To Do or Not To Do an Online Adoption Profile


 When it comes to making an online profile, there are a lot of thing to consider. Chris and I are always hesitant. We have to overcome the fear of emotional scammers. There’s also the huge task of choosing a site to advertise on and building the actual profile. How much do you put on the Internet about your family? Your other children? It’s complicated. The process of building your family through adoption is long, invasive, and time consuming without the Internet.

We feel like we have to do everything we can to be seen, but at what cost? We felt this way the first time and we still feel this way. It’s kind of strange too. Chris and I have been building our lives on the Internet together for years. We work in affiliate marketing. We’re into the Internet. Chris’s passion is technology and how to market effectively. You would think it would be easy for us to jump on the online profile bandwagon.  We are actually really private.  The thought of putting everything we hold close to our hearts on the Internet is overwhelming.

It’s kind of like asking for help, the kind of help where you should be able to do it yourself, but can’t, borderline embarrassed but few other options exist kind of help.  ‘Please Google god, won’t you help me build my family?’  Then, Google responds with 5 profile views for 7 months so you are hanging out in the world with your feelings showing and talking to Google. Fun stuff.

We do have an online profile. It’s important for my sanity to know that I am doing everything I can, even if it’s hanging my feelings out for the world to see and talking to Google. We have used two different sites: Adoptimist.com and Parent Profiles (now connected with Adoption.com). (If you would like a review / more details about that experience, email me.)

So why did we use an online profile when we are already in an agency pool, our book is amazing, our letter is perfect, and our feelings are all safe and tucked away from the Internet?

The Internet is a part of our daily lives. It is more than likely a daily part of most expectant women’s lives too. Our son’s birth mother found us through a Google search. She saw our profile online. The Internet is not only the way we support our family, it is also how we build it. Oh, Google. Google searches are a part of our daily lives. They just are. Kind of like how online dating used to be taboo. Building an online adoption profile is becoming more and more necessary for families built through adoption.

 So much of our time is online. For better or worse, the Internet connects people without bounds. It doesn’t, however, make it an easy task to build an online profile.  Sharing all of your very personal and heartfelt feelings about a child you hope to raise someday is really scary. I get nervous every time I make a post. Every time a profile goes live, I get nervous. Being vulnerable to the world is hard. Having online presences makes you a target. You are now open to scammers, to haters, and to people who may copy your letter and call it their own. It’s so hard. On a road that has already been hard, why make it harder on yourself.

My friend, times are a changing! They may have in fact already changed. Think it over. Do some research. Then decide. You can do this. You will, if you choose, make a really great profile.


Writing Your Adoption Profile Letter


The Letter: ‘Dear Expectant Parent’.

This is the step I save for last. I think it is the hardest. The Book is pressure. The Letter is something else. If you like tackling hard things first, start with the letter.

To my knowledge, most agencies use these letters as the first tool when an expectant woman is considering an adoption plan and choosing a family.  Our agency puts them in a three ring binder with other families.  As hard as it is to write the letter, I cannot even begin to understand how overwhelming it is for an expectant mother to be responsible for finding parents for her child by reading a letter.

The first time we made our letter, the result was kind of awful.  We poured out all of our hearts. Every time we tried to make it look pretty, we felt dumb. How do you cutesy up a letter so meaningful? Making The Book look pretty made sense. It’s an album. It has pictures by default. There were endless templates to help with the design.  (Spoiler: Use a template for your letter.)

Using what we learned from the last time, I found a template from Vista Print.  It was in the flyer section. We ordered right from Vista Print.  They had very fast shipping. I am very happy with the quality. However, if you use a flyer template, you have to order the minimum quantity required. (Yes, I have half a million copies of our letter.) After the fact, I found canva.  They have template options and you print at your own location.

A few tips:

  1. Breath. You can do this.
  2. You will not make it perfect. I just found a typo in our letter. 🙂
  3. Who chooses you will love it!

 

  • Please do not use our words or copy this letter in any way. The intention is to help other families find a starting point and inspiration.
  • If you would like more details about our letter, email me directly. chrischelse at gmail dot com

 

 


How to Make an Adoption Profile Book


After you decide to build your family through adoption, you are faced with seemingly endless paperwork, more doctor visits, finger printing, education classes, social worker visits, and the profile book.

The Book: It’s the first impression; a tool used for expectant parents to chose a family. No pressure. Just all of your hopes and dreams of becoming a parent. No pressure 🙂

Personally, I searched the internet for help when we were making our first book. I found a lot about being yourself. (Definitely be yourself) Everytime I saw a book, I either wanted to be them or I was glad I wasn’t them. I did find this which helped for what ever reason.

Here is how we put our book together:

  1. State your intention. For us this is similar to our letter or like the back cover of any book. Say why you are making this book.
  2. Start from the beginning. We take that as how we met/when we got married.
  3. Introduce yourselves. I realize that may be out of order but this is how it made the most sense to us.
  4. Decide what traditions you’ll have and who plays a large role in your life. Talk about that and why.
  5. Tell where you live. We talk about our house and our community.
  6. Tell personal favorite fun facts. Even though making this book is really stressful, after all of the hard parts are finished, it is really neat to see your life on paper with pictures. So by the end, I usually want to keep talking about myself and make sure I get everything out.
  7. Have a closing. We use the last page to reiterate who we are and that we are ready to love them and their child.
  8. Make an extra copy. You poured your whole heart into this book. Be proud of it. I know it was hard. Congratulations on completing another step!

One more thing: We use Shutterfly to print and create our books. They are kind of expensive and have the slowest shipping ever. The positive is that the program is very simple to use and they have templates with colors and decor built in.

 

 

  • This is the majority of our book. Some things have been removed for privacy.
  • Please do not use our words or copy this book in anyway. The intention is to help other families find a starting point and inspiration.
  • If you would like more details about our book, email me directly. chrischelse at gmail dot com