By Lisa Copen

I swore that I would never scrapbook. I saw some amazing scrapbooks that friends had put together, but the thought of cutting into my photographs and then spending tons of money on little stickers called “embellishments?” To put it bluntly, I wasn’t a cutesie, sticker kind of gal and didn’t intend to change.
Adoption Scrapbooking Ideas
Then we adopted a baby. I couldn’t find a baby book or adoption book that had my son’s story and I kept hearing the phrase “life books.” Every child’s story is unique.

So I made my way to the craft store and tried to find some “embellishments” that didn’t include pregnancy quotations or storks. I held my breath as I cut into my photographs. Eventually, not finding any adoption items, I put my graphic design skills to use and created my own transparency overlays about adoption, so I could record those memories from “the wait” to Adoption Day. Now I cannot conceive of having let the idea of a scrapbook of my son’s life pass by me. I would have missed great joy.

Why did I decide to scrapbook about my child’s adoption?

1. We all know how unique our own story is about deciding to adopt and waiting. Our kid’s stories or no less special. Don’t be tempted to use a book where you just fill in the blanks, because it’s nearly impossible to since you don’t have all of the answers, nor do they all apply. And what child wants to see blanks in his book? For example, even adoption books may or may not have a place for information about the birth father or if the adoption was international or domestic.

An additional benefit to scrapbooking is that you can design is so that it is timed perfectly for your child’s age and understanding of his or her adoption story, based on what you have shared. It’s inevitable that your child will being to ask more questions. It’s easy to add that page with the answers right into the book. For example, my son recently has been asking, “Why did God choose me for your and Daddy? If God had sent another little boy, would you have loved him?” This is an idyllic occasion for me to create a new page for his adoption album, explaining how we prayed for a little boy just like him.

2. Photographs are nice but the memories that go along with them fade more quickly than I had imagined. I can look back at photographs from just six months ago that I didn’t journal about and realize that I’ve forgotten the cute things my son said at that moment. What funny joke did we laugh about for fifteen minutes? I remember the giggles, but it’s those stories specifics behind the photos that keep the memories alive. And what kids don’t like to hear about the funny things they did or said when they were little?

3. Adoption is a special gift and I want my son to know that we acknowledge it as such. Just him seeing me spend the time to putting together an album, lets him know it’s important to me. Whatever I share about his birth family, how he came to be a part of our family, visits we may have with the birth family (or if you adopted internationally, then special trips to your child’s country of origin) lets him know just how special his story is. It’s important that our kids know that we are never threatened by their story. We need to make sure they know that their whole life is precious to us, and not just the time that they have been a part of our family.

Lisa-Copen_Adoption-BloggerNow that I am an adoptive mom, I have expanded by appreciation for scrap booking. I no longer see it as a leisurely craft, but a noteworthy method to record this miracle that God gave us–the honor of being parents to our little guy.

Whether you call your adoption scrapbook album an international adoption lifebook or just an adoption book, it’s much more than just a photo album or a “brag book.” It’s a chronicle of memories and photos, a personalized story book of your child’s life, and a reminder to him that he is treasured. Though as parents, we may always have some concerns about how adoption affects a child, an adoption scrapbook is a way to remind him that we embrace and rejoice about the way he helped us become a family–through the gift of adoption.

Make a amazing adoption lifebook quickly with tools from Scrapbook your Adoption Journey. Complete books using transparency overlays, digital scrapbooking adoption files and embellishments, make it simple to have an personalized lifebook your child will treasure.

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Image courtesy of Simon Howden /

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