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This is me! Memories to Gather and Keep

by Gloria Finkbeiner; 39 pp. $29.95 ($33.95 for country eds.) Adoption Lifebooks With So Many How-To’s, How Do You Choose? 

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Adoptive parents hold in their hearts precious bits of information about the earliest days, months or years of their children’s lives before joining their families. We understand this information to be invaluable to our children, yet often wonder how to organize and share it with them. A child’s life book documents—in a sensitive and developmentally appropriate manner that emphasizes the child’s resilience—all that is known of his or her life before adoptive parents came into the picture. Equipped with this truth, our children are better positioned to claim their beginnings and move forward on their paths to self-understanding.

This is Me! Memories to Gather and Keep is broad in scope and includes adoption as a fact of the child’s life.

This is Me! Memories to Gather and Keep
, from Adoption Option Memory Books, has pages noting particular events or milestones to be completed in a fill-in-the-blank format. It include options for expanding the book as the child grows. Fans of traditional memory books will enjoy keeping track of some of the items noted in This is Me!, such as favorite grade-school memories, playmates and activities, all presented with great sensibility to a child’s point of view.

The stories of our children’s beginnings deserve special treatment in a separate book dedicated to conveying strong, positive messages about their lives before adoption. Therefore, my own belief is that it is best to avoid juxtaposing the child’s beginnings with, for example, names of elementary school teachers or favorite birthday gifts, and thus trivializing sensitive early information.

I encourage parents to share with their children the stories of their beginnings. For more information about lifebooks, contact other adoptive parents, workshops sponsored by parent support groups and some adoption agencies.

By Cindy Probst, an adoption social worker, adoptive mom, and leader of lifebook workshops for the FCC-New England lifebook project.

Copyright © 2001 Adoptive Families magazine. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

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