We devoted the full top third of the actual physical project space to “our ancestors.” Kyle and Owen have long been very focused on their “ancestors,” take great pride in their African and Haitian ancestral roots, and are very inquisitive about ancestry in general. The middle third of the space was devoted to the actual “family tree” (including the birthparents, symbolically and literally, in the center).
We chose to highlight Mor Mor as the individual about whom we’d write a “vignette” (according to the original assignment).
A lot of adoptive family trees show the birth family as the "roots" and the adoptive family as the "branches." While it is an appropriate depiction in many ways, for some in very open adoptions it may feel like it "buries" the birth family’s importance.
To allow for both families to be of equal importance, try mirror imaging the traditional tree.
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We were told (and I do mean “we”—the assignment was, literally, for the whole family) to do it however we wanted (including as many or as few generations as we choose), with only one caveat: we were supposed to focus in on one individual “on the tree” and give some sort of “vignette” about him or her.
Like I said, I had already put a lot of thought into how to approach this when the day came.
Think a tree reflected in a calm lake (or a sand timer for you more literal folks!
), birth family on one side, adoptive on the other. If you are into photography or painting you could easily create your own image and add in the names. So this Entwined Family Tree from Shabby Ladybug works amazingly well for any adoptive or combined families!