November is National Adoption Month: Free Tips for Adoptive Families

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Do you know what your mother looks like? Or where you were born? Most people do. Not adopted children. They often lack basic pieces of their story. How can adoptive parents help their children understand their history? Adoption expert and adoptee, Beth O'Malley, offers parents a unique tool--adoption lifebooks.

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For those of us who are adopted, our stories do not fit neatly into a traditional baby book or journal. But our stories, even the parts that are unknown or painful, are part of who we are.

Do you know what your mother looks like? Or where you were born? Most people do. Not adopted children. They often lack basic pieces of their story. How can adoptive parents help their children understand their history?

Beth O'Malley, M.Ed., adoption expert and adoptee, offers parents a unique tool--adoption lifebooks. A lifebook is a record of a child's life from birth. It uses words, photos, and the child's artwork to chronicle critical events in a child's life. This includes abuse or other difficult situations. A lifebook helps an adoptee answer the question "Why was I adopted?"

Susan Soon-keum Cox Vice President of Holt International Children's Services says, "For those of us who are adopted, our stories do not fit neatly into a traditional baby book or journal. But our stories, even the parts that are unknown or painful, are part of who we are." O'Malley, author of LifeBooks: Creating a Treasure for the Adopted Child, says, "There are creative ways to deal with not having information as in the case of international adoptions or some foster care situations."

Even for children who are not adopted, a lifebook is a great thing for parents and children to produce together. Not only can a lifebook bring them closer together as they make the book, but it also helps children feel good about themselves.

In 1999, Beth O'Malley's passion for helping other adoptees led her to creating the first website on adoption lifebooks.

Now families can learn more about creating these special books by signing up for online lifebook lessons---free of charge. In addition, O'Malley sends out a monthly newsletter, which she says " goes all over the world." To receive the tips and newsletter

Go to http://www.adoptionlifebooks.com/signup.htm

Not good with computers? To receive a free listing of Lifebook Tips, send a SASE to Adoption-Works, P.O. Box 520178, Winthrop MA 02152.

LifeBooks: Creating a Treasure for the Adopted Child is available via amazon.com, local bookstores, or direct by calling 800-469-9666.

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BETH O'MALLEY

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