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Life Story Book - some suggestions needed.(8 Posts)
I've been working on creating a story book for my lo this evening, about himself and his background. He's only 20 months so I'm making it as child friendly and simple as I can for now, and including pictures where relevant.
I've found it quite easy to be honest explaining that - one day a lady named T had a baby growing in her tummy....... and this is baby K's tummy mummy etc.
However, I am struggling with fitting dad into the equation! How do I go about this. Do I just say T had a friend called D and D was baby K's daddy? Or do I actually say she had a boyfriend? I'm not sure how to word it!
If anyone has any suggestions I'd appreciate it as I hope to physically create the book as soon as I have drafted it and happy with the content.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
I wouldn't worry too much about the wording TLilly. I think it's fine to say T had a boyfriend who was baby Ks daddy. I think the important thing are photogaphs if you have any as this will make it more attractive to look at. I have a friend who has just retired from social work and for the last few years she has been creating life story books for children, so I'll ask her for some ideas.
When I was little (about 4/5) there was a great book called "I Am Adopted" which explained it really well. Not sure if it's still around.
I also remember my Mum sitting down and using our dog as a metaphor; "you know how much we love the dog? Yes? And you know how the dog didn't come from Mummy's tummy...?" Looking back, it sounds very odd, but it worked at the time because I was young and I could understand it.
I would also avoid mentioning personal circumstances surrounding birthparents if you don't know them. Whilst I have the ability to forget pretty much anything instantaneously, anything surrounding birthparents/adoption has been stored. Even stuff I'm not sure is 100% right.
Maybe focus on your feelings instead? My parents did this in mine - they wrote about wonderful it was to finally have a daughter and how wonderful I was. To be fair, they're biased.
Hope that helps
Awww, thank you all for the suggestions!
I do have a lot of info about his background, even a picture of his foster parents he went to, although I don't want it to be too complicated to start with so just putting the basic facts for now and we can elaborate when he's older and starts asking. I decided to skip the foster care part entirely as it started to get too complicated given his age.
There's a story book I purchased from Ebay recently, but awaiting it's arrival. That seemed good in the sense it explains that families are made up in all sorts of different ways. That, together with this might help too.
Again, NN, thank you!! You have been a real blessing!
He's very interested in books at the moment so I imagine he's going to love this - a story about him!
if you know that her bf was the father, why don't you just say there was mummy called T and a daddy called D and they had a baby called K.? Then write things that you know or believe to be true eg
"they loved baby k very much and were very happy when he was born. but they had a lot of problems and were not very good at looking after a small baby. they didnt feed him properly or change and bathe him . sometimes they went out and left the baby at home by himself. they had so many problems they couldn't even look after themselves , let alone a small baby
so the people in charge ( social workers, courts) decided that they had to find a new family who were able to look aftre baby K . T and D were very sad and angry as they wanted to keep baby K but it wasn't safe and he could have got really sick or even died
so baby K went to live with M&J, who looked after him until the social workers could find a forever mummy and daddy for him. then they found X and Y and baby k went to live with them and now they are his forever mummy and daddy"
then you can write about how happy you were when he arrived, how you prepared for him and welcomed him, what family members did / said/ gave him etc
obviously it depends on the age of your child. but please don't say things that are not true and then retract them when he is older
eg they placed the child voluntarily for adoption if he was in fact removed
or the child was removed because they were too young or too poor. because that's not true. and also your child may worry that if you are short of money he will be taken away again
i think its important for children to know that babies and children are not taken away for minor reasons, it has to be extremely serious. otherwise they coudl feel even more insecure through out their childrhood
soem of the adoption life story type books are very dated and assume that all babies were relinquished. and also that its easier for the child to believe that he/she was given away, rather than removed by the authorities. goodness knows why................ i suspect because its easier for the adults that way
I think you can stress yourself out on doing the "right" life story book. At his age he will only see the pictures and remember what you say, written words won't be important for a while yet - my eldest is 8 and is still happy with just looking at the pictures when we do our annual contact. To be honest he only wants to talk about his foster family at any length (I'm sure the questions will come at some stage!) so we just keep the communication channels open and hope we can help him when more difficult issues are raised.
One thing my Mum did for me was to write me letters (this was long before life story books seemed a good idea). So at any point if I had identity or self esteem issues rattling around my head I could at least read Mums letters where she said how she felt during my early years, what funny things I said or did. I never had any photos or details about my birth family, but I think the only things I wish I'd had is details on personalities and a photo - to see who gave me blue/green eyes, freckles, where the sporty gene came from etc.
I am especially glad to have these letters now as my Mum died when I was 23, you never know what will happen.
So my advice, keep it really simple for now - it can be changed and added to over the years; but always be prepared to talk anything through with your son; make sure he knows how you feel about him, both verbally and write letters to him; keep everything you can so that it's safe if you need it later.
hi tiger, i have hard copy of Joy rees lifestories, im not back in uk till september but if you pm me i can email you her advice on life books.
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