A life book is a story of your child’s adoption. A life book will share information about his life before adoption, including information about his birth family and the story of how he came to be a part of your family. It goes beyond a simple scrapbook or memory book to helps your child understand how adoption or foster care fits into his life.

A life book is a great way to teach your child about his adoption story. It can help connect the chapters of his life. It can help your child overcome traumas or disabilities he has faced. Life books are a great way to show examples of overcoming adversity and strengthen family bonds.

Here are a few tips to help you make your child’s life book awesome.

1. Use photographs. Collect photos from the birth family. Pregnancy photos, childhood photos, and family photos can all be used to help your child see her birth family as real people.

2. Stay organized. As you gather information and photos, keep track of names and dates. Although sometimes it may seem like you don’t have a lot of information, you may be surprised at what you have gathered.

3. Tell a story. You may choose to do a few small stories within the context of the book, but try and keep the story simple to understand. There can be a lot of complexities with adoption, so this can be challenging. But try to gear the story toward your child and an introductory level of understanding.

4. Personalize the story. A Google search will reveal a number of resources. There are lots of example stories or fill-in-the-blank books available to help you create the perfect book. Although these are a wonderful place to start, don’t forget to personalize it. No two stories are the same, and no two life books will be either. Acknowledge how your child may look different or speak a different language from her family, but emphasize how that fits in with her life.

5. Talk to your social worker. Your social worker may have suggestions on including specific details in the story. He or she may have insight on challenges to work through and how the life book could help address those challenges.

6. Use a printing service. Most of us are not professional book makers. Use a printing service to help make the book something long lasting and high quality. Find coupons or use promotional events to save money on printing. Using an online service will allow for you to have a digital backup in case you need it down the road.

Each child has a unique story, and a life book helps to make that story easier to understand.

How has your child has benefited from a life book? How did you make his or her life book awesome?

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