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© Gail Underwood Parker

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Focus on Fostering: Building a History

Children in foster care and even adoptive children often have few if any photos to remember and commemorate their childhood.  My first foster child came with one wrinkled photo of her with her step father, one of her as an infant, or her siblings, or anything.

One of the kindest things you can do for a foster child is help them start building a history through photographs.  Even if they are only with you temporarily, you can still give this amazing gift.

Start by taking a photo of them the day they arrive as a starting point. [Note: IF reunification with their  bio-family is a possibility you might take one of the child WITH your family and one WITHOUT your family, to give you options as you build their album]. 

Add to their history by taking photos of some of their accomplishments, things they can be proud of, milestones of development, favorites, habits, photos that will document their growth and personality.

Some idea starters:
Baby--smiles, finding their fingers, crawling, walking, etc.
Preschool: Building blocks, playing with playdoh, playground photos, eating favorite foods.
Elementary: learning to skip, jump rope, ride a tricycle or bike, other favorite things
Middle school: sports, extracurriculars, watching tv, on their cellphone, playing Wii
High School:  cooking, doing chores[?], learning to drive, afterschool activities, first job

For school age kids, add in ticket stubs, postcards of places they go, concert programs, clippings of their favorite singers, tv shows, movies etc. 

When every one else has photos of their personal history but you it is very isolating.  Give your foster child at least your piece of their history.

Image credits:,,,

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