Friday, 27 April 2012

Life Story Book

It looks like things are getting moving on the production of Katie's Life Story Book (LSB). I had a lovely conversation a couple of days ago with the Social Worker who is going to be creating the book and am now sorting out photos to send to her to be included in the section on her life since joining us.  I'm really excited about getting it ready for her now because she has lots of questions about her birth family and I know how much she loved the book we made her when we were matched together.  She still loves to show people the Upsy Daisy Meets Mummy and Daddy book now.

I  will be honest and say that Life Story work can feel quite emotive at times.  There is a part of me that wants to think that Katie's life started when we became a family.  I do get a little pang in my heart around the subject.  I think it's a myriad of emotions though and it's probably hard to explain eloquently.  I will try as best I can.

I love Katie to the moon and stars and back again.  There is nothing I wouldn't do for her.  There is a part of me that would love to spare Katie any confusion as she is growing up; any feelings of being different.  We try to offset that possibility by ensuring that Katie knows lots of other adopted children and answering her questions to the best of our ability.  There is part of me that wants to protect Katie throughout her entire life and that includes the time she wasn't and isn't with me.  I'm a mother.  I would roar like a lion at anyone who harmed my girl.  I hate to think of anything that may have happened to her before she came to us.  I can't protect her from everything though.  There is part of me that wants to ensure that Katie grows up with a measured picture of her birth parents.  I am never negative about them and tell the truth about them to the best of my ability and knowledge.  I want Katie to grow up with a balanced and realistic picture in her mind.  They are a part of what makes Katie all the amazing things that she is; as are we; as is she.  She was meant to be with us but I wasn't meant to give birth to her.  That I know and understand both psychologically, emotionally and spiritually.  

The longer that Katie is with us, the further away her past seems in some ways but that won't necessarily always be the case for her.  There may come a time when it preoccupies her mind.  I can't protect her from that, I can only prepare her.  That is the essence of life story work.  It's all part of her life story. It is all a part of her. It's ongoing. It's not just the past.  It's all part of the complex; amazing; wonderful and sometimes painful, baggage that we carry with us through our lives.  How heavy that baggage is will depend a lot on us trying to get it right and on how Katie responds and reacts throughout her life.

So I'm glad that we are now taking a step to having something tangible to help us all in that journey and a big thank you in advance to the Social Woker who is creating it for us.




4 comments:

  1. Gem, this is wonderful. I am so pleased you are moving forward with this. You have reminded me that I need to sort through all Pickle's books and paperwork. I don't like the way his Life Story Book has been written so apart from looking at the pictures I haven't gone into any great detail with him. For me, the content is too much for him to cope with at the moment, but I think I do need to make sure it is all in order, so that when he is finally ready to hear his story, I can have the information at my fingertips.

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  2. I love your story ... Lots of love to the three of you x

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  3. I think it would be a valuable lesson for all parents, including non-adopters, to get our heads round the fact that our children have their own lives that are separate from our lives. Katie may have had a couple of years before she became part of your family but all children have many years after childhood when they live their own lives (hopefully with us a part of it). One part of her life definitely did start when she came into your family.

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  4. Midlife - you're very right. One of the things that's great about being an adopter is that you aren't looking for ways in which they take after you in the same way you would a birth child. There's none of the "Great Uncle George used to do the exact same thing" because you don't have that frame of reference. In some ways it gives you a chance to accept the child for the individual that they are instead of always looking for comparisons. It's quite liberating.

    Saiditall - thank you!!!

    Claire: - I know several other adopters who have done their own LSB after not being happy with the ones provided. It's a good idea to have everything in order for when those big questions start coming. They do like to catch you out LOL xx

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