Want to Adopt Someone Else’s Life Story?

It’s National Adoption Month. It’s also Thanksgiving. It was planned that way. If your heart hasn’t been touched lately, consider visiting a court for the finalization of an adoption. Imagine hearing a commissioner say, “I now pronounce you parents and child.” I’ve had that experience; just telling you that much about it, I have to cry again. I remember the way my older son insisted on carrying my younger one to the car, saying, “Now you’re my REAL little brother! REAL little brother! You’re my REAL, REAL, REAL little brother!” They still feel that way about each other.

You can’t convince me that there is any such thing as an unwanted child—only children who need help finding their families. If you have room for one more, or a sibling group, you might consider that. If you are expecting a baby before you planned to parent one, you might consider that as well. At our house, every day is Birth Mother Appreciation Day.

And naturally, because you read my blog for writing connections, you can’t think I’ve wandered away from my focus here. You know I’m on a mission to inspire you to write the story of your life, at least for your own perspective and your family’s heritage. Well, imagineLife Book program Arizonans for Children being a child who doesn’t know the whole story of your life. Imagine you have been in foster care, and you never knew all the details, and you have few or no photos or childhood art projects or school work. What then?

Volunteers are researching and creating Life Books for these children. For an agency in my area (Arizonans for Children), it requires a couple of hours a week for about six months. You need to pass a background check because you will be entrusted with case details. You will have templates to mail, requesting more details from people who have known the child, and you’ll usually have a partner on the project. It’s a healthy outlet for a scrapbooking fiend, but you don’t need those talents to begin. You only need to be willing to research, write, and care.

Text © Gwyn Nichols 2012. All rights reserved. WritersResort.com

Image: screenshot from Arizonans for Children’s Life Book Program page

Friday Flick: Two Brothers

Rick Stevenson filmmaker screenshot BYU TVFilmmaker Rick Stevenson vividly recalls certain observations he had in his childhood. (I LOVED his brilliant and candid introduction.) He was ambitious enough to follow over 60 children through 5000 days of their lives. This first documentary begins with six- and eight-year-old brothers. We watch as they outgrow their sibling upsets, become best friends, and grow into men. You have to suspect that being interviewed helps them live an examined, more fulfilling life.

This first one is dear to my heart because I’ve raised my sons in the same traditions, and because I’m raising sons in general, but I can’t wait to see the rest of these revealing and developing self-portraits. Storytelling means understanding our common humanity and our fascinating differences. It means being inspired by each other.

It’s a brilliant idea to borrow: capture your own growth and that of your young ones with a series of video interviews, perhaps as a birthday tradition. And it turns out that there’s even a private version of 5000 Days where you can upload video diaries as a time capsule, and later choose whether to submit them to the project.

The film will be available online for a little while here:


After that, you can find it here:


Here’s a sneak peek at a future project. Maybe you’ll be the angel to help complete it.



Text © Gwyn Nichols 2011. All rights reserved. WritersResort.com

Screenshot from BYU TV’s broadcast of Two Brothers