Did you watch the Academy Awards? What did you think of the show?
The show attracted nearly 40 million viewers in the U.S., proving yet again that despite all the grumbling it generates, Oscar is alive and well at the ripe old age of 84.
Clearly, when it comes to connecting with its audience, the Academy Awards can teach a thing or two to the rest of us. And that includes waiting adoptive parents who are hoping to find a match with expectant parents considering adoption for their child.
So, cue the orchestra and raise the red velvet curtain: Here are 10 things that waiting parents who are hoping to adopt can learn from Hollywood’s biggest night of the year.
From the Morgan Freeman’s “Good evening” to Billy Crystal’s “Good night,” this year’s ceremony was all about Hollywood paying tribute to itself. And nobody celebrates Hollywood quite like Hollywood. For waiting parents who are hoping to adopt, that’s an important lesson: if you’re going to go out and try to connect with expectant parents, you might well go all the way.
Give people what they want
There’s no business like show business. And nobody knows that better than the folks in Tinseltown. The producers of this year’s show not only knew what people wanted, they delivered it to them tied up with a big, beautiful bow. Waiting parents hoping to adopt take heed: Before you reach out to expectant parents, determine who they are, what they’re looking for and how you can satisfy their needs.
Hook them early and hook them often
Sure, Billy Crystal’s opening montage and song-and-dance routine were corny and predictablel. But that’s what the audience wanted and that’s what were expecting. In the same vein, waiting parents who are trying to click with expectant parents also need to make a strong first impression. Set the tone early by sharing meaningful and memorable scenes from your life. It’s a great way to build trust and create a lasting relationship down the road.
Meryl Streep is Hollywood royalty. And yet when her name was announced as the winner of the Best Actress award, no one in the theater seemed more shocked than she was. And to top it off, in her acceptance speech, she not only thanked her husband, she thanked her makeup artist, too. If you’re a waiting parents hoping to adopt, you too probably have tons of accomplishments to boast about. But take a page out of Meryl Streep’s playbook. Even if you are a big shot, stay modest and keep it real. If you do, expectant parents will have a lot easier time relating to you.
Tap into the past
Sunday’s night’s big winners were “The Artist” and “Hugo.” two movies that paid homage to the magic of the movies and their origins. Waiting parents hoping to adopt also have their own nostalgia to tap into. Look back on your life and talk about the people who influenced you. After all, nothing tells an expectant parent more about the kind of parent you would be than looking back on your own childhood. What lessons did you learn from your parents? What values and beliefs do you hope to pass on to your child?
At 82, Christopher Plummer wasn’t the just the oldest winner at this year’s awards ceremony. His quip that Oscar was only two years older than him provided the night with one of its funniest and most memorable moments. For waiting parents hoping to adopt, humor–especially if it’s heartfelt–is a great way to set yourself apart from the rest of the crowd. And, as Plummer demonstrated, it’s an easy way to turn a negative into a positive.
In keeping with the hurray-for-Hollywood theme of the evening, Sunday’s show featured a montage of A-list actors rhapsodizing about their love for the movies. Similarly, waiting parents hoping to adopt also need to convey their passion for adoption and each other in their words and emotions. It’s not enough to mention that your partner is your best friend or what you love about him or her. Explain why you love your partner and the strong feelings that he or she stirs within you.
Some people watch the Oscars to find out who won what. But let’s be honest, the real reason many people watch the show is to see who wore what. Having the right look can make or break a career. Just ask Angelina Jolie, whose now-famous leg was one of the most talked about topics of the evening, even spawning its own Twitter account. Waiting parents hoping to adopt, you too need to make sure you always look your best, whether it be in your photos or in your face-to-face meetings with expectant parents. Remember, sometimes you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.
Mix it up
The Oscars are about celebrating movies. But in between all the acceptance speeches and clips on Sunday, there were lots of other things going on: a bit of song, a bit of dance, and a boatload of wisecracks to keep the show moving. In order to be successful, waiting parents hoping to adopt also need to showcase the different facets of their personality and be able adapt to changes when they come. Because, as anyone who has gone through the open adoption process will tell you, they will come. And a lot sooner and more often than you think.
Keep It Short
The Oscars are notorious for dragging on into the wee hours of the morning. Clocking in at just over three hours, this year’s ceremony was shorter than most, in part because there was a strict time limit on the winners’ acceptance speeches. In writing your profile, waiting parents hoping to adopt should also be conscious of its length. Remember, longer isn’t necessary better. After you’ve written the first 1,500 words, listen to the sound of music building around you–a sure sign it’s time to stop.
Having just celebrated its 84th year, the Oscars have a lot to teach waiting adoptive parents who are hoping to make a connection with expectant parents. Follow these key lessons from Sunday night’s show and perhaps one day the winner will be…you.
What tips did you take away from the Oscars? What do you think waiting adoptive parents who are hoping to connect with expectant parents can learn from Sunday’s ceremony? Share your comments in the section below.
Photo credit: Dave_B_