Before my friends left for Africa, they shared that one of the topics they were asked to cover in the training they would provide was life books, and the importance of documenting a child’s beginnings. I happily provided our demo life book, a 12×12 full-color 55-page album, in fill-in format, for their use. We here at Life In Color were so honored to be able to help provide an example that would help them with the great work they were about to embark on.
Here’s the update I received from my friend upon her return:
I…wanted to share with you my conversation with the Orphanage and Attorney’s office staff in the training about life books…They had not seem to have heard of the concept, but immediately embraced it. The director of the board of the orphanage stood up and stated “We need to be doing this. We need to connect children to their beginnings!” The nannies and other staff seemed very touched when we told them how important their role is in the child’s life and how important it is that the child know who they are. They began brainstorming immediately about how they can start a life book for the children in their home and creative ideas of how to document the child’s story. I was so moved by their enthusiasm. I was moved by their connection to their children and how they wanted to do everything they could to give them a firm foundation. I was also very touched when they realized how important that they are to children, and that children who are adopted often seek out their orphanage and nannies to help them with their identity and grief. Thank you for allowing me to bring your book along. It was such a great visual and I think is already making a huge difference in the lives of Ugandan children.
Two years ago I certainly never imagined that our demo book would wind up halfway around the world being used to help equip committed and loving child welfare workers to carry out the care they provide. As I read the report my friend gave, I cannot help but think of the head-start adoptive families who adopt these children will have in understanding their child’s history and life story. If you have created a life book for your adopted child, you know what an important blessing it can be…what a treasure it can become to your child and what a tool it can become for you as you answer important questions your son or daughter has. It’s beautiful to think that this group of people is so committed to the children in their care that they would work to figure out some way they could provide a start of this for each child they have in their orphanage. This is God at work…through my friends, through Life In Color, and through this wonderful group of people in Uganda.