I do? Clearly.
“An adoption what?” I asked. “What’s an adoption profile?”
When someone explained what it was, I was nearly speechless.
My wife and I had just come out of our fertility treatments empty-handed and we were scared but excited about this brave new world that we had heard about called open adoption.
At least with open adoption, everyone told us, you can take control over the process.
Then we heard we would need to do a home study and how we would have to open up our home and our lives to a social worker and answer all kinds of questions about our relationship, family, finances and parenting and adoption plans as well as get clearances from police, doctors and the bank.
It didn’t sound like taking control to me.
Then came the news about our adoption profile and how, in words and photos, we would have to make a case to a prospective birthmother about why we wanted to become parents.
Wasn’t it obvious? What was I missing?
It was only after we started creating our profile that I realized just how valuable an exercise it was. Here are some things I learned from my experience that might help you if you have questions about creating your profile.
It helped me put my thoughts and feelings about adoption into words
There were many reasons why I wanted to adopt. But it wasn’t until I sat down to create our adoption profile that I was able to translate them into words. Doing this became particularly useful later when our journey got derailed or hit a wall. By forcing me to collect my thoughts, creating a profile helped remind me why I was putting myself through this process and gave me something positive to focus on.
It gave me a chance to discuss adoption openly and honestly with my partner
Fertility treatments can take a toll on even the strongest relationships. And it put a strain on ours. IVF left my wife and I feeling battered and bruised. Creating our adoption profile gave us a chance to put aside the hurt. It allowed us to brainstorm ideas about parenting and adoption and, more importantly, to remind us about just how far we had come and how adversity had only strengthened our resolve and our relationship. It also gave us a common goal to work towards in the future and kept our dreams of becoming parents alive.
It reminded me about how lucky I was and how much I had to be thankful for
While you’re going through infertility treatments, it’s easy to get down about things — to dwell on the negatives and question whether you’ll ever become a parent or whether you have anything to offer at all. Creating our adoption profile, however, let us get creative and gave shape to our lives. And to take stock of all of the wonderful things in it. By taking pride in who we were, our relationship, our families and our accomplishments, we came to realize that our inability to get pregnant wasn’t what defined us. We weren’t broken. We weren’t failures. We had lots to offer and lots to be thankful for. And how many times in life do you get a chance to realize that?
Creating an adoption profile isn’t easy, especially after all of the hoops you’ve jumped through to get to the stage of putting one together. But if you approach the experience with an open mind, there are so many positive things about adoption and yourself that you can take away from it and that can make you a better parent and a better person.
How about you — what did creating your adoption profile teach you about adoption or yourself? What did you learn from putting your thoughts about adopting into words? Share you comments in the section below.