Tuesday, September 13, 2011

3 Reasons Adoptive Moms Should Scrapbook

3 Reasons Adoptive Moms Should Scrapbook by Lisa Copen

I'll confess, I thought scrapbooking was a waste of time. Sure, I saw some scrapbooks of friends that were cute. But the idea of taking scissors to my beautiful photographs and then spending money on stickers that cost four dollars because they were labeled "embellishments?" It just didn't turn me on. I wasn't a sticker kind of gal and didn't have the time to invest in such silly hobbies.

Then we adopted a baby. I couldn't find a baby book or adoption book that had my son's story and I kept hearing the phrase "life books." Every child's story is unique.

So I made my way to the craft store and tried to find some "embellishments" that didn't include pregnancy quotations or storks. I held my breath as I cut into my photographs. Eventually, not finding any adoption items, I put my graphic design skills to use and created my own transparency overlays about adoption, so I could record those memories from "the wait" to Adoption Day. Now I cannot conceive of having let the idea of a scrapbook of my son's life pass by me. I would have missed great joy.

Why did I think it was vital to scrapbook about my child's adoption?

1. We all know how unique our own story is about deciding to adopt and waiting. Our kid's stories or no less special. Don't be tempted to use a book where you just fill in the blanks, because it's nearly impossible to since you don't have all of the answers, nor do they all apply. And what child wants to see blanks in his book? For example, even adoption books may or may not have a place for information about the birthfather or if the adoption was international or domestic.

A bonus is that when you scrapbook the album, it can be perfectly timed for your child's understanding of his or her story, depending on the age and what you have shared. As your child gets older, he will ask more questions. You can easily add a page that answers this right into the book. Recently my son has asked, "What would you have done if God had sent you a different little boy? Would you have loved him as much as me?" This is an ideal chance for me to make a new page for his album, relating how God picked him out just for us.

2. It's always fun to look back at photos, but I am often amazed that the memories attached to them can fade so quickly. If I didn't take the time to journal about the moment or even put a sticky note on my calendar about I've forgotten the specifics already. What exactly was the funny thing my son said that made us all giggle for fifteen minutes when that photo was taken? Photos bring back some memories, but it's usually about the event and not the story about our child who did or said something that we want to remember forever. Besides, every child loves to hear about the cute things she said when she was young!

3. Adoption is a special gift and I want my son to know that we acknowledge it as such. Just him seeing me spend the time to putting together an album, lets him know it's important to me. Whatever I share about his birth family, how he came to be a part of our family, visits we may have with the birth family (or if you adopted internationally, then special trips to your child's country of origin) lets him know just how special his story is. It's important that our kids know that we are never threatened by their story. We need to make sure they know that their whole life is precious to us, and not just the time that they have been a part of our family.

As an adoptive mom, I have grown to see scrap booking not as a frivolous hobby, but a significant way to record a miracle that God gave us--the honor of being our long-awaited child's parents.

Whether you call your adoption scrapbook album an international adoption lifebook or just an adoption book, it's much more than just a photo album or a "brag book." It's a chronicle of memories and photos, a personalized story book of your child's life, and a reminder to him that he is treasured. Though as parents, we may always have some concerns about how adoption affects a child, an adoption scrapbook is a way to remind him that we embrace and rejoice about the way he helped us become a family--through the gift of adoption.

Make a amazing adoption lifebook quickly with essentials from Scrapbook My Adoption. Complete books using overlay transparencies, digital scrapbooking adoption files and embellishments, make it easy to have an personalized lifebook your child will treasure.

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