A primer for parents and parents-to-be
I’ve read about using lifebooks to help adopted children make sense of their lives. Why use lifebooks with children before they’re adopted?
Adoptive mom Carol Bolton describes how she struggled but succeeded in developing an attachment relationship with one of her newly-adopted sons.
Last year, we adopted our two sons. Though siblings, the boys had been placed in different foster homes and barely knew each other.
David, aged two, was placed five days after birth with foster parents who were very experienced and knew how to transition a child to a new family. David moved in with us first and the process went very smoothly.
"Imagine being married to someone for eight years, and then being told that you have to get a divorce and some stranger will choose your new spouse. Then imagine moving in with that person after only knowing them for a little while. What if they don’t like you, or you don’t like them — what next?"
A lifebook isn’t a baby book, a scrapbook, or a photo album. A lifebook is a detailed account of a child’s life that helps that child make sense of the past and prepare for a successful future. If you haven’t started one for your child, here are some tips to help you get started.
Making a lifebook may seem a daunting task, but it can be fun, and you’ll never regret it.
A lifebook isn’t a baby book, a scrap book, or a photo album. A lifebook is a detailed account of a child’s life that helps that child make sense of the past and prepare for a successful future.
Preparing a lifebook for your child is part of the job of being a foster or adoptive parent.
Though, of course, children are all different, research has shown that children who join their family through adoption tend to go through specific stages in their understanding of their family and their place in it. Here we summarize one of the best descriptions of these “ages and stages,” which can be found in Lois Ruskai Melina’s book Raising Adopted Children.
For most, if not all international adoptions, post-placement reports are a requirement of the sending country. Adoptive families need to understand that these reports are more than a courtesy. While the agnecies and families who receive them are delighted to hear how the kids are doing, they also must forward the reports for their government. Some countries have been so concenred at the numver of post-placement reports not filed, that they actually suspend adoptions for a period of time.