It is so important that your profile tells YOUR story. You can only be yourself- you cannot be someone else and you sure do not want to be generic. You must be honest and without a doubt, you must be authentic. You deserve that. The expectant parents who read your profile deserve that and the child you hope to welcome into your family through adoption deserves it.
To be authentic, you must shine through the pages and truly share- share your life, share yourself, share all you hope to offer a child- not just in generic sound bites that could apply to anyone but in vivid moments that come alive through your text and pictures. Below you will find some pages or sections for your profile- some are rather core to a profile and really should be included in some way and others will be more customized, just for your life.
***It will obviously depend on the length of your profile as to how many sections you include and how much space you allow for each- just remember- don’t make tiny little pictures- let them be large enough that your reader can appreciate them and don’t forget to follow agency guidelines.
- Cover page. Include a rock-star picture or pictures of yourself on the cover. When I say rock-star I don’t mean a Glamour Shot or a picture of you in bridesmaid/groomsmen get ups- I mean a picture with great natural light, with real smiles and with you looking at the reader. A picture in which the background does not take over the photograph. Something genuine. Something that looks and feels LIKE YOU! This is your first “Hello”.
- Letter Page. Some people don’t have a letter page, their letter is a small paragraph that is integrated into the cover- some people approach the entire profile as one long letter and others have the letter page- your real introduction. No matter where your letter goes or how long it is, please remember NOT to begin it, “DEAR BIRTHMOTHER”- a woman is not in fact a birthmother until which time she actually places her child through adoption- right now she is an expectant mother who may be considering an adoption plan. I know you would never want to sound presumptive or to be coercize so a simple “Hello” to start is just fine. You are just meeting someone for the first time, after all.
- About Us. If you are a part of a couple, this section or page is a great place to share how you met , the strengths of your relationship, the kinds of parents you hope to be, things you enjoy doing together and how you will include a child. Add pictures of the two of you together. Makes sure your pictures help tell your story. I love to see it when folks who met in high school or college add a picture of them in those days- it gives you history- it shows your commitment—and it sure is cute!
- Individual Pages. These are pages about you as individuals. Where do work? Or will there be a stay-at-home parent? What kinds of moments will you create at home? If you work is your schedule flexible? Will you be able to get away for field trips and class concerts and parties? TO help with homework. What are you like? What do you enjoy doing? How will you incorporate a child into your favorite activities? What kind of mom or dad you will be? These pages feel especially strange to write because you may feel like you are bragging about yourself, even though you are just sharing what is true about yourself. You may want to consider having your spouse write about you and you write about them- it feels more natural to most people and it is not bragging because you are not talking about yourself.
- Home Page. Share about your home, your community, the farmer’s market you love to go to on Saturdays, the ball field where the child you hope to love and raise could play or the local playground or pool. Share pics of your family BBQ’s or the big Halloween party you throw. Let the reader feel the laughter of family members gathered in the kitchen before a family dinner. If you do not put them somewhere else, this can be a place where you can add your pets.
- Family Page. You may want to or your guidelines may require you to include a family page. Share great things you are all looking forward to sharing with a child. Will your dad build a child toys? Will your mom always have cookies when they come over? Do you have loads of cousins who want a playmate at your yearly extended family beach trip? Would a child you welcome be the first grandchild? Are people excited and preparing? How?
- Closing Page. I think every profile should include a closing section or page- it is weird to just end on a random page. You need to come full circle and leave things with some final thoughts. You may want to put contact information on this page, first defer to the recommendations of your agency or attorney if you have one.
…AND EVERYTHING INBETWEEN
Here are some page and section ideas that may or may not apply to you. You may think of more that truly apply to the uniqueness of your family and all you hope to share- do it! Include the things that make you, you.
- Your own adoption or that of a child you are already parenting
- A child(ren) who you hope will be older siblings
- Lifetime Disney Fans
- Days at the lake/Days at the beach/Fun at the Park
- Things you cannot wait to share
- Healthy living
- The parents you will be
- Family Traditions
- Quotes from friends and family