Anyone else feel like this? — The Bump
Adoption

Anyone else feel like this?

I've been looking at sample adoption profiles on different websites this week (I'm working on a project for school where I'm designing my own website, and this is the "theme" I'm working with).  Anyway, as I read through these profiles and look at all the pictures and everything, I am a bit torn.  I understand that these profiles are meant to market prospective families to BMs, but everything sounds so fake or like an exaggeration of real life.

It also makes me feel like we're "behind", for lack of a better term.  We have some hobbies, but mostly we just enjoy spending time with one another at home, with the dogs.  We don't take a lot of pictures when we are enjoying activities, because well, we're busy having fun doing stuff.  Did anyone else feel this way when you were first looking at putting together your profile?  Any sage advice that will make me feel better? Confused

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Re: Anyone else feel like this?

  • In our case, we sat down with our SW and looked at about 30 different profiles from families who were picked. The SW called them The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. And she specifically cautioned against marketing ourselves by going overboard on the whole "we live in a great neighborhood with lots of parks, and there are 20 Montessori schools within walking distance" stuff.

    I think it also turned out to be a positive that our agency only wanted a 2-page profile at the time. Maybe to discourage the market-y stuff. We only had enough space to introduce ourselves, write a brief note to e-parents, and caption some pictures. We also had a video profile, but it was still only a few minutes long, and DD's BM never saw it until after she placed with us.

    I actually enjoyed putting ours together, and didn't really care how it looked compared to the Joneses. Add that we'd seen some not-so-great profiles at the agency (and they were picked), and we felt pretty good. We are horrible about taking pictures of us together, but miraculously found a few that we could use.

    I'm willing to bet that the average birthmom is turned off a bit by the marketing angle some people use.

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  • Our profile sounds kind of like Dr. L's.  It basically looked like a folder with a photo of us on the front and an introduction letter. Then inside we could include either 4 or 5 photos.  We included four - one of us was us sitting on our porch.  It was me laughing and leaning on DH's shoulder.  My sister happened to snap the picture - it wasn't something we posed for.  There was one pic of me teaching - I'm an art teacher. I asked 2 of my students' parents if I could use a pic of their children while I was teaching a lesson. 

    There was a 3rd pic of us at the zoo feeding a giraffe.  My sister used to work at our zoo, so we got to visit more frequently and sometimes be up a little closer to the animals.  The 4th pic was of us picking pumpkins at a pumpkin patch/cider mill.  It's one of our favorite things to do - we love the fall -so it really fit our personalities. 

    It's tough.  We didn't have a lot of pics of us doing activities, either.  Our caseworker looked at what we had and suggested that maybe we try to take a few new pics. 

    Since you spend a lot of time with your dogs, could you have a friend/family member take a pic of you walking your dogs or playing with them at the park?  Think of a couple things you guys like to do together - even if it's working in the garden or going to a local fair/festival (if any are coming up in your town) and see if someone can take some pics of you there.  It doesn't have to be super-posed but it would just show some of the things you like to do.

    Mainly our caseworker said to use 'action' shots and photos where you can clearly see your eyes/face - no hats, no sunglasses. 

    Hope that helps :)

     

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  • Our agency had us pick pictures of us doing different things: family, the two of us together and by ourselves, doing hobbies/interests, etc. (I sent in 100 or so) and we wrote the text for the profile. As far as the text they had us write a minimum of six topics (they are all standard for all waiting AP's in our agency so is uniform) and they just mix them according to what their designers think will be best.  They picked the pictures that went on the profile (both online and paper).  I don't mind. I liked all the pics we submitted, so it was a surprise seeing it put together.  I think they did a really good job.  We didn't pose for any of the pictures specifically for our profile.  All of the pics we submitted were from the files we had.  I love taking pictures so we have a lot. Ours were of the activities we enjoy doing and places we have been to.  We like to travel and so we have a lot of pics of us visiting different places.  I think our agency did a great job portraying our lifestyle.  We also did a video (mandatory with our agency).

    Here is a link to it if you are interested:

    https://www.americanadoptions.com/family_profile/index/fp_id/24145  

     

    Good luck with your project.  I'm sure you will do a great job portraying the real you (and your family) and interests to your future EM.  I think each family is special in their own way and that is exactly what will capture your future EM's curiosity.  Be honest and be yourselves.     

  • I have no advice, but wanted to say that we did/ do feel the same.  We're just genuine people and have no idea how to sell ourselves as prospective parents.  Our agency put our profile together for us from our home study information and short biographies.  Good Luck!  We're matched now and I'm curious what made our EM choose us, some day I'll ask.
  • TOTALLY!  I thought we'd be behind the ball because I wasn't a SAHM, our home was modest and not on tons of land, and we're happy to vacation at Disney not traveling the globe.

    But every birth parent is looking for something different.  Just be you :) 

  • Completely agree.  The process felt yucky... for lack of a better word.
    image Best friends and sisters... 24 months and 16 months
  • We were told first and foremost to be ourselves.  If you guys love to be at home--talk about that.  Add picture that you do have of times when you are out--but don't stage something fake.  BMs pick parents based on so many different factors--by trying to be someone you're not, you may be turning off the BM that was meant for you. 

    The process was hard for us as well, but the moment I stopped worrying about  other people's profiles and just concentrated on us and who we are and what we can provide for a child, everything fell into place. 

    Best of luck to you--you'll do fine!

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  • Rule number 1 - don't compare your life to others in terms of 'them being better or you being better'. 

    There are people from all backgrounds and age ranges. Expecting parents are often looking for any range of things that you cannot predict - which is why my favorite saying is so appropriate ... when it is meant to be, it will be!

    Some people are picture happy (like me) - doesn't mean I'm not enjoying my adventures but I do like to capture them. Equally, just because you don't capture those adventures on film doesn't mean anything. I think sometimes in profiles that is when you DO get the more 'fake' feeling ... I mean ... some people just don't have real time pictures so they have to go out and do an activity and take pictures doing it - which might not feel real to them since they don't normally take the pictures.

    I would recommend doing some things that you love and go with friends - HAVE THEM - take lots of pictures this way it is less posed - you can use some of the posed and some of the 'action' pictures.

    The agency we work with has the same layout for every family - you only provide pictures and text - they do the layouts. Everyone's looks the same but this prevents 'marketing experts' from making those who are not or cannot afford such services from looking bad in comparison.

    Our agency has recently added a new section to profiles that requires individual pictures of spouses doing an activity or hobby they love. UGH UGH UGH UGH (they didn't have this with our first adoption). I hate having pictures taken of just me - and I never take pictures of just me sewing or baking or whatever. So I think that over half of these pictures on people's profiles looks fake or staged. They also have implemented that EVERYONE has to have a video profile along with the print profile that will be available on their website. In general I think this is awesome for expecting parents to get to see more of a couple. I'm just not a fan of cameras LOL so we will have to nervously muddle through that one. 

    All you can do is be yourself and put your best foot forward. The rest is out of your hands anyway .... 

     

  • Jacksjerse: your agency sounds a lot like ours.  If you don't mind me asking what agency are you guys with?
  • We felt the same way.  If you love to spend time together at home, then go with it.  Just make it sound as awesome as you think it is :).  We enjoy pretty simple things, and built our profile around that.  DD's birth parents actually liked that about us, and said so.  They wanted DD to be raised in a "normal family" as they said.  Everyone is looking for something different, and that means that there is someone out there who will think you are perfect just the way you are.  We did have to take a few new photos, but we didn't stage anything.  We just had some friends take photos of us at our house.
    Image and video hosting by TinyPicbr>Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • We got some help with our profile from a local mom who adopted through our agency then started a business helping people write bm letters.  She teaches middle school kids so she's used to writing at that grade level which was helpful for us because we are both highly educated professionals and had difficulty simplifying our ideas.  She will either review a profile you've written or will just go ahead and help you write the whole thing through questionnaires and pictures.  Our birthmom is due next week!  If you are interested here is her website:  www.adoptionprofilecreations.com 

     PS she is super nice. 

  • IRRIRR member
    OMG, totally understand what you are talking about.  We were told all of our pictures have us wearing sunglasses and that we need new photos.  We spend so much time outside of course we are wearing sunglasses.  We did take some new pictures, but still... we are active and have a bunch of hobbies, but who has time for photos.  We just launched our site and would love your opinion... www.wannabeparents.com  Does this seem "fake" like the others, or does it allow you to get to know us?
    image

    Failed Matches - December 2012, May 2013, December 2013
    Moved on to  gestational surrogacy with a family friend who is our angel and due 7/23/15


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