I went through a scrapbooking phase in middle school. I would take my disposable camera to Wal-Mart and slip it into the development envelope, and wait impatiently to see if my pictures turned out.
My first scrapbook was purple. And I think my favorite part of the entire scrapbooking process was going to the store to pick out the paper and stickers that would help me to make each page original.
The excitement eventually wore off, I found other ways to spend the money I carefully hoarded in a glass jar in my bedroom, and my scrapbooking days came to a close. But every now and then, I’ll return to that purple book filled with glittery stickers and group photos of my friends in cheer uniforms or at formal dances and I’ll smile. I love being able to return to those days, a physical record of a time when I didn’t need to worry about much else other than how my hair looked that one night. There is something to be said about having something to look back on to remember where you came from, as you’re headed to where you are going.
Hope Garcia, Posibilidades Children’s Home Captain, has a vision of capturing memories for the children living in the home.
“The idea originated from ‘life books,’ which are books social workers use with foster care children – to help give them a record of their lives,” explains Hope. “The hope behind the scrapbooks for the kids is they look back on them and can see all along, they were loved and cherished by the people God had put in their lives in different seasons.”
The scrapbooks are a new project, but two visiting teams have been able to help add words of encouragement, photos, and verses for each child’s book.
“The books are becoming a clear picture for each child of the people God provided to love them throughout their lives,” says Hope. “With each addition to their scrapbook, teams and staff are proclaiming Truth over their lives about who they are and God’s love for them.”
With each team, Hope talks about constructing a belief system for each child served through words and experiences.
“What we think about God, about those around us, and about ourselves are constructed from different words and experiences that happen throughout their lives,” says Hope. “The scrapbooks are allowing staff and teams to give the children encouraging words and experiences to construct a positive belief system for themselves.”
As the books are added to and tangible memories are cemented, leaving a permanent record of love and care, the children at Posibilidades Children’s Home are being impacted both spiritually and emotionally.
Years from now, when children like Eduardo, Jesus, and Alondra pull out their scrapbooks to look back on their childhoods, they will be reminded that, even if things felt bumpy or unsure, they were loved and their stories were worth remembering.