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Creating a keepsake box for your child's birth family.

Sonia Billadeau August 09, 2014
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memoriesMy son is almost five-years-old. When he was younger we would talk to him about adoption. He didn’t ask much about his birth parents. We would show him a picture of his birth family and tell him his birth story. It was not until we started the process of adopting our daughter that he started getting more curious. He was able to meet our daughter’s birth mom and play with her other daughter. Of course this brought up many questions about his birth mom.

The first year of my son’s life, we would send pictures and letters to his birth mom. We never heard back from her. After about a year we lost all contact with her. Trying to explain that to my son was difficult. My husband and I were very concerned about the fact that we would have contact with our daughter’s birth mom but not our son’s.

My son started asking if we could play at his birth mom’s house. He asked if we could call her. This made me so sad. I had no way of contacting my son’s birth mom without her knowing our last name and address. The agency we adopted our son from had closed. All of the records were in Austin. The agency also lost contact with my son’s birth mom. I wanted my son to be able to have some kind of relationship with his birth mom, even if he had never met her.

Our social worker with our daughter’s adoption was amazing. She had a lot of experience with different kinds of adoption. She has dealt with many open and closed adoptions.

We came up with an idea. We could go to a craft store and pick out a keepsake box. My son could then draw pictures for his birth family. Together we could write letters about what was going on in his life. All of this would go into the keepsake box. It would be his box that would represent his birth family. One day, if he does get the opportunity to meet them, he could give them the box. This idea made us feel better about not having contact with his birth family. It made us feel like we were putting forth an effort to have a relationship with them. Most importantly, it made my son happy.

This is a great idea if your child does not have any contact with his birth family. It helps the child to make a connection with them. We worried my son thought his birth family wasn’t real. In his mind, they were just a picture. The keepsake box helped my son see his birth family as actual people.

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Sonia Billadeau

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