Whether at the dinner table or at family functions, birth stories are often shared again and again. You know the one about how the older sibling was a never-ending birthing saga, and the other popped out easily. Or maybe the story of the first time your mom held you in her arms, and realized the true meaning of unconditional love.
Like any child, adoptees enjoy hearing their version of these types of stories. Rather than a story of their birth, it’s the story of the first time their adoptive parents saw them for the very first time. And they too, experienced unconditional love.
Your adoption journey is ultimately, the story of the creation of your family. A journey that deserves to be remembered and cherished. We’ve outlined a number of ways you can document your story in a way that fits you.
Excitingly today, journaling your experiences can take on different forms. Whether you prefer a traditional notebook or starting an online blog, either option is a perfect way to record every thought, feeling, and memory. When writing it’s important to not edit yourself, be true to your emotions and capture your excitement, anxieties, laughs, tears, and fears throughout the pre and post adoption process. As the years pass, and memories wane, you’ll be thankful you spent the time to record your story.
Cell phones make it easier than ever to capture every moment of your child’s growth. With every click you’re saving a special smile, their first walk, and endless other memories worth preserving. It’s also important to capture images of those involved in the adoption process. Take your pictures to the next level, and include them in a scrapbook dedicated to your child and your family’s adoption journey.
Often it’s important for adoptees to retain something from their birth parents, like a baby blanket or a teddy bear. Similarly, it’s important for them to have a memory of how two families became one through adoption. Keepsakes like these are important for a child throughout their lifetime.
Collecting messages or memories from family, friends, and adoption facilitators may be a little more time intensive, but will in the end be very rewarding. Ask them to share a note or a word of wisdom, which you’ll be able to reflect on and cherish in the years that follow.
As your collecting and curating the story of your adoption journey, it’s important to let your child know where your journal, photos, videos, and keepsakes reside. So when they’re ready, they can dive in.