Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tell Me A Story!

Every child loves a story.  And every child loves their story.  Creating a personalized story for your preschool age child can boost self esteem and cement his sense of belonging in the family.  Luckily, children this age are not really interested in the whole story. They don’t yet have the ability 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.
A good approach - especially if you don't have every detail - is to the basics* (*page prompts below) 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.

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 child’s 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. Even if it's their own drawing that may be only distinguishable to them!

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!

When did you get a phone call? What was the season? Where were you? “It was the middle of summer in Phoenix and very hot. Mommy was at work when Rachel called to say a wonderful little girl was waiting for us to come and bring her home.”
(Illustrate with a picture of a sunny day and a woman talking on the phone.)
What did you do next?
“We called Grandma and Grandpa and all our friends to tell them about you.”
(A photo of smiling grandparents or a group of excited friends will send the happy message loud and clear!)
Where did you go to meet your me? How did you get there?
“We flew out the next morning to [the city] and met you and your birthmom at the hospital” or “We drove all night to [the city], where you were waiting for us.”
(Pictures of airplanes or cars—and a happy baby or child—work well here.)

Get creative! Have fun! This will be the favorite storybook ever - for both of you.

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