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Jeanette Yoffe is frequently requested to speak in the media on many different topics related to Adoption and Foster Care. She speaks, as a former foster youth and adoptee expert, community leader, as well as educating and advocating to foster change in the child welfare system today.

Visit her Foster Care & Adoption YouTube channel HERE.

To have Jeanette on your Podcast or Guest on your Show
contact TV Guestpert  Bookings Department 
310-584-1504  |  Or email


How to Make an Adoptee Timeline? By Jeanette Yoffe M.F.T.

Creating a timeline can be an empowering way for adult adoptees to understand and reflect on their life experiences. Here are the steps to create a comprehensive timeline:


1. Gather Information:

   - Collect all available documents, photos, and records related to your adoption and life events. This can include birth certificates, adoption papers, letters, and personal notes.


2. Identify Key Events:

   - Identify and list significant life events in chronological order. This could include birth, adoption day, changes in family dynamics, schooling, important relationships, and major life milestones.


3. Create the Timeline:

   - Draw a horizontal line on a large sheet of paper or use a digital tool to create a timeline. Mark the years or age intervals along the line.


4. Plot Events:

   - Place each key event on the timeline, noting the date and a brief description of what happened. Use symbols or colors to differentiate between different types of events (e.g., personal achievements, family changes, etc.).


5. Add Details:

   - Write brief descriptions or memories associated with each event. Include feelings, significant people involved, and the impact these events had on your life.


6. Reflect:

   - Review your timeline to identify patterns, periods of change, and important themes. Reflect on how these experiences have shaped your identity and understanding of your adoption journey.


7. Update Regularly:

   - Keep your timeline updated with new information or reflections as you continue to learn more about your past and experience new milestones.


8. Use Visuals:

   - Add photos, drawings, or other visual elements to make your timeline more personal and meaningful.


Tips for Writing a Timeline:


- Be Honest: Include both positive and negative experiences to give a complete picture of your journey.

- Take Your Time: This process can be emotionally intense, so take breaks as needed.

- Seek Support: Consider sharing your timeline with a therapist or support group to gain additional insights and support.


Example Structure:


1. Birth and Early Life: Date of birth, place, biological family details (if known).

2. Adoption: Date of adoption, adoption agency, adoptive family details.

3. Childhood: Key memories, school experiences, family dynamics.

4. Adolescence: Significant events, friendships, identity exploration.

5. Adulthood: Career milestones, relationships, personal achievements.

6. Current Reflections: Ongoing discoveries, personal growth, future goals.


Creating a timeline helps adult adoptees piece together their life story, fostering a deeper understanding of their past and how it influences their present and future.

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