Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Stories



This is the first picture we ever received of E.  He's 4 months old here.  I can't even handle the cuteness!
 
I learned in the TBRI training I recently attended that age 5 is a big age for kids developmentally and it is an age where they begin to process more fully their stories.  We are definitely seeing this with E.  While we have always told him his story, he's becoming much more interested in it lately.  Before he came to us I made a scrapbook/lifebook of his life and then added to it pictures of our trip to Ethiopia to get him.  We have looked at this at times during his life, but lately he's been grabbing it almost every day and asking me to read it to him.  It's interesting to see his desire to know; to know where he came from and how he came to be ours. 

I'm really glad I have that lifebook for him.  I can tell it's really helping him process things.  I just ordered a new lifebook for J-Man that I made through a photo website.  J-Man has his really intense story that we used in EMDR therapy and he has a little baby photo album I made him, but I felt he was a little jealous of E's book because I took a lot of care to make that and it has words in it to really tell his story.  I felt like J-Man needed something more similar to that.

I think that lifebooks are so very important for kids from hard places.  Years ago I read the idea of a 3-picture-story.  I love this idea because lifebooks can seem overwhelming and time-consuming to parents (especially parents with newly placed children) and the 3-picture-story is so quick and easy.  I did these for both of my boys after we brought them home.  All you do is find 3 pictures that sum up your child's story.  The 3 pictures are:

1.)  The earliest picture you have of your child.  This can be them with birthfamily, with first foster family, a baby picture, or just the youngest picture you have.

2.)  "The handoff".  This is a picture ideally of the previous caregiver handing the child to you.  It can also be a picture of the day you met, the day your child was placed with you, a first picture of you with your child.

3.)  Your family.  Parents and children together.  Forever family.

Pretty easy, right?  Just put those 3 pictures on a piece of paper and go through it with your child with simple explanations of each picture.  You may not have the exact pictures I mentioned above, but as you can see there are a lot of options that will work.  Do the best you can with what you have.  You could also draw a picture of your child as a baby if you just don't have any photos that will work.

What have you done to help your child understand his/her story?  Please share your ideas with all of us!



1 comment:

Big D and Me said...

This post is so helpful to me as we start our fostering journey. Keep sharing as I am taking all of this in.

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