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How to Design an Adoption Scrapbook for Your Child
Your child’s adoption story can be best told through scrapbooking an amazing album that you can share with each other for many years, well into adulthood. As a new mom, however, good intentions often fall by the wayside just trying to keep up with the daily tasks of parenthood. Our best memorabilia and photos end up stuffed in a closet as we wait for the moment in our lives when we have enough hours to make history to do justice to our child.
Don’t put off your child’s adoption album any longer. It is important that they flip through this book and share the pictures long before they go to university.
Here are some ideas to guide you in creating your child’s adoption memory book (or a “life book” as some call it):
 Write everything down. As a new parent, it’s easy to think you’ll remember every special moment, but in no time you’ll be making a lot of memories and some of your favorites will fade.
 Write down everything you know about your child that is appropriate for their little ears. Maybe you were able to spend some time with the litter and have some personal thoughts on how kind she was. Or maybe you have no information at all if your child was adopted from an orphanage. It’s important to be honest, but it also needs to be something you can read from your book to your 5-year-old. If your child’s birth mother has several other children that she is still raising, or your child was the result of an abusive situation, this is not appropriate for the book.
 Layout of the photos you want to use. You don’t have to use them all, just the ones that are most important. Are you arranging the book chronologically? Make sure everything is in order.
 Decide what size album to use. They are usually 8″ x 8″, 12″ x 12″, or 8.5″ x 11″. The 8″ x 8″ albums are a nice size for little hands to grip.
 Try to locate whatever supplies you want to use. When I struggled to find anything other than some adoption stickers, I finally designed my own 8″ x 8″ overlay slides. I really like overlays because they give his book the look of order, there’s no mess (no glue or tape required) and anyone can use them (no instruction required either).
 Keep it simple and don’t be tempted to put every thought you have into the book. Also consider your child’s attention span. Add more pages later as your child asks questions and you want to answer them in the book (what kind of car did my birth mother drive?) You may also want other things to be represented, such as the country (or even city) or birth of your child.
 Add some poems and quotes. When you lack information about the birth of your child or are overwhelmed with writing all your thoughts, it’s nice to add some adoption quotes. But sue not to rely on them completely. Quotes are fine and can be added to the album, but it’s your own personal thoughts that will be valuable to your child as they grow.
 Use child-friendly language. For example, never write: “Your mother loved you so much that she gave you away.” This could scare your child into thinking that soon you will love them too much and give them away too. Keep the wording simple: “Miss Clara wanted you to have both a mom and a dad and she knew we were very excited to be your parents.”
Too often we get caught up in creating a masterpiece of a baby album that includes every bath, haircut, smile and tear. Instead, focus only on the adoption story for this little book and put many of the baby or family pages in other books. The sooner it is ready for your child, the more time from his childhood he will think about it.
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