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How to Design an Adoption Scrapbook for Your Child
Your child’s adoption story can best be told through an amazing scrapbook album that you can share with each other for many years into adulthood. As a new mom, however, good intentions often get pushed aside simply to try and keep up with the day-to-day tasks of parenthood. Our best memories and photos end up tucked away in a closet, as we wait for the time in our lives when we will have enough time to tell our children’s justice story.
Don’t put off your child’s adoption album any longer. It is important that they can leaf through this book and share the photos long before they leave for college.
Here are some ideas to guide you in scrapbooking your child’s adoption keepsake (or a “book of life” as some call it):
 Write everything down. As a new parent, it’s easy to believe you’ll remember every special moment, but before you know it, you’ll be creating heaps of memories and some of your favorites will fade away.
 Write down what you know about your child that suits his little ears. Perhaps you were able to spend some time with the biological mother and have personal thoughts on her kindness. Or maybe you have no information if your child was adopted from an orphanage. It’s important to be honest, but it also needs to be something you can read in your book to your 5-year-old. If your child’s birth mother has many other children she is still raising, or if your child is the result of an abusive situation, this is not appropriate for the book.
 Arrange the photos you want to use. You don’t have to use them all, just the most important ones. Do you organize the book chronologically? Make sure everything is in order.
 Decide on the size of album to use. They usually measure 8″ x 8″, 12″ x 12″ or 8.5″ x 11″. 8″ x 8″ albums are a nice size for little hands.
 Try to locate the supplies you want to use. When I struggled to find anything other than a few stickers that mentioned adoption, I finally designed my own 8″ x 8″ overlay transparencies. I really like the overlays because they make her book look classy, there’s no mess (no glue or tape required) and anyone can use them (no instructions required either) .
 Keep it simple and don’t be tempted to put all your thoughts in the book. Also consider your child’s attention span. Add more pages later as your child asks questions and you want them answered in the book (what kind of car did my birth mother drive?) You may also want other elements are represented, such as the country (or even the city) or the birth of your child. .
 Add some poems and quotes. When you run out of information about your child’s birth or are overwhelmed with writing down all your thoughts, it’s a good idea to add some adoption quotes. But make sure you don’t rely entirely on them. Quotes are nice and can be added to the scrapbook, but it’s your personal thoughts that will be most valuable to your child as they grow.
 Use child-friendly language. For example, never write: “Your biological mother loved you so much that she gave you away.” This might frighten your child into thinking that soon you will love him too much and betray him too. Keep the wording simple: “Miss Clara wanted you to have both a mum and a dad and she knew we were so excited to be your parents.”
Too often we get caught up in creating a masterpiece of a baby album that will include every bath, haircut, smile and tear. Instead, just focus on the adoption story for this little book and put lots of baby or family pages in other books. The sooner he is ready for your child, the more he will think about it during his childhood.
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