Would you be intimidated? Would you hum and haw and put off writing it for as long as you could? And when you finally did find the time and inspiration to do it, would you spend hours and hours searching for just the rights words to say a prospective birthmother?
If you’re like most hopeful adoptive parents, the answers are probably yes. Yes. And yes.
Most hopeful parents would sooner undergo root canal than sit down and write an adoption profile letter. But when you realize that it could be the difference between becoming an adoptive parent or not becoming an adoptive parent, why would you delay writing it?
Especially when you realize that the main reason hopeful parents do hold off is because they believe it needs to be perfect. The same way they believe that in order to get chosen by a prospective birthmother they have to be perfect.
Given all of the hoops you’ve jumped through to get to this point, it’s understandable why you would feel this way. But your adoption profile letter doesn’t have to be perfect any more than you do. It just needs to get done. And the longer you delay starting it, the longer it will take you to finish and make that all-important connection with a prospective birthmother.
As Woody Allen once famously said, half of life is showing up. Here are four tips to help you get your letter done and show up on a prospective birthmother’s radar.
Know your reader
It’s hard to know what to write if you don’t know who you’re writing for. That’s why it’s important to not only know who your audience is, but to understand what it wants. In the case of your parent profile letter, your audience is a prospective birthmother.
Depicted as drug addicts and prostitutes, birthmothers have been accused of everything from being uncaring to putting their own interests before their child’s. But those are just stereotypes. Your job is to look beyond the stereotypes and find the facts. Identify their wants and needs and then tailor your letter accordingly. And remember, you don’t have to appeal to every birthmother, just one — the one that’s looking for you.
Prospective birthparents aren’t looking for perfection
Prospective birthparents are just as real as anyone else. They’re not perfect. And they’re not expecting you to be perfect, either. What they’re looking for are real people who will provide a good future for their child. So don’t sweat it trying to find the magic words that will get a prospective birthmother to choose you. There aren’t any. Instead, be yourself and write from the heart.
Your parent profile letter doesn’t have to be definitive
Your parent profile letter is your story. And no one knows it better than you. That’s something to remember as you begin writing. Another thing to keep in mind is that although it’s about your life, it’s not meant to cover your entire life story. Rather, it should deal with the snapshots of your life that will have relevance for prospective birthparents. For instance, don’t dwell on your childhood unless it gives a window into your life today and your ability to become a parent.
Don’t try to write it all at once
Some hopeful adoptive parents are so anxious to get their letter over and done with that they’ll try to nail it in one sitting. But that’s the wrong approach. Instead of thinking of it as one big project, think of it as a series of small ones and attack them bit by bit, one at a time. For instance, one day write the “About Us” section. The next day, take on “Our Home” section. Then tackle the “Open Adoption” section.
Creating your letter this way will help you get to the finish line faster. It will also give you a greater sense of personal satisfaction. And that feeling of accomplishment will motivate you to keep going. This isn’t just an easier way to write your letter. It will make it easier for a prospective birthmother to read it as well.
What was the hardest part of the parent profile writing process for you? How did you deal with the challenges of writing your story? What advice do you have for others who have just started their parent profile or about to begin theirs?