By Gina Crotts
She dropped a handful of hard copy, parent profiles on the coffee table in front of me, “start with these,” she said.
I reached for the pile and discovered there were ten separate profiles. Though you would hardly know the difference between them all, the first pages were all the same. A sheet of what I call basic stats; first name, height, age, ethnicity, etc. Followed by a short paragraph about the couple and another paragraph about each parent. I looked at my social worker stunned. I was about to give my baby to one of these couples, and this was all the information they were going to give me? I felt pressured to pick one on the spot and thumbed through the pile as if I was reading them. I asked if I could take them home. She nodded, and I grabbed four random profiles and headed back home.
I stashed the profiles under my bed and left them there for weeks. The task seemed daunting to me. They all looked the same and sounded the same. They all had something I didn’t have, a supportive partner. I was heartbroken, alone, and feeling sorry for myself. I didn’t want to read about their perfect lives and how badly they wanted what, at that time, I didn’t want. I didn’t want to be pregnant. I didn’t want to pick any of them. I knew my choice to place my baby for adoption was the right one, but when I thought about picking her parents, I knew she would no longer be my baby; she would be theirs too.
I sat on the floor in my bedroom writing in my journal, as I often did, and I noticed the parent profiles stashed under my bed. I knew all of those couples were anxiously waiting to be picked by birthmothers just like me. I knew I had to make a decision. I laid the profiles on my lap and read the first profile, then the second profile. The second profile stuck with me, and I set the other three aside. I loved how the husband seemed like a giant teddy bear; huge in stature but kind-hearted and loving. I loved that the wife had been adopted. I could picture my baby asking her questions about adoption and her being able to answer those questions with a personal connection. Ironically I was feeling drawn to their basic stats and visualizing the parents they would be for my baby.
Those two facts about the couple are what stopped me from reading the remaining two profiles. I called my mom and told her I had picked a family for my baby. When I read her the profile over the phone, she cried. What’s beautiful about why I chose them, is not because they seemed perfect, the didn’t say the perfect thing or pretend to be something they weren’t. In fact, it was just the opposite; they were just themselves.
When you’re creating your parent profile, one of the best tips we could share with you is to be yourself. You never know what basic stat, unique quirk, or personality trait it will be that encourages that birthmom to pick you. Your online parent profile gives you the capability to share so much more than I was ever given, making the process less daunting for the birthmother, and more comfortable for you. Finding parents, who are strangers at first, to care for your baby is scary and stressful. It’s not a small decision. Make sure you are providing her with the information that she needs to make a confident decision, by being yourself, and taking the time to create a profile that shows you care.