While you are waiting to adopt a child it seems the day will never arrive when the phone will ring with news of "You're having a baby!" Starting your adoption scrapbook album while still in the waiting phase can help can be a comfort. It will remind you that the day really will arrive when you will be a parent. Plus, it's a great way to learn how to journal what is important to you. Once the child arrives, you may be more likely to take the time to journal about events and emotions.
Don't get overwhelmed with the idea of an adoption album. One of the best places to begin is with a long list of topics about your adoption experience. These kinds of lists can be found on a variety of web sites, including my own, which has over 150 topics.
Consider purchasing a pre-made adoption album. You can buy a hard-cover book at your favorite bookstore, or even hire a freelance scrapbooker to do a pre-designed book for you. One of the best is the Adoption Scrapbook Album which is twenty pages of overlays, where you get to choose five that specifically fits your child's experience. They make your book look like it was designed by a professional, but with the price tag of doing it yourself.
Visit your local scrapbook store or craft store and find some stickers and other embellishments. You'll find that few mention adoption specifically, but you can find a lot of stickers with saying about family, baby milestones, love, and other life events. You can add these to your book when you need a little spot to fill and it adds some character.
Have some fun with your digital camera and take a bunch of photos of the day-to-day stuff. Spilled Cheerios all over the living room floor and the huge pile of laundry will give you interesting journaling topics. The more creative photographs you take, the more you'll enjoy journaling. And years later you'll be glad you wrote about and photographed the uneventful stuff as well as the vacations. Your child will have a great time reading about it too.
Be creative, but not obsessively so. You don't have to go to "cropping parties." Invest in a nice paper cutter, don't bother cutting photos into circles, matte them using solid-color card stock and buy patterned paper in bulk.
Get it in writing. While it's important to finish your adoption scrapbook album so your child can start looking at it even as she is a toddler, at least start writing notes for the album later. Some may end up in a different album, but you'll have lots of journaling to choose from. Buy a little notepad to stick in the diaper bag and write things down while they happen.
My son turns five-years-old this month. The first year of his life I grew so tired of strangers telling me, "It goes so fast." Now I find myself smiling at little babies and telling the new mothers, "Cherish it. It goes so fast." Adoption is such an amazing experience and every time you look into your little one's eyes you think you will remember every single moment. But our brains can only hold so much and our children do change quickly. Record those treasured memories now.
If you lead a support group or are considering it, don't miss Lisa Copen's new book, http://StartAnIllnessSupportGroup.com for your ministry needs. Over 300 pages with step-by-step instructions on how to write a vision statement, promotion and attendance and much more!
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