Thursday, January 20, 2011

Josiah YeJoon's story

My son is 2 years old. And his life story is already very full.

Full of loss and joy. Details and memories. Facts and unknowns.

Most of all, it's a story full of love.

si's story 4
Josiah YeJoon's story didn't begin with us, so I collect and savor as many snippets and pieces as I possibly can from referral documents, photos, conversations with his foster family and social worker, and from our time in Korea.

Si is young, but definitely not too young to start to hear his story.

si's story 6
I wanted to make something for him that would help with this. A tool that would help him begin to understand what has happened in his life so far. I knew it would be invaluable for Si to have something tangible to hold and touch and see as we talked about his adoption now and in the future.

A few months ago I put together a little book for him. It is nothing fancy....I simply printed photos and short paragraphs, laminated the pages, and used book rings to hold it together.

si's story 9
As far as the content, I kept it simple, truthful, and age appropriate.

It begins with his birth and shares a few details of his birth parents. His foster parents are included, of course, and why they are so very special.

si's story 12
Other pages of the book share the process of how we came to be a we prayed for him and his referral and meeting in ESWS's playroom. The book talks about how wonderful Korea is, how sad it was to leave that place, and how we will go back one day soon.

si's story group 2
The overwhelming message of Josiah's little book is that he is loved immeasurably by so many - by us, by his foster parents, by his birth parents. Most importantly, he is loved by an amazing God - the God who created Si and choose him to be His very own.

si's story 14
Si's book is always out in our living room. It's played with, looked at, and read every single day. The cover is starting to become crinkled and some of the pages are smudged, but it doesn't matter one bit.....because this little book helps us to easily and naturally chat about Si's story in our every day life. I would be sad if those moments were lost in the busy shuffle of our day!

He knows that the book is special. He knows that it is his. He absolutely loves it.
si's story group 1
In the near future, my goal is to put together a more detailed life book for Josiah. Perhaps a binder-type book that we can add information to as he grows and matures. Something he can draw in and write his own thoughts in, too. We don't have much information on his life before us, but we do have some and I want all of it to be in one place for him.

Each tiny piece of info is precious and important and a blessing. I pray for the possibility of more snippets of his story coming to light in the future.....even if that is unlikely.

si's story 5
For now, though, this book serves a great purpose. In it, Josiah is the star! He's reminded that he is special. He is resilient and strong. He is precious.

He is loved.

si's story 1

If you are an adoptive parent, does your child have a book similar to Josiah's? Is there a unique way that you share your child's story with him/her?


  1. I am making a lifebook through Shutterfly right now. I will almost be ready to order it soon. But it details all of the same things you are talking about here. I like that the template will remain in my Shutterfly account and I can update it and reorder as he matures and can process more of his story.

  2. Oh Rachel, I just love this! I love the book's beauty, its message, and its simplicity. You've inspired me to do something similar for my girls. So far, my blog has been my excuse for a life book for the girls, but I absolutely LOVE what you've done here by creating an age-appropriate book FOR him. Thank you so much for sharing it!

  3. This gave me chills. I love it Rachel. I love the thought you put into it - and the obvious love outpouring.

  4. You are such an amazing Mama! Josiah has truly been blessed to be given such wonderful parents like you and Josh. God certainly knew EXACTLY what he was doing! Love you!!

  5. I love this book. I really need to do the same.

  6. i love this! i'm making a photobook through shutterfly also, but i love your idea of having it laminted so he can go through the pages himself...maybe i'll do a duplicate through word and laminate those pages. i'd love to actually read si's story if you don't mind sharing...i think that's the part i'm struggling with the to word carson's story so it is appropriate and meaningful...

  7. I too have been working on a lifebook for Andrew. And struggling, mainly because I'm afraid of saying it wrong. But I'm getting there. I want it to be something that Andrew (and then for each of our other children) to have whenever they want and to know that they are loved. I want to do pictures and text on the same page as well and then I'm putting it into a small scrapbook - what did you use to put both picture and text on the same page to print out? I get stuck on little things like that sometime too...

    Thanks for sharing and love that you did this for your very loved son.

  8. This is so beautiful! What a lovely way to document how much you and so many others love Josiah! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Rachel, you always have the most beautiful and sweet ideas. I love Si's book and it's clear he loves it too! We have a very simple, age appropriate life book for Xavier that we gave to him for Christmas. I got the idea from Joanna and ordered it through snapfish. We all love looking at it. When he gets older and understands more we'll make him another one that's more detailed. I like your idea of being able to add to it as you go along and even having Si add to it. Wonderful!!

  10. This is such a great idea! I love how simple it is and that Si can look at it whenever he wants. We just created a board book for Joel at My Custom Story with the story of how he came to our family. I plan to do a Lifebook, too, at some point. Thanks for sharing this special book! Si is definitely loved by so many and a very blessed little boy.

  11. What an awesome idea! I definite hope to do this, thanks for showing us Si's special book.

  12. this is just perfect, rachel!! i have been wanting to put something just like this together for noah for months and months and months.....i need to stop procrastinating and get it done. this is the age that i want him to start hearing "his story" too so i need to get on it. you did an amazing job! ( and of course your photos as always are beautiful. :)

  13. I plan to make a lifebook someday, too. I love how you put yours together in a very age-appropriate way for Si at this point in his life. Well-done, mama!

  14. beautiful.
    what a wonderful idea rachel...and you've captured your love for si so well in both this book and the photos here - and si's love for this precious book is completely obvious.
    i am hoping to get started on a snapfish book for leo soon...i've done one for drew each year and we love them. (i like the ideas i've read about adding to the book...)

  15. Oh Rachel, this is so perfect. I started a similar book for Max about 2 months ago and just got "stuck" on the right language and also I couldn't figure out how to make it from his perspective not mine. It just didn't feel right, so I just stopped working on it. This has inspired me to start again! I just love how you went about this. Thank you so much for sharing. It's so sweet how much Si likes to peruse his story :)

  16. Thanks for sharing, Rachel! It's a beautiful book. We made one for G and gave it to him for Christmas, it was such a load of my mind.

  17. I love this. What a grace gift you've given him. And such a good inspiration for other adoptive parents.
    And your pictures...oh, how they tell a story!

  18. I sooooo want to make one of these too...and soon. I owe it to my son. His story is wonderful...and his...his very own.

    Nice job, Rachel! You are such a wonderful mommy!

  19. What a beautiful life book for J! I have been meaning for almost 2 years to put one together for Alex but it just hasn't happened. I feel much more motivated now - Thank You! He does love to bring over our photo album of our trip and we go over the pictures - he loves that.

  20. My husband made Daniel's "life book" through Costco. He illustrated some pages himself and them added some photos. I think I may have to blog about it. The only issue is that it's a bit "fragile" in the hands of a 2-yr old so Daniel doesn't get the benefit of it as much as we'd like. I think your idea of laminating pages is awesome, and I may have to try something like that for Daniel as well.

  21. What a beautiful post and as always, love the photos. Perfect idea to laminate it so it's there for him now. Life gets so crazy busy and to have this in view all the time is fantastic.

  22. rachel, this is such a wonderful way of sharing his story at his age!! i love it! i am going to have to use this idea for our little one, one day! i also like the idea of adding more as he gets older and is able to understand things better. such a great idea! oh and i love the last picture of si, he's sooo sweet!

  23. Rachel, I love love love love love love love this. It brings tears to my eyes and has been such an inspiration to me. I have little doodles and ideas in my notebook, but nothing concrete (although not having it done has kept me up at night). I'm so thrilled and honored that you shared this little snippet with us. You inspire me to be a better parent. Thank you. (Every time I read this I need to wipe tears from my eyes, and Doug just came in and caught me and was like "WHAT happened?!") :-)

  24. That is GREAT! He is so blessed (almost as much as you and Josh!) The only problem is he looks SO OLD in that last picture.

  25. I am SO GLAD I read this post. This is a lovely book. My son is also two and I am feeling so guilty over not getting his life book together. I know that I need to, I just become so stumped at how to get the right language down.
    This truly is inspiring me. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing this. I love how you made it so accessibly for Si, it's so lovely!



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