There is a lot one can do to formulate lifebook content prior to your child's homecoming. Unless the child you adopt is placed in your arms directly from birth, there is another individual that provides for her daily care and monitors her physical and emotional development. That person, then, is logically the best one to relay information about your child prior to her adoption that would be well-suited for her lifebook.

Believe me, I know how exciting and emotional the day is that you get to assume care of your adopted child! It is easy to forget, in all the commotion, to ask the questions that you would like. I'd suggest preparing a list of questions (also consider translations into the caregivers language if it is different than your own) ahead of time so that you don't forget to ask one.

The types of questions whose answers you might include in a lifebook are those about your child's eating and sleeping habits, how she is comforted when upset, favorite toys or songs, etc. Here are links that show sample questions:

1. This one is taken from an adoption blog. The questions are phrased with orphanage care in mind but can obviously be rephrased slightly to be appropriate for any caregiver.

2. This one is borrowed from a fellow Guatemala adoptive parent and some questions are assuming a foster care environment. But, as in the one above, it can easily be adapted to include any pre-adoption environment.

If it is included in the lifebook, the information that a previous caregiver would provide helps paint a more complete picture for your child about her life before being adopted.

Jennifer Demar