The Storybook Process: Making your adoption profile stand out

An adoption profile is not your average photo book, album or scrapbook.

It’s an adoption profile.

THE thing standing between you and the women who may be carrying your baby.

So, let me ask you to put yourself in the shoes of an expectant mother for a second. It’s time for you to make the most critical decision for the future of your child…choosing the family he or she will be part of for the rest of their life. Will you choose the family with the beautiful book filled with pretty pictures, telling you how much love they have to give, or will you choose the family you really connect with, that makes you feel something when you are looking through their book? My guess is the latter. The one that truly speaks to you. The one that’s not just smoke and mirrors, but truly has substance to the kind of people they are.

By far, the Storybook Process, what I call the module where you work on your adoption profile, is one of the most challenging parts of your adoption journey. Many times, when I talk to people about putting together their profile, I’m met with comments such as…

“I’m good at these, I do them all the time.”

“My friend is helping me.”

“But I really like that picture.”

“I like it that way / I want to do it my way”

But, an adoption profile is not like a regular photo book. So, unless you’ve ever put one together (and probably unless you’ve done many), you really aren’t good at these, your friend doesn’t know anything about an adoption profile, it’s not about your favorite pictures and you have to take a step aside and remove your ego from this process. Harsh? Maybe. But you’re not expected to know how to put together a great adoption profile. How would you be?

Once we get through the shock of the first edits (thank goodness I’m across phone lines and not acrogirl-1064658_640ss the table from some people), and prospective parents understand what we are trying to accomplish, things start to move in an upward, more positive trajectory and always ends with a true sense of pride and accomplishment.

You see, most adoption profiles are filled with a sea of beautiful pictures, trying to portray a perfect life. But expectant mothers aren’t looking for perfect. They are looking for “real,” and you want to stand out. So, how can you do that?

The reason I call this module The Storybook Process is because that’s truly what it is. Telling stories. You want to tell stories from your life and really dig into the details in order to leave her feeling a connection. According to an article in Inc. by Paul Jarvis, there are 5 elements to good storytelling…

1. Simple

Good stories are easy to understand. They’re also told in a language that matches the way the intended audience communicates, so they don’t need to spend time interpreting and then absorbing. Simplicity also aids in memorability, because the overall lesson is easy to grasp in summary.

Me: Word choice is important. Make sure you are using words that anyone can understand. Even if you are someone who uses big vocabulary words, it’s important to simplify it for the sake of an easy to read, relatable adoption profile.

2. Emotional

A good story teller experiences the stories he tells as he’s telling them. Good storytelling requires an emotional component. Most of the memorable ones have humor, pain or joy (sometimes all three). If every story were simply facts stated, one after another, most of us wouldn’t listen or remember any of it.

Me: As I said above, make her feel something. If you feel something as the writer sharing your stories, that’s usually a telltale sign that she might, too. The more she feels, the more she connects, the quicker you’ll be chosen.

3. Truthful

Not truth in the scientific sense, where there’s an objective fact stated, but true insofar as the teller believes in what they’re saying and are honest with themselves and their audience about it.

Me: Always be true to yourself and honest about who you are. Don’t try to think about what an expectant mother would want to see and read. You simply don’t know. And ultimately, you want the RIGHT match that fits with who you truly are!

4. Real

Good stories are first-hand experiences the teller actually witnessed. Even if it’s a story that’s passed on generationally, an effective one still has an element of how that story relates directly to the teller, told in the teller’s own words.

Me: Speak directly to the expectant mother, relating back to how your story pertains to her child. Use words like, “your child.” Don’t just pull out stories that you like. You have to think about WHY you’ve decided to tell a certain story.

5. Valid

Regardless of the audience size, a good story works for any audience. One to one-million. It isn’t concerned with how many people can hear it, just that someone, somewhere is listening to it.

Me: I LOVE THIS!! It just takes ONE expectant mother to connect with you. So, give her something to connect with.

So, let’s recap…

You need to tell stories. Stories that are true to you, that are relevant to her/her child, in a language the expectant mother understands, speaking directly to her, in simple terms, but evoking feeling. THIS is what leads to a connection. And, you only need one expectant mother to choose you…the right one!

Although the most time consuming part of the process, working with clients on their adoption profile is my favorite part because I really get to know them. I know we’ve hit upon something good when I keep digging into a story and then they laugh, become excited or even emotional. When we both feel something, the teller and the reader, THAT is what should go into an adoption profile.

For more information about how you can get help putting together your adoption profile, please schedule your free consultation at the top of this page.

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