This guest post is by Kimberly, an adoptive mother.
After many months of questioning, thinking, analyzing and wondering, my husband and I recently took the plunge and launched our networking campaign for our second adoption.
Many people wonder if adopting a baby is any easier the second time around. We adoptive parents know it’s not.
The adoption process doesn’t care if you’ve already adopted, had a criminal background check, or had your home studied. You need to start all over again.
Once we were certified to adopt, we put together a website, set up a dedicated Facebook and Twitter page, and posted our profile on some online adoption services.
Basically, we did everything we did the last time we created our outreach plan, back in 2011. But while only four years have passed since we adopted our daughter, so much has changed.
Last time, I felt like an tech guru.
Compared to other adoption websites, ours was unique. We also used Google Search Ads to promote ourselves. At least 50% of the women who called us mentioned seeing our ad on Google.
Back then, many of the hopeful adoptive parents I knew didn’t advertise online, only in print. Technology wasn’t that big in the adoption world.
Today I feel a bit like Beatrice in that insurance commercial where she posts photos on her living room wall and thinks she’s on Facebook.
Couples trying to adopt a baby are all over the internet.
They have professional-looking websites, use Google Search Ads and are not only on Facebook and Twitter, but also Instagram and Tumblr.
Please don’t think I am being competitive. I genuinely feel for every hopeful adoptive parent I come across.
But I can’t deny that it’s harder to set yourself apart when everyone else is out there. The landscape for people trying to adopt a baby has changed and I’m trying to find a way to stand out in it.
Maybe it’s because we’ve lost our edge, or because more people want to adopt and fewer babies are being placed for adoption, but either way the phone is so much quieter this time around.
During out first adoption journey, it rang all the time. Most of the calls led to nothing.
But even when our hopes were dashed, because the caller wasn’t pregnant or was never heard from again, there was always another caller waiting in the wings.
It was easier to keep our hopes alive when there was action.
This time it’s very different. Since we started advertising in March, we’ve received just one phone call.
Maybe that’s the norm now but it feels different to us.
I know I need to believe we’ll be successful but it’s much harder to do that when the phone is silent.
The good news? The second time around, you already have a child to love. No matter how hopeless it seems, it will never be as bad as the yearning I felt during that first wait.
Because no matter how discouraged I am, now I can always turn to my daughter and hear her tell me how I’m her best friend or watch her feed her dolls dinner or put them to sleep.
Yes, it breaks my heart that her games always involve a baby and I have yet to give her one.
But in the end I know that even if I never do, the daughter I have is enough.
Although I want another baby more than anything else in the world right now, I already have a little girl who is sweet and happy and healthy—a little girl who answered all my prayers, became my wish, made me a mother, and makes me smile every day.
Kimberly is a stay-at-home mom and writer. She and her husband, Anthony, adopted their daughter in 2011. Now, they hope to share their love of reading, board games, penguins, Halloween and golden oldies with another child by adding to their family through adoption.
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