Once we made the choice to adopt, we found ourselves confused and lost in a sea of information. We had been so wrapped up in learning about infertility for the past four years that in 2011 (when we decided adoption was the way for us to build our family) we didn’t know where to begin. After arming ourselves with some basic knowledge, we were connected with a local agency in town. They were wonderful and helped us by answering all of our questions. When we left that meeting, we decided to try and connect on our own for one year. If we were still a family of two when our home study expired, we would hire the agency.
Taking on the challenge of writing our own letters and choosing which information to share was daunting at first. I felt like I had taken on another full-time job. The first step was to create a profile and website. I spent hours sifting through photographs (which we have way too many of) and reading all the tips and articles available online. My husband Ethan and I found ourselves learning one thing only to discover another website that contradicted it. It was beyond frustrating.
I quickly learned the importance of proper terminology. It’s hard to keep it all straight but it can be very important. For example, when we think of adoption we usually think of terms like birthmothers and birthfathers. Well as it turns out, until they have actually placed their child they are “expectant mothers” and “expectant fathers”. Remember that each person is different and may react differently to your word choices. So try to be aware of this as you write your profile.
We expressed our thanks and understanding of the difficult decision she had ahead of her. We wrote from the heart.
After having a fair amount of success including communications with several expectant mothers, we found Adoptimist.com in the spring of 2012. I had created several profiles on different websites and while they were fairly simple, Adoptimist offered us more. What stood out the most was their advertising, which is something I hadn’t seen on other websites. They were very helpful answering questions too, which was wonderful. And while their pricing seemed affordable, we chose the free option just to see how it played out for awhile.
It was easy to navigate and complete an Adoptimist profile. It was a simple step-by-step process, mainly consisting of placing text and photos in the proper place. But one of our biggest challenges was deciding how to write the intro letter. After careful consideration we chose to begin with ‘Dear Expectant Mother and Family,’. From there the letter seemed to flow naturally, as we expressed our thanks and understanding of the difficult decision she had ahead of her. We wrote from the heart.
A few months later we were at the hospital holding our baby girl for the first time. It was a feeling like no other. In that moment I became a mother.
Although I am a professional photographer, choosing the right images was difficult. I quickly learned that less was more with a free Adoptimist profile (it is limited to just five photos). I wanted to share so much about our lives. Picking just the right photo was difficult. Having so many to choose from only made things harder. To help, I made a short list of the areas of our life I wanted to show: our wedding, Ethan’s side of the family, my side of the family, the two of us as a couple, and our friends.As I reviewed each picture, I began to ask myself the following questions:
1) Does the photo show an important piece of our lives?
2) Is it nice and high quality?
3) Do I already have one like it?
Having these general guidelines really helped to keep me focused on choosing the right number of photos and the right type of photo.
To complete the profile, we added a video and journal entry or two. We hit “publish” and to our surprise, had an e-mail in our inbox within a month..
A few months later we were at the hospital holding our baby girl for the first time. It was a feeling like no other. In that moment I became a mother. As I look back I never expected to create our family this way. But now I realize it was just the way it was meant to be.
Today I am thrilled to be home with my darling daughter. But as I look at her, I feel the need to help others who are hoping to adopt. So, I translated her name and created a website to share our journey and help others wherever I can. I am so lucky to be sharing the knowledge that I have gained and designing adoption campaigns for hopeful parents. I often look back at our five-and-a-half-year journey to parenthood and hear “good things come to those who wait.” Well, we waited and life is so very good!
Love your story xo
By Cohen628 on Jun 28 2017
I can only hope and pray for such a beautiful finish/ending as you have had. Such a tearjerker! Thank you for sharing and giving HOPE! God bless you & your beautiful family.
By Dustin and Christy Riddell on Mar 14 2022