An Interview with John & Michael

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How we began….

Our adoption journey began with asking lots of questions -- of adoption agencies, adoption lawyers, friends who had successfully adopted children and those who were in the process or sadly had their adoptions fall through. We felt it was important to hear from a broad range of individuals since it everyone's adoption journey was so unique and there was no one way to do it.

Lots of support…

We were lucky to receive lots of love and support from our family and friends throughout our journey. Family was constantly checking in (which always made me laugh -- like we were going to match with birthparents and I was just going to FORGET to tell my mother?!). From friends who had been through (or were going through) the process we got lots of useful first-hand advice about tacking the home study, putting together the advertising brochure, which agencies/lawyers to use and which to avoid, etc.

If I were to give advice, it would just be to offer a welcome ear whenever they want to talk - but don’t push it. Sometimes it’s just more useful to talk to other hopeful adoptive parents or people who have been through it. Knowing that you’re there and supportive of our decision to adopt is often so incredible helpful in and of itself. 
— John & Michael, Adoptive Parents

The Match…..

We were contacted through the lawyer we hired (AdoptHelp) -- in addition to handling the legal aspects of the adoption they also have an advertising and outreach arm. They presented our profile (along with many others) to the birth mom and she chose us.

 

That first phone call felt like a weird blind date. We each knew a little about the other, but were both incredibly nervous to actually talk to each other. "What if the birth mother doesn't like us? What if she changes her mind after we talk to her?" were some of our fears. But the truth is that she picked us for a reason and she we just tried to be honest versions of ourselves in the hope that we'd live up to the people she imagined we were. In truth, once we spoke to her all the fear and anxiety melted away and it was much easier for us to talk and get to know each other a little more. 

Staying Connected….

We are still connected with our son’s birth mother, mainly through text messages and emails. Our son's birth mother does follow us on Facebook and Instagram -- which we're comfortable with since we always knew it would be an open adoption. I think that for the birth mother and her two children, it brings her comfort and happiness to see that we're raising our son in a loving home. It's really what she had hoped for him all along and so I think it just affirms her decision. 

Our Adoption Fears….

Our biggest fear was that our son's birth mother would change her mind and decide to keep him. We were lucky because she was a very mature 29 year old woman who had two daughters at home and knew she couldn't give this boy the life she wanted. I think the more she got to know us just affirmed her decision (as did seeing us bond with him after the birth in the hospital) .To someone just starting out, I'd say to be prepared to be patient. Our adoption journey went from zero to sixty in the blink of an eye and then, before we knew it, we had a newborn at home.  We were always told with adoption "it's not a question of if, but when" you'll adopt. So put yourself out there in the most honest way possible and then be patient. It WILL happen, so don't lose faith.

A bit of Advice…

 When your are in ‘the wait’  and if you are truly just waiting I'd look to do things you enjoy either alone or with your spouse/significant other (if you have one). Not only will that help distract from the "wait" but once you have a child, you'll have much less time to do things just for yourself so enjoy the time while you can... because "it's not a matter of if, but when" it'll happen for you.  I'd also seek out other people who are  waiting -- it can be easier to have someone who understands first-hand what you're going through.

Are Adoption Profiles Necessary??

You may be wondering what an adoption profile is, and if you need one. 

 Your adoption profile is how you will share your story with expectant parents considering adoption. It can be a digital document, printed, or both! You will select photos that show the range of activities and interests you enjoy, showcase your home and community and help the reader get to know your families. The text you create should tell the expectant parents how excited you are to grow your family, and how grateful you are for their consideration. Hopefully your profile is bright, engaging and interesting to look at too! 

Your profile is a really unique document. Is not a "sell sheet" or a resume, and it's not a chronological walk through memory lane. It should share your current lives and your hopes for the future. 

Our Chosen Child

Your photos will be the foundation of your adoption profile. High resolution, good quality photos are the key to making your profile stand out from others. The cover photo is the most influential photo and should make a fantastic first impression! We always suggest a professional photo- or at least one from a nice camera and not a cell phone!  The other, supporting photos should show your family, interests, and day-to-day activities. Photos will always get looked at before text, so always include a great caption with your photos! 

Adoption Profile Design

Your text is a way of sharing your story in a genuine and honest manner. Be thoughtful about your audience as you are writing. Although she wants to get to know you she likely doesn't have an interest in reading a blow-by-blow description of your career path or the names of all your cousins. Keep your text relevant, short, and most of all, honest! Share your personalities and have some fun as you write. 

Adoption Profile Design

 

So, if you were to ask if Hopefully Parents thinks an Adoption Profile is important the answer would be YES!! A profile is your primary outreach tool and is the only opportunity you have to introduce yourself to expectant parents considering adoption! To see sample profiles click the link below! 

Our Chosen Child, Adoption Profile Design

Top 7 Ways to Boost YOUR Adoption Outreach!

Adoption Outreach Tips

Top 7 ways to Boost YOUR Adoption Outreach!!

Adoption outreach programs have greatly changed over the years and are essential to your adoption journey. Your adoption outreach efforts could lead you to making a connection with potential birth parents considering adoption. We have some exclusive ideas on how to boost your adoption outreach!!

 

Get Social!

The world is filled with posts, photos, and tweets! It seems like everyone is on social media these days, even Grandma. You should be active in social media world too! Create social media accounts that are just for your adoption outreach journey, and post something everyday. Everyone loves to share heart-warming stories, and who knows? Your posts and videos could go viral and fall into the lap of the right person, at the right time,  who might think you're just the person they have been looking for. 

social media outreach

 

Recruit your Adoption Team!

Do you have a bunch of friends and family that keep asking if there's anything they can do to help with your adoption process? This is a great time to put them to work! Ask them to share your story with family and friends and let them know that you are looking to meet expectant parents considering adoption. Ask them to share and post all of your content on their social media to reach an even larger audience, and ask them to encourage their audience to share your content as well! Tell them to spread the word to everyone that they know to boost the amount of people that are aware that you want to adopt a child.

adoption outreach cards

 

Create your own Adoption Profile!

Creating your adoption profile is like creating a very personal resume with text and photos so expectant parents considering adoption can get to know you better. They can get an inside look  to who you are, your family/friends, your hobbies with your favorite photos as well as your promise to the potential birthparents.  If you need help creating an adoption profile you can call in the pros over at Our Chosen Child who will help you create the most awesome, amazing adoption profile that you could ever imagine having! 

 

Create your own Adoption Website!

Now that you have a gorgeous profile made by Our Chosen Child, use it to host an online adoption presence. You already have great photos and written content sharing your adoption journey, so half the work is done!  Your website can be your adoption outreach hub with links to ALL your adoption social media. With your own website you can share blog posts that share your daily life  and how you are preparing yourself and your family for baby!

adoption profile hosting

 

Use Outreach Cards!

Why not create adoption outreach cards that have your contact  information on them? Outreach cards are a great way for friends to share your contact information with an expectant parent considering adoption.  Does Uncle Joe sell vegetables at the Farmer’s Market each week? Ask him to put your outreach cards on his table. What about your doctor?? I am sure she sees hundreds of people each week and could potentially run into an expectant mother considering adoption.  One suggestion is to add a number for texting, it will add a level of comfort for someone who could be timid to call you.  Outreach cards are inexpensive yet powerful ways of doing adoption outreach! 

adoption outreach team

 

Create custom Email signatures!

How many emails do you send out a day? If you're like us it's a ton! How many times do you think you have emailed a someone considering adoption, or a friend or relative of someone considering adoption?  It is crazy to think that you could have just emailed a potential birth grandparent to ask if they are selling their famous fresh strawberries again this year, and if you had only had an adoption related email signature you could have shared so much more than strawberries? Or what if you are emailing a vendor at work who is best friends with an expectant parent considering adoption? Or you just sent a review on your favorite new hand knitted slippers that you received for your birthday, and one of the employees at the business is currently considering adoption. Emails are flying out of your outbox so rapidly some days, and sending the message that you want to become a parent through adoption could be the most important message you ever send. If you put your adoption dreams in your email signature you might be connecting with someone you weren’t expecting who knows someone who is expecting. 

adoption email marketing

 

Blog about it!

Blogs are a great way to share your inner feelings about adoption, about waiting, and how much you want to be a parent. A blog is your own personal journal about your personal journey. As a potential adoptive parent, a blog will give you a voice to share all that you want about you and your family. When you were writing your birth parent letter or creating your adoption profile, were there many things you wanted to say but either didn’t have enough space or couldn’t find a great way to incorporate it into it? This is your chance to share, share, share! Share stories from your childhood that shaped you and influenced you to be the person you are today. Share traditions that you do each holiday or special time of year. Share your parenting methods that you hope to use when parenting your child.  Just think about all the things that this blog gets to tell about you! It is a special way of seeing deep into your life and letting potential birth parents experience what the child’s life will be like with all your love and care!

adoption blogs

 

Adoption outreach is essential these days! There are so many ways to put out the word that you are looking to connect with someone considering adoption. Often they are looking for someone just like you- and it's up to you to make yourself available to be found. Have fun, be consistent with your efforts, and good luck! Let us know what methods you've found that have been successful!