Are You Book Enough challenge – Family

It’s been a while since I participated in the Are You Book Enough challenge on Instagram (#areyoubookenough). It’s ironic that this month’s theme is family, considering that that’s what made it so hard to join in the fun (21-month-old daughter = very little free time).

Are You Book Enough - Family

Luckily, I recently made something for another purpose that fits with the theme so I’m going to double dip this month.

If you’re new to following me, you may not yet know that my daughter is adopted. We have an open adoption and I feel that by extension, Anna’s biological family is our family. 

We send Anna’s biological parents four written updates annually and being me, I’ve felt like I should do something more than just typing up a letter on my computer. It has been a wonderful to revisit Anna’s life every three months and to memorialize her experiences on paper. On paper! Our most recent update included the most pieces to date. I created the full set in an edition of three – one for each bio parent and one for Anna.

We call our written updates Annagrams. This update was bound with a pamphlet stitch and a handmade paper cover. Our updates include details of trips to the pediatrician (head circumference!), her current favorite songs, and daily activities. Included with the book is a selection of photos wrapped in Unryu and secured with washi tape.

Book and photos in paper enclosure

Both the Annagram and the photos are housed in Hedi Kyle‘s Self-Closing Wrapper from The Art of the Fold: How to Make Innovative Books and Paper Structures. It’s the perfect enclosure for this application.

Accordion book and photos in paper enclosure

Accordion book and photos with book in paper enclosure

I also created an accordion book to hold images that were suited to the square format, collages that my husband put together. Each tells one of Anna’s stories – her first trip to the dentist, visiting with family during the holidays, etc.

Accordion book with photos

I hope that the updates we send are successful in conveying the deep love and gratitude we feel. We have truly been given a gift beyond measure.

4 Responses to “Are You Book Enough challenge – Family”

By marcia - 24 March 2019 Reply

So beautiful, Elissa.  Your open family is lucky indeed to receive such heartfelt pieces.  – Marcia.

By Elissa - 25 March 2019 Reply

Marcia –

Thanks sweetie pie!


By Patti - 24 March 2019 Reply

What a beautiful story! You and your hubby are to be commended for being so open and loving. What an amazing gift and legacy for your daughter.

Another idea you may want to consider is starting a genealogy tree for her while she has biological family still living. It could be in addition to one for your family.

Congratulations to both of you.

By Elissa - 25 March 2019 Reply

Patti –

You’re so sweet! Thanks for your kind words.

I like your idea of starting a genealogy tree for her biological family. I just found this interesting article on ways to create a family tree that combines both biological and adoptive families.

Thanks so much for leading me down this path!


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