In a world that’s so digital, it’s easy to “meet” people before you actually physically see them. College roommates, blind dates, and potential employers can look people up on Facebook or other social media sites and find out intimate details of their lives before they ever hear what their voice sounds like. Imagine if,when you meet this person face-to-face, they are the exact opposite of what their social media profile says. You’d feel cheated somehow, right? You already don’t trust them because you know they’re lying about something.
Now imagine you’re about to place your child for adoption, you’ve chosen a family based on information you’ve seen prior to meeting face-to-face. You think you know certain fundamental elements of this family’s life, but when you meet them, they’re nothing like they portrayed themselves. All of a sudden, you can’t think about how your child is going to grow up anymore because it’s so different from what you saw in their adoption profile.
So when you’re presenting yourself in an adoption profile, what should you do? Just be YOU! It’s the first, and best, piece of advice given to hopeful adoptive couples and families when creating their adoption profiles. So many times, prospective adoptive parents want to know what’s going to get their profile noticed. What do “most expectant mothers” look for? The answer: every single birth parent is different, just like every single adoption is different. While one birth parent loves your two big, goofy dogs, another birth parent is afraid of them. And one birth parent wants her child to have a large family, but another would prefer them be the first, or only, child.
You have a unique personality. Your family has a unique personality. Why not show that off? Do you love to travel? Are you always outdoors? Are you more of a homebody who loves reading and sitting by the fireside with a puzzle? There’s a birth family out there who is looking for someone exactly like you, not who you pretend to be, not the best version of yourself, but you, with all of your flaws, quirks, and beautiful mistakes. Because, guess what? Birth parents aren’t perfect. Adoptive parents aren’t perfect. Biological parents aren’t perfect. No one is perfect, so looking for perfection or trying to portray yourselves as perfect is a waste of time and effort because it doesn’t exist.
If you try to please everyone, you’ll end up pleasing no one, not to mention stressing yourself out over trying to be someone you’re not. I think Lori Scobee, a social worker/birth parent counselor for Caring for Kids adoption agency said it best:
“It’s important that the profile books be a genuine reflection of your family because it’s the first thing prospective birth mothers/fathers will see regarding your family. It has to be an honest representation, since that’s what they will be using to start making the most important decision of their lives! Every birth parent is looking for something different, and some things that will appeal to one mom might not appeal to others; and no one can ever predict what will draw a particular mom to your family. If you portray your family to be something that it isn’t and are selected by a birth parent, she will likely feel very deceived (because she has been deceived!) and it could forever harm the relationship. No one likes a bait and switch! Just be yourself, there will be birth parents that will fall in love with the real you!”
Be yourself. The real you—flaws and all—won’t be perfect for every birth parent, but for the one that matters, you will be perfect.
Let’s spread the positivity and comment below on something unique you love about your child’s birth or adoptive family!
If you’re considering adoption and would like to speak with an adoption professional about your adoption options, click here.