Life Story Works

 

BIRTH FAMILY

Here is the place to give neutral and if known, positive details about the birth family such as physical appearances, dates of birth, their culture/race, relationship to the child and photos. Putting the original birth certificate here shows where the child has come from. This is the area to create a colourful family tree.  We like the image of a tree with the root part containing the birth family-the roots being an essential yet invisible presence-but if this does not suit the situation then the branches on either side could contain both families.


  1. Bullet    Create a Family Tree - your child can cut out leaves and you can make a tree trunk from cut out paper or simpy draw it together.


  1. Bullet    Add basic facts about: race, culture, place of origin, age appearance, no negatives here.  See Templates and Documents and see some examples of a family trees for adoptive or more complex families networks.

BIRTH DETAILS






If you have any photographs put them with a commentary about them here.

PHOTO OF BIRTH PARENT(S)HOLDING CHILD

(if available)

BIRTH PARENTS

PAGES TO INCLUDE:

  1. Bullet    BIRTH PARENTS - Put any photos here and comments.

  2. Bullet    COUNTRY & CULTURE - maps, culture, nationality

  3. Bullet    BIRTH FAMILY - More info/photos about extended family

  4. Bullet    FAMILY TREE - How to make one for complex family structures

  5. Bullet    EXERCISES - Tips to involve the child in Life Story Work

It is always better to have a photo than none at all.

On rare occasions the photographs of birth parents can be distressing (eg a police mug shot or parent looking very ill). Consider turning them black and white or cropping them if parts of the photo are distressing. You can scan the image and do this digitally. Otherwise photocopying the image and cutting with scissors. Keep the original in an envelope, or in a safe place. If a child is not ready to share a part of their story it is helpful to have removable parts in a folder which can be taken out depending on whom it is being shared with.

MORE DETAILS

This is an opportunity to put neutral and positive bits of information about the parents. If you know facts about them then don’t hesitate to find appropriate imagery and stick it in. If they once worked as a carpenter or liked horse riding for example use a picture of woodwork or horses.

FAMILY TREE

FAMILY TREE
FAMILY

TREE IDEA

 

Some people will need a family tree that accommodates two families!

  1. Bullet    Some people suggest using the roots to represent the birth family and the leaves to represent the adoptive family. ADOPTIVE FAMILY TREE Example

  2. Bullet    OR - have two large tree branches with adoptive family on one side and birth family on the other.    

  3. Bullet    You can use a traditional way with a circle for a woman and a square for a man and use a direct line for marriage and a dotted line for non marriage and both for a divorce.

  4. Bullet    You can create family ‘houses‘ so that each independent family member has their own house. FAMILY HOUSES example

  5. Bullet       Another method for complex families that can incorporate foster families is a FAMILY WHEEL example

PHOTO OF BIRTH PARENT

PHOTO OF BIRTH PARENT

COUNTRY & CULTURE

Country and Culture


This is also an opportunity to explore the culture and heritage of the child.  Find the national flag and talk about language, religion and diet in different cultures. Do what feels relevant and helpful and interests the child here.   Here lies the space and place to talk about all that is positive about cultural origins the child may not be aware of.


Put pictures of the countries that are relevant.



MAPS

Try to find nice map images however way you can: the Internet, actual paper maps. Pinpoint where people are from and how this affects their nationality.

BIRTH FAMILY

SIBLINGS/GRANDPARENTS


Write about them all and take as much space as you need

Try to put in as much detail and information about the birth family relatives as you can...


Mention sibling names and dates they were born.


Where they are now, if possible and who looks after them.

 

Find as many photos of birth family

relatives that you can

LIFE STORY WORK

LIFE STORY BOOK CONTENTS