A lifebook is the story of how your child came to be yours and the story of his life before he came to you. Adoption is only one aspect of your child and at some point his life merges into your life and a separate book is not needed since he’ll look at the family photo album and scrap book for that part of his life story. However, he had a life before he came to your family and his lifebook tells this part of his story.
I am not intimidated easily, but I was totally cowed by the idea of creating a lifebook. To put it charitably, I am not the crafty sort, and everything I read about lifebooks smacked of clever crafty creativity. It is much easier for me to be clever, crafty, and creative with words than things, so it stayed on my to-do list for years. As my daughter neared kindergarten, embarrassment over my procrastination and worry over lost opportunities finally propelled me into action. I had to put aside any notion of a masterpiece and aim for utilitarian function.
I hope to make it easier for you and I hope your final product looks a little better than the one I made. Here are some good resources:
If you want help in making a lifebook that is more like a real book, consider these sources.
- Creating a Family radio show on Creating Attachment with Adopted Kids Through Lifebooks
- The article Key Reasons for Children to Know Their Life Story by Carol Lozier highlights several important points to consider in sharing your child's life story.
- Adoption Lifebooks is a great site full of information is run by Beth O'Malley, author of several great books, including LifeBooks Creating a Treasure for the Adopted Child. Her site has all the information on lifebooks and telling your child's life story that you might want.
- Adoptive Families Magazine includes several articles on lifebooks including "Tell Your Adoption Story" and "A Bridge to Your Child's Beginnings"
- Adoption Learning Partners offers a free on-line lifebook course
- Rainbow Kids has a 12 month series on creating lifebooks.
- Life Story Books for Adopted Children: A Family Friendly Approach by Joy Rees is a concise and practical guidebook that works chronologically backwards instead of forward. The idea is to stress the security and attachment of the adoptive family before addressing the child's past.
- Adoption Lifebook, a Bridge to Your Child's Beginnings by Cindy Probst is a workbook style book for international adoptive families focuses on explaining your child's unique story. Not specific to your child, but to internationally adopted kids in general. Good resource.
- For a sturdy board book for preschoolers, My Custom Story allows you to create a 10 page board book (plus a cover and back) with your own pictures and story line of how your child joined your family so that you can read and re-read HER story to her over, and over, and over...
- Custom Lifebooks was started by two crafty adoptive moms. Each 12 x 12 inch book is custom made by hand with text customized to each child's story. The size allows you to use full-sized copies of your important documents and photographs and the pages are made of acid-free paper.