Tuesday, January 3, 2012

How Adopting Is Like The Bachelor

Are you ready for another dose of Ben Flajnik?

The past few days I have been writing the copy for our online adoption profile. We have a small space to write something so compelling about our little family that a potential birth mother will want to get to know us more.

It's like introduction night on the Bachelor - which I always find painfully awkward. Twenty-five girls file out of limos and have 30 seconds to make an impression - to make Bachelor Ben want to get to know them more. There was the beauty queen who wore her sash, the epidemiology student who gave Ben a squirt of hand sanitizer, the girl who brought her grandmother to introduce her, and the equestrian who rode in on a horse.

Let's blindfold Ben and make him guess what I am feeding him. (This girl went home.)

They are all going after a hook - something to make Ben remember them and hopefully seek them out for further conversation despite the distracting sea of extensions, cleavages, glittering dresses, fake tans, and triple coats of mascara.

So that's me...trying to make enough of an impression to stand out in the sea of other picture perfect families, all of which are "stable," "married to their best friend," "love to travel," and "love adoption." It's probably true for all of us, but how do you stand out when all the voices are saying the same thing?

So Ben mingles with the women at the cocktail party. He'll hand out roses to the fifteen women he wants to get to know for another week and send ten home immediately. Lots of girls want the ultimate prize of a Neil Lane engagement ring and more smarmy publicity than they ever dreamed...but for now the girls are just focused on getting one rose to put them through to the next round.

Same with the hopeful adoptive couples online. Sure, we all want to bring home a baby in the end but for now, I just want a potential birth mom to want to see more about us. Click on our blog link. Ask to see our physical profile. Just give me one more rose.

And now it's time for the rose ceremony. Did the gimmicks work? Well, the equestrian girl who rode in on a horse got the first impression rose. Plus one in the gimmick column. However, it was more than obvious that when Ben sat and talked to her, they had undeniable chemistry. He definitely saw beyond the gimmick. But without the gimmick, would he have even remembered her enough among the 24 other women?

Obvious chemistry, despite the horseback riding gimmick.

He kept a few women I certainly wouldn't have. He sent a few home that I most definitely would have kept around. I really liked the quirky British girl. Ben didn't. During her exit interview, though deflated, she said that she is looking for someone who loves her for who she is.

Getting matched with a birth mother is the same in so many ways. I could fake my profile - write about how much money we have (ha!), how our children will go to amazing private schools and have personal nannies and summer in the Hamptons. I could hide my affinity for nerdy, cult TV shows and trashy celebrity gossip. I could pretend we are much sportier and out-doorsy than we actually are. I could fail to mention the five (yes, FIVE) messy pets in our home. In the end, though, I know a birth mother will love us because of our quirks, not in spite of them.

I just want a fair chance. Like so many of the girls who were sent away from Ben on day 1, I just want to feel that the potential birth mother really got to know us before passing on us. And there is no way she can get to know us in a short paragraph online.

So how do I hook a potential birth mom? How do I get just one rose? How do I make sure I am honestly and unabashedly represented so that the birth mom can make an informed decision? How do I keep myself from holding back, building walls, and failing to open up? How do I let her know I am here for the right reasons? Okay...too many Bachelor cliches. Hahaha. I know this is a serious topic, but if you can't poke fun at yourself (and The Bachelor) then what can you have fun with? :)

Honestly though...I do feel really, REALLY overwhelmed with trying to write a five sentence blurb about the most important thing in the world--my family--in hopes of getting something I really, really want--another child--and stand out in the sea of others who are doing the exact same thing?

Okay, back to it. I'll get my online profile done one of these days, I swear. In the meantime, here's hoping your favorite contestant got a rose tonight.


Topsy said...

i love the comparison! good luck and anyone would be weird to not want to know more about you.
(not to sound like the les. blonde girl on the bachelor :))

Tamara ViAnn said...

I hated this part about the process! But there is also a fine line about what gimmicks work in the online world vs real life. Sometimes I still hear about birthmothers who chose families for their child right around the time we were waiting and EVEN THOUGH we have the most perfect daughter ever my mind still immediately thinks "geez I wonder why she didn't choose our profile". It's a curse I tell you.

Bumber's Bumblings said...

Hi there--visiting your blog for the first time! I totally feel you! It's such a nervewracking process. I've had several email encounters with expectant moms and have great communication and then it just END. Find out later they chose someone else, but were too nervous to tell me. Just tell me, dude!

Great blog, look forward to reading more!

Jewls said...

Oh my gosh! You put my feelings into words perfectly!

Oh, and for the record I love the trashy tv too...it's one of my guilty pleasures! ;)

Good luck, I thought it would be way easier the second time, but it's just as hard!


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