“Bottom line is, even if you see them coming, you're not ready for the big moments. No one asks for their life to change, not really. But it does.
So, what are we, helpless? Puppets? Nah. The big moments are gonna come, you can't help that. It's what you do afterwards that counts. That's
when you find out who you are." - Joss Whedon

Saturday, May 14, 2011

How's Your "It's About Love" Online Profile???

Check out this great article from the Alaska FSA Blog written by Mahana regarding online profiles for current adoption applicants of LDS Family Services:

Snap, Crackle and POP.  

I want to touch upon the thing that is always on the mind when doing this process--the adoption profile! It's like your resume--you want it polished, perfect and memorable.

It probably comes to no surprise that there are lots of other families out there also hoping to adopt that are just like you--charming, witty, educated, friendly, etc etc. So HOW do you make that great quality that many others have, STAND OUT for you and actually make an impression??

In reality, you are courting these birth parents and must make that lasting impression. How well you present yourself can be the difference between you being chosen or not. This is not to say that the Lord doesn't have His hand in it, but faith without works...well you know how that goes. Besides, it doesn't hurt to make your fabulous self look even better right?

The Paper Profile:
I know LDSFS no longer requires a paper copy and in this digital age we are doing less with paper in general but sometimes a birthparent will enjoy having a hard copy to carry around and glance over. When we first started adoption, the online profile was very VERY limited in size and so we were required to do a paper one and provide 15 copies of it. The first birthmother who chose us was thrilled when I brought her a copy of our paper profile during our first meeting--she didn't even know that was a option to get. With the two adoptions following that, we made sure to have an updated hard copy of our profile to give. Our daughter Leila's birthmother told me that it was great receiving it in the mail and it gave her comfort having something in her hand to glance through, especially since she chose us 3 weeks before giving birth! So it's something you might want to consider putting together.

For those of you expert scrapbookers, it'll be probably easy but remember that if the birthparent changes their mind, you probably won't get your hard copy back. So make sure it's in an easy and cheap way to recreate. Nowadays there are so many amazing and simple computer programs to glam up your profile. My greatest tool was Microsoft's Publisher when we did our 1st profile. You can add graphics, color, pictures, etc to make your profile modern and fresh. Then it was as easy as hitting 'print' and making sure I had colored ink.

The LDS Online Profile:
Granted, LDSFS online profile is pretty basic. But one thing I've heard mentioned by adoption experts we talked to while creating our profile, make sure your pictures show your face! All is well and good that there is a pic of you doing something, but make sure there is at least one good one with your faces! Even better if it's not too contrived or posy.

Due to the limited size/amount of the pictures you can put on LDSFS, you may want to look into setting up a web album. Picasa or Flickr is free and simple and you can upload all the pictures you want for a potential birth mother to view and add that web address to your online profile on LDS Family's website. Everyone loves to see pictures and this is where you can put all the fun ones of your family for a potential birth mother to fall in love with.

The Internet:
Welcome to the digital age. Almost everyone has access to the internet so why not capitalize on that fact? If you are a website wizard, then I'm jealous and we need to chat but for those of you who aren't... Blogging is easy and there are so many places out there offering free backgrounds, widgets, and accessories that can enhance your best qualities. Think of it as your LDS Online Profile after an Extreme Makeover. It allows you space to be more creative, add pictures, and all sorts of random things. Remember it's all about the presentation. Check out your favorite website and focus on what it is that makes it so appealing. Is it the color scheme? Is there music? Fun graphics?

The only thing I would caution here is to strictly make an Adoption Blog/website and don't have it link to your personal blog if you have one. In fact, go in your settings and make sure any blogs outside of the adoption one are not linked to it. By making it just an adoption blog, you don't have to worry about your personal life all of a sudden being put under a microscope. Instead, you have each post specifically address topics like hobbies, family, where you live etc. Things that can be tweaked here and there but won't need constant updating. You also never know what personal post might be misconstrued by a birthparent on your personal blog so it is also best to make sure your adoption blog does not link to your personal one. A profile is just meant to peak the birthparent's interest to then seek you out to learn more. So find that balance between sharing and still maintaining some alluring mystery that makes them want to know more:)

In the end make sure your profile makes you stand out! You may even want to get input from your friends and family. They know you the best and will be able to tell you whether or not your profile truly reflects you or is a snore.

Share with us some fun things you've done with your profile! Comment or email us and we'll get it online.

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