In 2002, I began to chronicle my adoption journey and created Forever Parents, a supportive online community for adoptive and waiting parents. Over the next year, we grew our support forums to include an adoption shop and a blog. Forever Parents stayed active, helping thousands of people for over ten years. I’m in the process of updating and moving all the posts to this blog, in the Forever Parents section. This post was originally published on April 12, 2007.
I loved putting my children’s life book together. I created it as a timeline starting from when they were born and it ended on the day we met. Their caseworker started their life book with all the photos she had in their case file. I then transferred it to a new photo album and added a lot of information, including the 12 adoption life book ideas listed below. I’d love to hear what you included in your child’s life book.
What is a life book?
An adoption life book is usually created for children that are adopted through foster care, but children adopted through private or international adoption can certainly benefit from having one.
They serve to fill in the blanks of their life before they were adopted and can include many different things, depending on the age they were when adopted and the type of adoption.
- Information on where your child was born.
I requested brochures on the visitors’ website where my children were born. I used fun state facts and various landmarks in their city of birth.
- Purchase an “On the day you were born” time capsule. I printed mine from this site but there are various places to get one. It shows the prices of items, popular movies, and top songs when someone was born. It’s a fun addition especially for older kids who may not have enough information for a whole book.
- Photographs of those who were involved such as caseworkers, agency staff, foster parents, etc.
- Photographs of the birth family, if you have it. We only have a mug shot of their biological mother so that’s what we used.
- A page of your thoughts when you saw them for the first time.
- For those in foster care, an explanation of why they were removed. Make this age-appropriate but don’t sugar coat it.
- Include a journal entry on why you decided to adopt.
- Report cards, school work, certificates, etc
- Photos of your child that you received during the process. I hung the very first photo I saw of my three kids in our living room. I also put a copy in their life book.
- Your first photo together.
- Details and photos from the finalization.
- Include photos from your adoption party or adoption shower. I ended up having so many pages that I included this in a separate post-adoption book.
If you have any other adoption life book ideas, please list them in a comment or link to your blog post on the topic.
Related: 13 Ways to Celebrate an Adoption Anniversary