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How to Make an Adoption Scrapbook for Your Child

by Lisa Copen  
1/14/2008 / Parenting

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 some tips to help you in scrapbooking your child's adoption album:

[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] Record what you know for your child which is appropriate for his or her little ears. Perhaps you were able to spend some time with the birth mom and you have some personal reflections on how kind she was. Or maybe you have no information at all if your child was adopted from an orphanage. It's important to be honest but it also needs to be something that you can read from your book to your 5-year-old. If your child's birth mom has many other children which she is still raising, or your child was the result of an abusive situation, this isn't appropriate for the book.

[3] Layout the photos you want to use. You don't have to use all of them, just the ones that are most important. Are you arranging the book chronologically? Make sure everything is in order.

[4] Decide what size of album to use. They are typically 8" x 8", 12" x 12" or 8.5" x 11". The 8" x 8" albums are a nice size for little hands to hold.

[5] Try to locate whatever supplies you'd like to use. When I had a hard time finding anything other than a couple of stickers that mentioned adoption, I finally designed my own 8" x 8" overlay transparencies. I really like overlays because they give one's book the appearance of class, there is no mess (no glue or tape required) and anyone can use them (no instruction required either).

[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] 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 kid-friendly language. Be aware that you don't want to write, "Your birth mom loved you so much she gave you to us." 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.

If you lead a support group or are considering it, don't miss Lisa Copen's new book, 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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