“Mommy, tell me again about baby Jeremy,” Jeremy begged. The request was the same every night. No matter how many bedtime stories were read, no matter how many snuggles and tickles were enjoyed, no evening was complete without Jeremy’s story.
Preschoolers love to hear stories. Their favorite characters are real to them, and they memorize every word and picture in their best-loved books as any parent who has ever changed a word or skipped a sentence can attest.
The story that children this age love most, however, is their story. One way to make the telling more special is to chronicle your childs tale in a personalized adoption storybook. Our kids benefit from tangible proof of their connections to us and to their family; your child will giggle with delight when he hears his name and sees things he recognizes about his life in a real book.
Putting the Story to Paper
Luckily, children this age are not really interested in the whole story. They don’t yet have the knowledge or frame of reference to understand homestudies, paperwork, or infertility. What our children want to hear is what they looked like, how they behaved, how you got there, and other simple, concrete details.
Start by sharing where you were and what you were doing when you first heard about your child, and the trip you took to meet her. Describe how big (or small) your child was, how much hair she had, what she did when you first saw each other, how she fell asleep in your arms. Your child will want to know about the first foods you fed her, the trip home, and who was waiting to meet her. [See Page by Page, for sample text for your opening pages.]
Personal storybooks don’t have to be fancy, although you can be as creative as you wish. You can illustrate your tale with scans or copies of family photos, pictures cut from magazines (airplanes, hospitals, schools, and images that relate to your childs city or country of birth), or simple stick-figure drawings. Our children are not looking for artistic masterpieces. Any drawing that they can recognize will work.
After you’ve written the text and pasted in the pictures, laminate the finished pages with contact paper to make it more durable for little hands. Your child will want to handle and read it over and over again. And remember, don’t change a single word — he’ll notice every time!