Thursday, July 2, 2015

New Materials!

Today is like going shopping for that new outfit and bringing it home.  Except shopping for that new outfit took nearly 3 months, you tried on 30 different things, went to 1 store, then found out someone thought everything in that store looked horrible on you, went to 3 new stores hundreds of miles apart, and eventually got your snazzy new outfit, took it home, and waited a week before posting selfies online.  In case that was a bit vague, our online OA&FS profile has been updated!

Now what does it mean that our profile has been updated?  Really, we revised our entire library of materials that potential birthfamilies see when they are looking at adoptive families in the waiting pool.  It may not be a big deal, but it's really the biggest thing we've done since entering the waiting pool.

Item #1 - Family Introduction Letter
The Family Introduction Letter is the core of any adoptive family's profile with OA&FS.  It is your 2-minute elevator speech.  (It's a long elevator ride)  In one page, you get to introduce who you are, what your jobs are, where you live, who is in your family, your likes and dislikes, and your hopes with regards to an open adoption.

Ours hasn't changed significantly since last time, but it's a document that we still put a lot of thought into as it needs to be focused, informative, and yet personable.  Remember, we're engineers and communication is hard.  To get around that, I cheat the system.  For example, this morning I took donuts in to work just to remind people that I am awesome and they should like me.  Sadly, there isn't a similar parallel to speed up getting picked by a birthfamily...but I'd do countless trips of Top Pot if that was different!

Anyway..... when you look at our updated online profile page, this is all of the text that shows up.  OA&FS offices also now have hardcopies (hundreds) of our letter as well that is slightly different with images we built into the layout.  While we still need to work with OA&FS IT staff to make sure the bullets display properly in the online version, all of the content is now in place.

Item #2 - Photos
Admit it, when you look at anyone on anything like Facebook, the first thing you look at is their profile photo.  These photos are critical in projecting an image of who you are as an individual or as a family.  We have 2 photos in our Family Introduction Letter and 4 photos that can be viewed in our online profile page.  It's tough to choose the best photos that represent your family amongst the thousands that you can have on hand these days.  Luckily, we had it easy because even after going through all of our hundreds of photos, we still picked 3 of our 4 photos from the work of our favorite photographer  :)

Item #3 - Family Book
This was the toughest task for us to finish.  Technically we could have reused much of our old family book and just updated a few photos to show the passage of time now that Dominic is well over 2 years old.  Instead, I got overambitious and wanted the "fancy" outfit.

On the right side of our OA&FS profile page, there is a link to view our "Personalized Book".  While it displays and was printed in hardcopy through Shutterfly, we built the entire book outside of that website to provide a clean, visually impactful, and cohesive identity.  In short, I've spent way too much time with marketers at work.

I'm really proud of this though since it is completely unique from any other family book I've seen in the adoption pool and may even be more memorable.

While we want a birthfamily to choose us because they like us, it doesn't hurt to have a little professional touch that makes it easier for them to read our family book and get to know us!

 With all of this up, now what?  Well, we keep on waiting!  (Just keep waiting, just keep waiting, waiting, waiting waiting)  At some point we'll make it over to P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney, but it may be a longer wait/swim until we get there.

We're nearly 13 months into the waiting pool (as of July 5th), so that means my optimistic prediction of being chosen after 13 months and adopting a baby girl will be the next prediction that passes by.  However, that means Angie is up next!  She guessed a wait of 14 months and a baby boy.  Angie, I'll have my fingers crossed that you're right.  If not, you might owe us donuts :)