“We like long walks on the beach, candlelit dinners, and volunteering in the community.”
It’s awkward, isn’t it?
It feels like the most important classified ad of your life: “Smart, funny, successful, and loving couple seeking baby, will love and spoil him/her, but not too much!”
How can you sell yourself without well, selling yourself? How can you convey that you are infinitely ready to welcome and raise a child into your (perfectly clean, stylish home in a good school district?)
Leave out anything that isn’t part of your daily fabric.
When we asked our beloved social worker for advice about the building of our profile book to give out to prospective birth mothers, she imparted wisdom on us that has stayed with me. She told us a story about a birth mother viewing sets of profile books from hopeful parents. This young woman had experienced a very troubled childhood. Through it all, her grandfather had spent a lot of time with her and had shared his love of canoeing with her. You guessed it–the birth mother picked a family who had pictures of themselves out with a canoe on a camping trip.
Our social worker told us you never know what will speak to a birth mom, and sometimes, it’s simple (and yet as meaningful) as that. Show what you like to do for fun, and what’s special and important to you. Be honest. If you aspire to play in your town’s soccer league, but your deflated ball from high school is in your attic, don’t include that. If you volunteered once with children at a youth center but haven’t been back since, don’t write a page about your work with the community. You get the idea.
But…don’t leave out things you assume you shouldn’t show.
Great example: my husband and I initially began our adoption journey with using Catholic Charities as our adoption agency. We are practicing Catholics and our profile reflected our belief in God and showed how we had come to rely on our faith in this journey. When we made the decision to go with a private lawyer, we wondered if we should tone down that portion of our profile story.
In the end, we realized that wasn’t who we were and we felt we had built the picture of our life and beliefs in an authentic way. Ultimately, this was one big aspect of our profile that our birth mother gravitated towards. She was raised in a loving church community and felt that this was something that her child would have as a gift in her life.
Leave yourselves out of it…
Just for a minute. Sound counterintuitive? You want a child more than anything in the world at this moment. I know that raw feeling all too readily. But I found that taking a “cool five” as we say in my house, helps to give you a moment to put yourself in the prospective birth mother’s shoes. They aren’t easy ones to wear. Try not to be so focused on showing how wonderful you are that you forget about all of the emotions and strife on the other side. When we made our profile, I remember being so focused on telling our story and doing it well, that when my husband started writing a letter to the birth mother looking at the book; it all clicked for me: this book is only partly about us.
And if you’re looking to have an online profile that’s guaranteed to get you more chances of being seen by potential birth mothers and completely customizable, be sure to check out the Internet’s largest adoption community here.