poems or quotes to fill in pages. If you lack information or are just feeling overwhelmed by writing your thoughts down, use a few adoption quotes. Just be sure to not rely on them completely. Poetry is nice, but your own thoughts will mean the most to your child.

[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.
About the Author
The Adoption Scrapbook Album is a fast, easy way to create a professional lifebook. Use transparency overlays and friends will admire--even if you aren't crafty. Free poems and quotes from Lisa Copen at Scrapbook My Adoption
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