You know, I'm totally FOR you adopting a baby or child, right? Good, because I want you to take some POINTERS from this Momma who has adopted (or has been matched) 3 times in under 6 months! First adoption was 10 days, second was just about 6 months and third was 2 months till we were matched and 9 weeks later CeCe was born. ( learn more about our adventures by checking out our pages or our PODCAST on the Adoption Now Radio Show)!
SO, I'm giving these pointers as a play on this awesome Dr. Laura Book ( there is also a MEN's version) mostly, so I don't have to keep repeating myself to unsuspecting and under-educated new adoptive hopefuls. These things come from a 11.5 year devotion to adoption advocacy, parenting, working with birth parents and running the non-profit for adoption which is heavily involved in birth parent advocacy and support for over 8 years. ( FSA AND UFA)
*disclaimer: no two expectant parents are alike- all will be looking for someone or something different and there are NO guarantees that if you follow these pointers that you will "get a baby" within the time frames that worked for us.
10. MAKE PROMISES/ TALK ABOUT THE FUTURE -
unless you are fortune teller/ intuitive please refrain from going in to much depth about what you will and won't do as parents/ with you relationship with Expectant mom etc. It's just bad form- Tell them what you HAVE done already. Proof is what you have already accomplished! It's obviously okay to say a few things about your future plans just not in an abundance. Especially when you have no idea as to what her life situation is or her hopes/dreams for her baby.
9. BE TOO VAGUE- Saying "We love Ice Cream and We love the Outdoors" does not give the reader much insight or specifics on who you are so Be SPECIFIC and say" Mint chip in a waffle cone is my way to beat a HOT day after a long hike in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado" get my drift?
8. REPEAT TOO OFTEN- no wants to here that you love the beach and your dog on every other page or that your child will be cherished or I like Tacos repeated- so just go through your book and look at your letter and your closing page and everything in between. this is your chance to represent your true self in every word! Be Creative! Make your words Matter
7. LEAD W/ YOUR INFERTILITY- ugh, this happens too much- Remember who your Reader is- a woman or a couple facing unplanned pregnancy, a victim of rape, abuse, a younger or older woman who is finding her self in this very tough position of "Searching for Parents for HER
baby" So, although you want to share your heartache and story- save it for a later page or better yet- write that you will discuss it further in person, if she wishes to know. It's totally such a touchy subject but, for once- just put yourself in her mind for a second- your glamorous life spread out on a beautiful book while your opening words are about how you "have pcos and miscarried 3 times or how you spent 40k and 8 years you will never see again" is jut not a way to start off and It's sad/ negative so START with engaging information about who YOU ARE!
6. BRAG TOO MUCH/ TALK ABOUT MONEY-
It's wonderful you have two boats and go to Hawaii every year because the Expectant mom is looking for a blissful , fun life for sure but, after like 6 pages of all vacations and THINGS or too much of your giant house- it yet again, feels intimidating and maybe, just maybe she can't envision herself in your wild and fun life ( or her child for that matter) seems too Good for me or too good to be true. And NEVER talk about money- ever. EXPERIENCES are wonderful to share THINGS not so much ( pictures of your cars are not necessary guys!)
5. BE A POSER- Too many posed pictures and no candid pics are a no-go! If everything is so posed and perfect all the time- it feels too intimidating or like your hiding somethings ( like your organic true selves) So put in those phone pictures or ones where you aren't directly making eye contact but interactions are happening. ACTION photos are even better- show us your wake board skills or your FLIPS or your tumbling playful selves. Here's one I love in our home just cooking with my oldest!
4.TALK ABOUT YOUR BABY- so yeah, this child is HER baby- not yours until papers are signed so, do not refer to the baby as YOURS like " we will love our child as though it was our own"- gag me please now! And BTW you better love this child like a million times more -lol. And do not call her a birth mom in your profile- she is not a birth mom until the act of placing happens. She is a woman and mother just not a birth mother yet. It's a title all birth moms hold very sacred.
3. NOT CROP YOUR PHOTOS - GET CLOSE UP!
Real connections start with your eyes and your smiles! LET'S SEE them ( just not every picture needs to be posed)- here's a GREAT example off of parentprofiles.com ( and yes they are available- so cute!)
2. HAVE A FUZZY/ UNPROFESSIONAL OPENING PIC OF YOU-
Worst thing ever - don't do it- even if you do look perfect in that dress you love- if its not clear or looks dull- save it for another spot in your slides/book/profile. Set up a quick photo shoot with your local photographer for your adoption profiles pics/ head shots- spend the money - its worth it.
And might i add- MAKE IT POP and not like everyone else out there you see!
1. RUIN YOUR BIRTH PARENT LETTER WITH THESE SENTENCES/Statements:
"Dear Birth Mother," - she is not a birth mom until placement. As my good birth mom friends said- some women in crisis have not even admitted to themselves that they are pregnant, let alone placing their baby yet. Address your letter as if you were speaking to a friend. Suggestions were " Hello there! Hi, We are the____, Dear Expectant parents, Dear Expectant mom, or whatever you are led to!
" I can't imagine what you must be going through"- DUH your not in her shoes so just don't say it.
"I know this is such a hard decision"- another one _ really? you think so?
" Words can't Express how grateful we are that you are looking at our profile book/ Considering us" _ everyone says this and you are RIGHT words can't express this- at all. so don't try. They know you will be grateful. But, a E mom is not "grateful" that she is in this position and having to make this choice at all. This wasn't Her plan so, although you are grateful- and you mean well, it's like you are saying " I'm grateful you got unexpectedly pregnant and will have to rip your heart out now" UGH too much.
"this is such a difficult time for you" .- Uh, Yeah, I got that already!!!
"We know that you probably feel a lot of different emotions right now, ( how'd you guess?) not all of them may be so easy. ( yup) Although we have never met you, we just want to say, you are special and amazing. " ( um, you haven't met me so how do you know that?- I personally am at fault of this one- although. i do feel and have felt very connected long before i ever met our three birth moms, it just comes off sometimes as insincere and off putting. )
|Is that what you really meant to say?|
" If you choose to place your baby with us, we will always be grateful that you trusted us with the most precious gift that life has to offer. You would make our dreams of becoming parents come true. ( um, every adoptive couple feels this way- it's not unique to you and don't assume every reader will want to hear that their baby is a "GIFT" like something you can register for at Nordstrom or Target. Yes, there is an act of giving involved but it's called PLACING a child with another not Giving a Child away.)
SO these are the TOP 10 Stupid things People do to mess Up their Profiles! Now YOU are informed and can write your letters/ profiles and all things geared towards expectant parents with more LOVE, understanding and clarity.
As Always, Love you all so much
* And I hope you find your DREAMS will COME true in and out of Adoption. Also, Remember to Pray for guidance as you write these very important words ( or meditate to mother Earth- whatever floats your boat!)
TELL US WHAT YOU THINK and Birth moms - any thing I'm missing???? Comment!