Take a look at some of our successful families. Other than the fact that they found their adoption connection through our service, what do they all have in common? Not a lot, on the surface. They live in different states, with different ethnic and economic backgrounds. Some are traditional, some are single parents, while others are same-sex families. Some were on our site for years before connecting. Others were for literally just a few hours before meeting their future birth parents.
But look a little deeper and you’ll start to find some common ground. In fact, there are several traits that all these families, diverse as they are, really do share. In this article, we’ll explore some of these common traits and discuss the ways your family can begin to incorporate them to help in your adoption journey.
Every single family that finds success through our platform is able to convey something truly authentic about themselves through their adoption profile, something that resonates with a birth mother so much that she chooses to contact the family and eventually entrust her baby with them. Think for a moment how mind-blowing that is. Through their words and photos alone (in some cases there is also a video or two), these families are able to stand out and connect with a total stranger and eventually build a relationship that leads to the adoption they have dreamed of for so long.
The Takeaway: The most authentic version of yourself is always the best one. So just by staying true to who you are, you will begin to stand out from all the other adoptive families. Think of all your hobbies and life choices that make you who you are. By homing in on these traits, you can actually increase your chances of connecting. We hear from our successful families all the time telling of the most mundane details that helped humanize and distinguish them in the eyes of their child’s birth parent(s)—everything from a favorite dog breed to yearly vacation spots. Maybe it isn’t always glamorous. But all the stuff that makes you who you are is also what makes you so unique and special.
Connection Management Skills
It isn’t enough just to connect with someone. You have to see it all the way through. Every successful family must at some point learn the art of navigating an adoption connection. What will you say when someone finally reaches out? Can you be yourself and remain calm, loving, and accepting in the face of so much stress? Or will you come across as abrasive or defensive? Even if trust is an issue, you mustn’t let it show. Even if rejection is on your mind, you have to be able to convey a sense of trust. And this is just the beginning. Overcoming disagreements, finding common ground, answering tough questions truthfully, seeking patience in the face of total silence or disappearance, being cordial and loving with a brand-new family…These are just some of the situations you may find yourself facing after connecting with someone.
The Takeaway: You need to be ready to navigate through every circumstance, even though you may not have any prior experience doing so. So, prepare yourself now so that you are ready when the time comes. Knowing that a rocky road could await you is helpful. Recognizing your weaknesses and working on them now can help, too. Read articles from others who have gone through it. You cannot control the actions of others, but you can certainly control how you react and behave. If you have a management plan going into your connection, you can face these difficult situations with grace and make the right choices for your family. And even if the connection fails for whatever reason, you can hold your head up knowing you did all the right things.
Optimism & Perseverance
No one goes into an adoption search thinking they are going to fail. And yet, as time goes on and the unsuccessful days begin to pile up, failure looms larger and larger. Ask any successful family if they had doubts and most will tell you they truly did. But those doubts never deterred them from staying the course. Even if the only thing keeping you going is faith, let that be your guide.
The Takeaway: If you still believe in the dream, then live each day like it will become a reality. Do whatever you can to stay positive, even if it feels like you are going through the motions. You’d be surprised how your negativity can filter down into your daily words and behavior. Keeping the negative in check means if you do happen to connect with someone, you will be equipped to put your best foot forward.
Of course, there are many other traits that go into a successful connection and one of them is seldomly discussed: luck—being in the right place at just the right time. And yet, if you are pursuing your outreach proactively and doing everything you can to connect with someone, then it really isn’t luck at all. Consistently putting yourself in the position to succeed is a huge part of your adoption success.