Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Keep Sakes

Most people don’t realize that adoptions are a lifelong thing; they don’t just happen at delivery and when you sign the papers. They continue for the rest of your life, and the child’s life.
In my Project Mommy blog (http://projectgoodmom.blogspot.com/) I recently posted a blog on how to keep memories in life, and how photographs and videos just aren’t a safe or sure way to keep those memories for the rest of your life. Well, when it comes to being a BirthMother, sometimes those photographs and videos are all we have. So, we need to keep them and protect them.
When you think of family photo albums, what do you think of? Random pictures, some good, some bad, all clumped into a book that’s kept on the coffee table or book shelves? Maybe, an on-line ordered spiral bound picture book from Walgreens during the half off sale? A Scrap book you spent the weekend crate with your daughter that was put out on display on the coffee table during Christmas?
While these things are a great thing to share, a joy to show off, they aren’t safe. Let’s face it, no photograph or book is. We can do anything we want to try and keep these items safe, but the fact is, anyone could trip or loose balance, spilling coffee, wine, or soda all over the book, ruining at least some of the photos.
So, when we have photos we want to keep safe, what do we do with them? There are a few options.
DVDs. Flash drives, SD cards. But, really, we can’t put everything on these forms of storage.
And if we are being honest, photos of a child you placed for adoption will almost always be more important that your niece shoving her face into birthday cake. Hold on, this isn’t a debate on WHO is more important, it is about what objects are more important.
Well, when we place a child for adoption (open, closed, semi-open, semi-closed, inner-family) there are many moments we will miss of the child’s growing up. The photos we receive from the Adoptive Parents share those moments and memories with us. But, its not just photos, it’s the cards, the letters that come with the photos, and anything else.
After my Birthson was born I found a box from my moms job and I shoved in everything that had to do with him. Papers, folders, hospital cards, life books, scrap books, photo albums, letters to and from his parents, letters to him.
Now, I have this amazing wooden box that holds all of the important things. Things I have received, been given as a gift, or made myself. And now, I would like to share those things with you.
The box itself I got at Pat Catan’s (http://www.patcatans.com/) for only $35. It was the best buy I ever made. You can paint, stain, finish, or varnish them any way you would like, but, I liked keeping mine simple. The plan is, one day, I’ll have Keaton place his hand prints on the box with paint, but nothing more.
Inside I keep Photo Albums filled with pictures that R&H have sent me over the last 4 ½ years.
 I also have a life book I made for him, filled with photos, songs and poems that remind me of him, the paperwork and forms from the adoption

 I also have kept the items I received from both adoption agencies during the matching process
 And I have other cards, packs of photos, and miscellaneous things.

 While my relationship with Keaton and his parents is a good one, I still have to hold on to the memories they are willing to share with me.
 This box may not be a fool proof way to keep them safe – god forbid there is a house fire, my daughter, not the box, would be the first thing I grabbed – it is a way to keep them out of daily harm like spills, muggy boots, dirty fingers, etc.
There are many ways you can preserve photos and keep sakes, this just happens to be the way I keep mine. If you haven’t already, I hope this encourages you to do something for your own memories; be it that of a birth child, adopted child, grandchild, or even a special occasion. The box could be smaller than a show box, or the size of a hope chest, as long as it is special to you, that’s all that matters. 

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