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Adorable Adoptees Memory Book: A Dream Come True

by Jessica Rose, Nicole Dankert and Sarah Dankert; 44 pp. $29.95 Adoption Lifebooks With So Many How-To’s, How Do You Choose? 

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.

The Adorable Adoptees Memory Book is broad in scope and includes adoption as a fact of the child’s life. The Adorable Adoptees Memory Book, by Sarah Dankert, Nicole Dankert and Jessica Rose has pages noting particular events or milestones to be completed in a fill-in-the-blank format. It includes options for expanding the book as the child grows. Adorable Adoptees provides an organized format for presenting information about the child’s adoption, but, judging from the pictures throughout, it is intended for fairly traditional families (mom, dad and kids who look more or less alike).

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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