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I'm a 30-something wife and mom. My boys are my pride and joy. Together, we are navigating being a forever family post international adoption.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Life Books and Memories

I've always loved keeping photo albums. Ever since I was in high-school I've been diligent about printing out pictures and organizing them into albums.

We have 4 different albums related to our adoption.

The first is on a hard-drive and contains every picture we took during out time in-country. There are pictures of things that are private to our family, so this is the one album I haven't printed out.

Hubby in-country the day before we met Buddy for the first time


Next, we have an album we printed in a book that tells the story of our adoption. This is the book we share with family and friends who want to know what the trip was like.

One of the last pictures in our adoption story book - Buddy on the flight home


The third album is one for Buddy. It has pictures he picked out himself of our time, as well as some additional pictures we received from people who knew Buddy before we did.

Two of Buddy's favorite dogs that lived in his orphanage courtyard


Our last album is Buddy's Life Book. We took the information and pictures of Buddy's past that we had, put it in appropriate words, and wrote the story of Buddy's life. This was the hardest but also the most important album we made.

One of Buddy's baby pictures (his love of animals goes way back)


The thing I have found about Buddy's life book, is that the best time to start/add to it is now. It is amazing how quickly things are forgotten. This is especially true for little things Buddy shares that aren't documented anywhere else.

Writing it down saves it forever.

If you are interested in creating a life book, here are some resources:
IFAPA Lifebook Pages (free online)
Adoption LifeBooks: Dos and Don'ts (free online)
Life Book Ideas (Pinterest board)
Lifebooks: Creating a Treasure for the Adopted Child (this is the book we used)
Life Story Books for Adopted Children: A Family Friendly Approach (Kindle version)

What is your favorite life book resource?