- Posted on January 12, 2018
- in Resources
Whether you have decided to pursue adoption independently or work with an adoption professional, you will need to take great care in creating a distinct and compelling adoption profile. If you are just learning about the adoption process, you may ask, “What is an adoption profile, anyway?” In short, an adoption profile is your most important piece of marketing material. It is a booklet that will be shown to expectant mothers considering adoption, which consists of photos and narrative that describe who you are, what you do, what you value and what kind of parent you will be. Your goal is to tell your story and connect with an expectant mother on an emotional level. It is not unusual for expectant mothers to view several dozen profiles from hopeful adoptive parents at a given time. So how can YOU make YOUR profile stand out from the rest? Here are 5 tips from Everlasting Adoption’s Professional Profile Creator, on how to create a stand out adoption profile.
1. Invest in Professional Photos
One of the most important pieces of advice I can offer, is to include high quality photos in your adoption profile. Of course the words of your story are important too, but your pictures will tell an even more immediate and captivating story. A birth mother will more likely be drawn into reading a profile through quality photos that catch her eye and makeher feel a connection. Try to not solely rely on selfies and photos from your phone for your profile. If it is feasible to fit in your budget, consider hiring a professional photographer to take photos. You can create an account with Red Thread Sessions to view a directory of photographers who specialize in adoption photography. If hiring a professional photographer is absolutely not an option, consider renting a camera and recruiting a friend or family member to take your photos with professional equipment.
2. Be Yourself
We aren’t all great writers and that’s ok! Don’t unnecessarily stress yourself out about your writing ability. The most important thing to remember when writing the narrative for your profile is to be you. Don’t try to write or speak in a way that isn’t natural for you and don’t be cliché. Your writing will be more meaningful if you say what you want to say and not what you think someone else wants to hear.
3. Be Specific and Descriptive
Expectant mothers read profile after profile that sound very much the same, so how do you make yours sound different? The goal here is to be very specific and descriptive to make prospective birth moms feel something while they are reading your words. This does not require an innate writing ability, it just takes some creativity. You could say, “It is our family tradition to have Christmas dinner at my grandmother’s house”, but that sentence doesn’t really make the reader feel anything. Instead, draw on all the senses and emotions involved in Christmas and the holidays and describe them. “Christmas dinner at my grandmother’s house is surrounded by the laughter and excitement of all the nieces and nephews as the smell of her homemade sugar cookies fill the kitchen.” Now this sentence makes the reader feel as if they are celebrating Christmas dinner there with you. Just remember, specific examples will always have more affect than generalities.
4. Show More Than Tell
An adoption profile that has page after page of paragraphs and few pictures will be reviewed far less than one with a focus on good quality pictures telling a story. I know you have so much you want to tell an expectant mother and it is ALL important. It comes down to the time involved in reading each profile she is presented with. She may set aside a profile with a lot of reading in favor of a profile where the pictures do the story telling and compelling captions help fill in the blanks. It is normal for most of us to be drawn to something that is visually appealing. Spend some time reading and rereading your narrative and condensing it down.
5. Highlight Something Unique
If there is something that sets you apart from other prospective adoptive parents, highlight this in your adoption profile. Do you have a sense of humor, do you like to bake, do you participate in volunteer work, etc.? Even special family traditions should be mentioned in your profile. This is yet another way to help your adoption profile stand out from the rest.
A lot of what draws birth mothers to adoptive parents isn’t something that can be put in words and checked off on a list. They just have a feeling about a parent or couple and this aspect of the adoption process, like so many is out of the adoptive parents’ control. Using some of these tips when creating your adoption profile will help you maximize what you can control and put together the best piece of marketing material possible.
- Posted on December 15, 2017
- in Resources
Many adoptive parents struggle with feelings of grief, sadness and uncertainty before and during their adoption journey, but once a baby is placed in their arms, they embark on a new journey; one of joy and happiness. It is at this moment that birth mothers begin a very different journey of their own. Each birth mother’s experience and feelings are different, but each and every one should have access to a support system to help them navigate the road ahead. At Everlasting Adoptions, we offer a comprehensive list of local support groups to all of our birth mothers. Our birth mother consultant is also available throughout the process to provide guidance and support. Below we have compiled a list of nationwide birth mother retreats and support group.
Birth Mother Retreats
Birth mother retreats are outings of varying lengths that provide support for women who have made an adoption plan for their child. Birth mothers are provided opportunities to bond with other women in the same situation and given tools to help them cope with whatever emotions they may be feeling. Retreats can last from a couple of hours to an entire weekend. Gina Crotts, founder and president of Birth Mother Baskets, a leader at Tied at the Heart birth mother retreats and birth mother herself explains the importance of retreats and post placement support to America Adopts. “The grieving process was like nothing I had been prepared for and having someone who had been in my shoes before, could have eliminated a lot of questions and heartache that I experienced.”
Here are a few of the wonderful organizations that host birth mother retreats nationwide:
- On Your Feet Foundation hosts two, weekend-long birth mother retreats each year, one in the spring and one in the fall. Their retreats are held in Michigan City, IN.
- Tied At The Heart hosts a weekend retreat that includes accommodations, food and workshops. Their 2018 retreats will be March 8 -11th in St. George, UT and September 6-9th in Bear Lake, UT. Follow their Facebook page to stay up to date with retreat information.
- Birthmother Bridge Ministries hosts a weekend retreat at no cost to birth mothers. All meals are also provided. Their fall retreat was held in Midland, TX. Check their website for 2018 dates.
- Concerned United Birthparents, Inc. hosts a yearly retreat that is open to birth parents, as well as, adoptees, adoptive parents and others affected by adoption. Their 2018 retreat will take place in Safety Harbor, FL from October 6-8th.
- Catholic Charities of Wisconsin hosts a day retreat for birth mothers at any stage in their adoption journey. Check their website for 2018 retreat information and dates.
Local Groups and Post Placement Support
A retreat may be too pricey, not practical or too much of a commitment for some birth mothers. A local or online support group is a great place to look for post placement support. BraveLove.org has put together this comprehensive list of recommended post-adoption support groups and retreats around the country.
For birth mothers looking for an online support group where they can connect with others from the comfort of their own homes, America Adopts has put together an online support group directory.
We need to educate birth parents on the resources available to them; whether it be retreats, support groups or online communities. It is crucial that those of us in the adoption community recognize the need for post placement support for birth mothers. Their adoption journey doesn’t end the day their babies are placed, in fact the most difficult part of their journey has just begun. If you are a birth mother at any point in her adoption journey and are interested in learning more about the adoption process or support options, please contact Everlasting Adoptions at 866.406.2702.
- Posted on November 28, 2017
- in Birthmother Experiences
Birth mother, Jazmyn chose to have an adoption plan because she knew she wouldn’t be able to provide for a child. She knew there was family out there that would provide the love and support a child needed and deserved. Jazmyn already had the support of birth father, CJ. She reached out to Everlasting Adoptions to help her find a potential adoptive parent. She was overwhelmed by the support that Everlasting provided every step of the way. She was so appreciative of the staff, especially birth mother coordinator, Lisa who constantly reached out to her to provide guidance and offer help. When she matched with Nichelle, they shared an instant connection. Jazmyn knew she had made the right decision because Nichelle was very open and amazing. Nichelle made her feel great about her decision and was there for her during every step of the process. Nichelle and Jazmyn were even able to meet in person, which confirmed their decision. Jazmyn’s advice to other birth parents is if your heart is telling you that you are making the right decision, you should follow your heart. She wouldn’t change any decision she made because she knows in her heart it was for the best.
- Posted on November 21, 2017
- in Everlasting Birth Announcements
Sometimes adoptive parents have a failed adoption before they meet the baby meant to be theirs and Nichelle was no exception. This time in 2016, Nichelle had never dreamed that she would be holding her precious baby boy as the holiday season approached. After dealing with the absolutely crushing news that a birth mom she was previously matched to had decided to parent, Nichelle bravely stepped her toes back in the waters of waiting for a birth mom. After some short connections that didn’t work out, Nichelle was matched with birth parents Jazmyn and CJ. After meeting in person Nichelle felt confident that this was her match.
She continued to get to know Jaz & CJ and built their relationship. Jazmyn was induced on Halloween and that afternoon, along with one very excited grandma, Victor was welcomed to the world with a blanket of love and joy from his mom, grandma and birth parents. The perseverance and determination to be a mom pushed Nichelle through the ups and downs of her adoption journey. We admire the courage it took to continue to open up and put herself out there. We are forever grateful for the selfless act of love that was made by CJ and Jaz as they considered the future of their son. Congratulations, Nichelle! You certainly have the cutest pumpkin in the patch!
- Posted on November 17, 2017
- in Everlasting Birth Announcements
Brian and Sara rang in 2017 with the exciting decision to begin their adoption journey with Everlasting and boy oh boy will they be ending 2017 with a bang! When Brian and Sara received the news that birth mom Kelly was interested in getting to know them, the news was overwhelming and exciting at the same time! The first connection with a birth mom is always a bit overwhelming, but Everlasting guided them through their first contact and early communications. As the bond between the 3 grew, the excitement of baby’s impending arrival filled Sara and Brian with pure joy. While Kelly was scheduled for a C-Section mid November, Anderson had different plans! Kelly called Sara on November 3rd with the news that she was certain she was in labor. Brian and Sara packed up and took a red eye to Ohio. At 9:22 a.m. their lives changed forever. Waiting anxiously just a few rooms over, several minutes after being born, Anders met his mommy and daddy! While Brian and Sara were confident in Kelly’s decision, the 72 hours waiting for Kelly to sign her consents were long. This new family spent time together making sure that everyone felt supported. Just 4 days after going into labor, thanks to a speedy legal process, Brian and Sara were off on their new adventure as parents! Sara and Brian said that the connection with Kelly was divine and something they will treasure and cherish forever. We are all beyond blessed and hold dear to our hearts the confidence that Brian and Sara placed with us to build their family as well as the trust Kelly had in Everlasting to aid in her adoption plan. Congratulatulations, Brian, Sara & Anderson!