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Your Child’s Adoption Story: Document Their Journey

Child reading a book

Your child’s adoption story is important

As an adult adoptee, I find myself wanting to hear my adoption story just one more time—although it is more like a million more times. Hearing it was simply never enough. I wanted to have something I could visually remember, or an experience that I could always look back on. I wanted to flip page after page and see how two people, once strangers, took a leap of faith to adopt me and became my heroes. They are my parents. I want to remember the day my parents adopted me—every birthday, every first day of school, and every hug they have ever given me.

Adoption stories are important to adoptees. They are important in helping to foster a connection or relationship between adoptive parents and their adopted child. It is important for a child to know where they come from.

Try these creative activities to build your relationship with your adopted child and help your child understand their adoption story.

Create a storybook for your adopted child

Children’s books serve as a great resource for children to learn to read, laugh, and smile. Creating a children’s book with your child that tells your child’s adoption story will help your child to understand what it means to be adopted, and it will help them to feel more confident and comfortable about being adopted. Begin with simple sentences and easy vocabulary for your child to understand. No worries, you don’t have to be an artist or a published author to create an awesome book that you and your child will cherish forever.

Writing ideas: your child’s birth mom and siblings, where your child is from, why your child was placed for adoption, the hospital stay and birth, how you prepared for your child’s arrival, etc.

What you will need: construction paper, notebook paper, markers, crayons, glue, glitter, colored pencils, hole puncher, yarn, and a stapler (mom and dad should assist).

Allow your child to do the coloring and drawing while you do the writing.

Chronicle your child’s adoption journey with a scrapbook

Scrapbooks are one of the cutest and coolest books an adoptive parent and child can put together. Who doesn’t love looking at pictures, beautiful colors, touching textured items such as a piece of fabric from your child’s first blanket, first teddy bear, or first hair bow?

Your scrapbook chronicles your adopted child’s journey from the time your child was in their birth mommy’s womb to adulthood, covering little moments to major life events. It serves as a great communication tool between you and your child. What makes the scrapbook different from the storybook is that it is more of a photo book that gives you, the adoptive parent, the opportunity to be creative as you tell your child’s story every time they ask to hear it.

What to put in your scrapbook: photos, locks of hair, cards from friends and family, drawings, buttons and fabric from your child’s outfits, stickers, sweet messages from your child, etc.

Remember, it’s your scrapbook. Get as creative as your heart wants to. And remember that scrapbooks are ongoing. I encourage you to scrapbook your child’s and family’s life all the way through his or her adulthood. Imagine how special it will be when your child is an adult and can look back and realize how blessed they were by their adoption.

Keepsakes are treasured momentos for adopted children

I have always believed it is important for adopted children to have a memory of their birth family, such as a baby blanket or a teddy bear; and I have always thought it is important for a child to have a memory of how two families became one through adoption. These keepsakes are important. If there is ever time a child misses their birth mom or birth family, they will always have a part of them.

What you should create and keep: foot prints and hand prints of birth mommy, adoptive mommy, and baby. Create a plaster hand print of your child’s birth mom to help your child feel like they have an identity connection to their birth mom. Use a baby blanket, notes and cards, teddy bear, and jewelry from your child’s birth mom that can be used to create a shadow box to remember her by. Collect souvenirs from cities, states, or countries you may have traveled to adopt your child.

Imagine how special the moments will be when your little one snuggles up in your arms as you share your child’s adoption story. As overwhelming as it can feel at times, the smile and sparkle in your child’s eyes will bring you the peace that made the process all worth it. No one said adoption would be easy, but to be able to look back on the journey through scrapbooks, storybooks, and keepsakes, you will realize how blessed you truly are.

How will you share your child’s adoption story?