Do you watch This Is Us? It’s the only TV series that we follow in this house.
If you’ll recall, my husband is a television editor here in Los Angeles. Since he makes TV all day, the last thing he wants to do is come home and watch more of it. So ours is rarely on when Daddy is home.
But he makes an exception for This Is Us, and he and I now watch it together.
I was turned onto the show last season when a friend (and fellow adoptive mom) mentioned that I might want to check it out. I watched the series premiere one night while Jeff was at work, and I bawled my eyes out. I immediately made him watch it with me again when he got home that night. (Okay, he willingly participated, but you get the idea…)
I think it’s obvious the adoption theme on the show is relevant to us, as is the idea of raising a child of a different race and everything that goes along with that.
My husband also gives props to the writing and the editing (he knows more about all that Hollywood stuff than I do), and we just really enjoy the show overall.
So how does this relate to our adoption story?
It’s been 3 months since I’ve written anything about our latest round at this… mainly because there hadn’t been much going on in Adoptionland.
Until a couple weeks ago.
We’d been working on the birth mother profile a while back but had gotten stuck on the pictures part – deciding on, then finding the pictures we wanted to include that best represented our family and our lifestyle.
The birth mother profile is the full-color glossy brochure that goes out to prospective birth mothers introducing us to her. It is also the means by which most of the birth mothers/parents working with our agency choose the family they want to raise their baby.
So it is not insignificant.
We have a different take on this booklet now that we’ve been through this process once already.
We worked with a graphic designer the first go around, and we are using her again. Thankfully, we didn’t have to reinvent the wheel and write all new content. We just revamped and updated what we used last time around.
And we did some judicious editing.
When we adopted our son, we did a 12-page booklet. Our agency now doesn’t want them more than 8 pages.
Thankfully, they guide you on the major categories to cover: intro and who we are as a couple, narratives about us each individually, our home and neighborhood, family and friends, pets, hobbies and interests, careers, and our dreams and desires as parents.
This is who we are… This is our story… This is us.
My husband and I are both writers, and in working on our revamped narrative, we quickly realized that we wrote waaaaay too much the first time around.
They say it’s really important to include a lot of pictures and tell much of your story through photos (think of it like a Pinterest board). And we did include a lot of photos, but we could have shown even more and written a whole lot less.
The thing is, we now have people we can call to mind who will be on the receiving end of this booklet… people like our son’s birth parents. We didn’t have that the first time around, so we were writing to this imaginary idea of what we thought a birth mother/parent would be.
And what my husband and I realized is that we probably wrote more of our content for each other than the woman who would be on the receiving end.
Birth mothers are sent 30, 40, or even more of these booklets at a time. How do we make ourselves stand out?
We get one shot to get her attention. We also know from our son’s birth parents that once they looked at our profile and decided to pursue a match with us, they didn’t even look at the rest of the booklets they’d been sent.
So your odds can also be affected by where your profile was in the stack when she/they started looking at them!
That means the cover photo is especially important. If they don’t like what they see on the front, chances are they won’t even open the thing.
So we went ahead and had professional photos taken.
We finally got everything off to the designer, then just had to sit back and wait.
In the meantime, I checked in with our caseworker and got a list of options for homestudy agencies, knowing that would be the next step to pursue.
Also providing fodder for my next post…