Friday, April 4, 2008

The Perfect Adoption Profile

The journey to adoption is a strange one. You've scheduled sex. You've stood on your head right afterward. You've peed onto tiny strips of paper. You've gotten injections in your backside. You may have even given injections in someone else's backside.

And all of your once-private entrances and exits have been transversed, transmographed, radiographed, photographed, sanitized, magnified, palpated, saturated, dilated, inseminated, and evaluated. And now you have to write a letter explaining why you want to adopt. Isn't it obvious?!

After all that, writing your profile should be easy, right? So why do so many of us choke?

Because your adoption profile is much more than a letter of intent. It is perhaps the most important first impression you will ever make. It's the ultimate pass/fail, and we all want to pass.

The first time we adopted, we pored over the profiles from other wanna-be adoptive couples that our adoption agency sent for reference. Right off the bat (and without meaning to) I began sizing up "the competition":
This couple looks younger.
That couple lives on a mountain.
Gee, these people raise horses.
Oh, wow! She plays 3 instruments and speaks 6 languages... and he's an astronaut!

I quickly realized that we were obviously unfit to adopt a child, because we were the ONLY prospective adoptive couple in the world who doesn't ski in Zurich, snorkle in Tahiti, and take tea and biscotti with the Pope. Why would any birth mother pick us?

But she did.

The most amazing, wonderful, answer-to-our-prayers birth mother did pick us. She doesn't ski. She doesn't snorkle. She doesn't drink tea, and the only place she eats biscotti is Starbucks. We were perfect for each other.

She picked us because of who we are. Because she and I are alike in some ways, and she and my husband are alike in other ways. She knew from reading our profile that we would raise her baby the way she would. That's what made us a match.

When the time came to update our profile for a second adoption, we felt much more confident than the first time around. Even though every sample profile the agency sent us is different than ours in some way - bigger, glossier, flashier, scented - and even though we've waited longer for our second child than we did for our first. We're confident because we know that our profile makes an authentic first impression of who we are.

And we want to make sure that our second child's amazing, wonderful, answer-to-our-prayers birth mother recognizes us.

Sally Bacchetta
The Adoptive Parent
My Google Profile+


Anne said...

Congratulations! Way to go! I have heard similar stories, and am so glad that you, a gifted writer, decided to share yours with the world, to provide a little reassurance to those who are biting their nails! :)

Best wishes!
-Anne, an adoptee (

JJ said...

When the wait drags on and on it's easy to question the decisions we've made... about everything! Thanks for encouraging the rest of us, Sally! JJ

Shannon and Rick said...

We've just now started to draw up our profile. Wondering how to capture who we are on paper. Thanks for the good advice.

Laura said...

Thanks for your support and the article on profiles. We got to see the first layouts of ours today and are very excited. We're trying to keep in mind the points that you make. It's not a "contest" as much as it is a feeling, a philisopy, the way you express yourselves, staying as true to yourselves as you can be. That's the way our "perfect birth mother" will find us.

ladycatey said...

Sally you're right on! I'm an adoptive parent and also a BM. I remember looking at profiles and thinking that this was all I had to go on to make one of the most important decisions of my life. I went with the couple I felt best about, not with who had the most or was the best-looking, they came across as genuine and that gave me the security to entrust them with my precious child. I felt like I knew how they would raise him and I trusted that.

akerman3 said...

Another good post. Some things you only learn by doing. Adoption is one of them.