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November 2, 2011

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Re-tell Your Child His/Her Adoption Story

You've probably told your child how s/he came to be in your family from a young age. However, sharing the life-changing experience can carry a renewed feeling with every re-telling. Look through baby photos or your first family photos. Post one to your blog and share it with the world.

Story Time!

Our five adopted children are from 3 different birth families and they all love hearing about their coming home and adoption days. One fun activity is to gather photos and make a story book geared for a young child.

Our oldest daughter's story is called "Angel Baby," a nickname given her by her foster mother. This story tells of her being born (in an ambulance!), her time at a foster home, our first meeting, coming home, and then the story ends at her adoption day. We like to laminate the pages to make the books stand up to little hands. Try using a "half sheet" size; it makes the book more durable than full size and you don't need so much verbage. You can buy loose-leaf notebooks to house your story. Even though geared for the younger child still learning about adoption, kids don't seem to outgrow this connection to their early life. I saw our 15 year old looking at hers just recently. If your children are a little older, consider using a computer program to have them write their own story!

Another way in which we retell their stories is through their photo albums. Each child has an album or two of pictures starting at babyhood. On their birthdays or adoption day anniversary, we make sure to get out the photo albums. It's so much fun for the kids to see themselves when they were babies and it is the perfect opportunity for us to talk about forming our family through adoption and to talk about each unique story.

With our three kids adopted from foster care, we have only a handful of photos of them before they came to us. I am trying to make up for quantity with quality; I have had the photos printed 5 x7 and beneath, written out whatever I was told about the photo. "This was his first birthday at his tummy mommy's house. He put his whole face in the cake and then cried." Because our big girls will have out-grown our home by the time these three are old enough to compare the books, I don’t think the discrepancy between the books will be an issue.

Dreena T

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