The Lifebook Resolution


If you have already adopted, I want to ask you a few questions.  Has your daughter asked you to tell her about her country of birth?  Has your son asked if he looks like the woman that gave birth to him?  Has your child questioned the reason for the adoption or the events that led up to it?


These are all questions for which a lifebook can provide answers.  If you can anticipate the questions your child might have, you can prepare appropriate feedback.  Since one question often spurs another, why not create a story that attempts to answer many of those questions at once?  Not only will your child appreciate the fact that you gathered this information, but it will be a conduit for more intimate and meaningful conversations with you, about adoption or any topic!  Once a child reads (or is read) her own story, the "unknown" and ethereal becomes easier to identify and process.  The concreteness of a story in print (and pictures if they're available) helps solidify the ideas in a child's mind about her life before joining your family and the transition from birth family to adoptive family.


In addition to providing some tangibility to a child's history, lifebooks help adoptive parents provide consistent answers to the questions that are asked over and over.  (You know how many times kids tend to ask the same question!)  Children thrive on consistency.  Consider this scenario:  If your child asked last week "Why was my birthmother unable to take care of me?" and you answered "because she did not have enough money to buy food for you" and then she asked again this week and you responded "because she had grownup problems and none of them had to do with you", although both of your answers may be truthful, they are fragmented.  If you created a lifebook, you would have the opportunity to collect your various thoughts and put them all together in a way that most completely tells the truth as you know it.  Each time you read the book to your child, or she reads it herself, the same words and the same message will cement in her mind the truth.  If you are as thorough as you can be (remembering to be age-appropriate of course) there will be fewer unanswered questions.


I think you should consider making the creation of a lifebook one of your New Years resolutions!  I am here to help, if you would like it.



Written by Jennifer Demar, adoptive parent of two and owner of, an online store specializing in adoption scrapbooking supplies and multi-cultural products perfect for lifebooks!