Getting matched with prospective birthparents doesn’t happen overnight. It takes patience — and a plan.
Cyra-Lea and Eddie have both. The Charlestown, Indiana couple have been together for nearly eight years and view children as life’s most wonderful blessing and its greatest responsibility.
As they write in their adoption profile letter on our Find A Family page, “Eddie pictures himself as the fatherly figure to whom his children will turn for wisdom and guidance in life. Cyra-Lea envisions herself as a warm, affectionate, and nurturing mother, always ready to greet her children with a hug and kiss.”
With the start of the New Year, I had a chance to ask the Independent Adoption Center couple about their open adoption journey last year and about what they plan to do this year to find a match with prospective birthparents.
What does the start of a New Year mean for your adoption journey — do you feel more energized and optimistic?
We remain hopeful that 2013 will bring good things for us.
How are you translating that attitude into your outreach efforts?
We’ve been more determined in our outreach efforts, asking as many of our friends as we can to check out and like our online profiles and social networking sites, as well as being bold in telling others about our adoption plans anytime the opportunity arises.
What was the most important lesson you learned last year about reaching out to prospective birthparents?
Nothing ventured, nothing gained. You may ask 40 Facebook friends to like your page, and only 10 respond. Or you may spend hours creating what you think is the perfect online profile, but find that it receives little traffic. You have to keep going.
What was the best thing you did last year to let people know you’re adopting?
Increasing our Facebook activity. We acquired quite a few new Facebook friends, and sent them invites to like our page. And of course, we also joined America Adopts!
What do you plan to do differently this year to spread your message and get matched?
We would like to meet one-on-one with more people who may be in a position to encounter individuals who might be considering adoption, ie. school counselors, and directors of community health or crisis pregnancy centers.
I noticed that the section about your faith is an important part of your adoption profile. Given how sensitive a topic religion can be, how did you decide to tackle it in your letter?
Sharing our beliefs is a fundamental part of our religion. We didn’t want to go overboard with talking about it, because it is not the only thing in our lives, but it was essential to us that any potential birth parent be aware of who we are, since our faith is the foundation on which our marriage is built and the beliefs upon which we base our most important decisions in life.
What are some of the things you’re doing while you wait for an adoption match?
We are doing things that we will not have the time or energy to do once we have our hands full with our precious bundle of joy! We wanted to get healthier, so we did a round of P90X, an extreme home fitness regime, last summer. Then we decided to train for a 5k – not a first for Cyra-Lea, but it was for Eddie. This spring we plan to do another one, and are hoping to shatter our previous time. Cyra-Lea took a digital photography class this fall, and will be taking a cooking class with a friend later this month.
At the end of the year, when you look back on 2013, what message do you hope to tell yourself?
Look how far you’ve come, and what has happened as a result.
What advice do you have for other waiting parents as they begin the New Year about finding a match with prospective birthparents?
First, be honest with yourself. Prospective adoptive parents face a myriad of critical decisions. Do not settle for something that is not right for your future family out of a sense of obligation, guilt, or for fear that you will never be chosen as adoptive parents. On the other hand, do not be afraid to have an open mind. Your adoption match may ultimately look very different from what you now imagine. Second, allow yourself to have a bad day now and then. There are days when the adoption wait feels overwhelming, even indefinite. It is ok to be frustrated. Find positive ways to redirect your energies, and surround yourself with those who will love and support you unconditionally.
What are you doing this year to get matched with prospective birthparents? How are you getting the word out about your adoption journey? What advice do you have for others who are hoping to build their families through open adoption? Share your comments in the section below.
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