Sunday, August 7, 2011
His Story Didn't Begin With Us
"Joseph Michael Wenxin: This is your story. It is all about you, your life in China and how we became a family." - from the opening page of Wenxin's lifebook.
This summer I've been working on Wenxin's lifebook. It's a book with photos and text that tells what I know of the story of his life.
Wenxin's life didn't begin the day Mike and I met him in China. While his lifebook will have lots of photos from our adoption trip to China, there's more. I'm including pages about his birth parents, his life with his foster mom and his time in the orphanage. There's important information about his Chinese culture and the province where he was born. My hope is that his lifebook will be a tool for us to use to help him process his unique history.
What a daunting task! It's been made way easier with the help of Kristen from My Story Lifebooks. I'm using the template I purchased from Kristen to make an 8X8 hardcover book on Shutterfly. The pages are all laid out and much of the text is written. All I have to do is add photos and tweak it to make a lifebook that is uniquely Wenxin's.
Kristen has pre-made pages that she can include for all China adoptions. Things like a country map, a fun page about Chinese zodiac, and a page of things that came from China. She's already thought through how to communicate sensitively about birth parents and China's one-child policy.
I was impressed with the level of personal service Kristen provides. She asked if Wenxin had any special needs, and designed a couple of pages with sensitive prose explaining some medical issues he faced while still living in China. I had not intended to include that info in Wenxin's book. I just didn't know what to say. Kristen's suggestions were perfect.
It's coming right along. If you need to make a lifebook for your adopted child, check out, My Story Lifebooks. On the website you can see samples from templates for China, Korea, Vietnam and Guatemala. And if you don't see what you're looking for, just contact Kristen. She can make a template for any type adoption.
P.S. - I don't get a kick-back if you purchase a something from My Story Lifebooks. I'm just so fired up about this I had to pass it along.