Wisdom brightens a person's face and changes its hard appearance. -Ecclesiatstes 8:1

Monday, February 28, 2011

Why using social media might help us find a baby to adopt

A couple of weeks ago I started a Facebook group for my husband and I to share our adoption news and happenings. Last week I posted a Youtube video describing ourselves and our intentions to adopt.

I felt and still feel awkward about both of these things. This was way beyond my comfort levels. I think it might look really strange to people who don't know us well. I think people may not understand what we are trying to do.

Today I posted this letter to our group on Facebook explaining why we are using FB and Youtube as an outlet:

For those of you who might wonder why we are making this announcement via Facebook and asking each of you to help us find a baby, I wanted to issue an explanation.

What you may not know is that Mike and I decided to adopt in the summer of 2007, but only our close family knew anything about it. It had nothing to do with shame or embarrassment. It was more an issue of privacy.

And now you’re thinking: “Well making a Facebook group and Youtube video is NOT private!”

Yes, we know. And it was a big struggle for us to be able to do this. It is a big step out of our comfort zone.

If you know anything about adoption, you know that it is a long and expensive process. In our case it has been longer than necessary because of our desire to be financially sound at the time of the adoption. However, we hit a point where being financially sound and the desire for children went head to head and our future child won. We are taking a HUGE leap of faith by proactively looking for a child. That child might arrive next week. Or it could be in 2013 before we get that phone call. We may or may not have the money needed to complete the adoption process when a child becomes available and because of this we might have to turn some situations down. That has happened once already and it is heartbreaking. But we have faith that there is a right child/children for us and it will happen the right way.

As for using Facebook and Youtube, we know that it might seem awkward (it sure feels that way) to have ourselves on display for anyone and everyone to see. We know that people might question our tactics. We understand. But we learned in our meetings with several adoption agencies and lawyers that we have to put ourselves out there. We were told time and again to let people know we were looking. We’ve read on many websites about matches being made because someone knew someone who wanted to place their child. Adoption doesn’t necessarily work like you might think. Agencies don’t really go out and look for a child for the adoptive couple. They wait until a pregnant woman comes to them and then discuss with her all of her options. Then, if she still wants to place her child, she looks through many, many profiles of prospective parents. The agencies don’t necessarily work for the adoptive couple. They work for the good of the children. So that leaves the people who desire to become parents through adoption to do their own legwork. And that is where Facebook comes in for us.

 In this age of social media everyone knows what kind of reach websites like Facebook and Youtube have. Not only can we reach our close friends and family with news, we are also allowed the opportunity to expand our network to old friends, classmates, co-workers and in turn, their friends, family, classmates, and co-workers. And of course, this is where you all come in. You are all located in different parts of the country (and world!) and have access to many different people and places through your churches, schools and communities. Somewhere, within one (or several) of those groups is someone who feels they are not ready for the child they are now carrying. They are looking for an option that is the best decision for their baby. They want that child to be loved and cared for more than they could do at this time.

It is for this woman and this unborn child that we are putting ourselves out there on Facebook, wide open for everyone to see.

Thank you for joining our group and thank you for being interested in what happens with our adoption story.

If you have any questions for us, please feel free to ask. We’ve learned with the adoption process that questions may be painful to answer, but it is more important that people know the facts and are educated so that they can help someone in the future.

So what can YOU do if you do know someone interested in placing his or her baby for adoption? You can approach the birthparent(s) and say, “We know a couple named Mike and Blake that live in Florida that want to adopt a baby.” You can also share non-identifying information, which is physical descriptions, personality traits, educational background, talents, hobbies, church activity, and involvement with extended family. Please do not share identifying information, such as our last names, phone number and address. You can also retrieve our information from our Facebook group or direct them to our Youtube video. Or better yet, send us a message so we can send you the files of our Scrapbook and Letter to give to them.

If you don't feel comfortable with any of that, we would still appreciate you directing them to our agency: The Adoption Center, if not specifically for us, then just to help out any couple that is looking for a child.

Hopefully this can clear up any questions and odd looks people may be giving the computer screen at our expense.
If you'd like to join our FB group, please leave a comment and I'll send you the info!

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