I thought today I would cover different ideas on how to spread the word on your hope to adopt.
One way is Pass-A-Long cards. Pass-A-Long cards are just what they sound like. They are cards, that you pass-a-long. ;o) They are normally business card size, sometimes bigger. They normally have a picture or two of your family, sometimes a message about your hope to adopt, and normally include information about where to contact you, your agency profile, a blog, etc.. Spaces For Faces is a great resource for these handy little cards. We got ours printed from them. The quality is fabulous, and the price was awesome. We already had our card designed, but Jill at Spaces For Faces was more then happy to print them for us. She can also do a custom design for you if you don't already have them designed. I'm sure there are other places you could get them done, I just don't know any others. But, what's so great about pass-a-long cards is you can pass them out to anyone and everyone. Leave some at a doctors office, send them to friends and family when you send your Christmas Cards, asking them to carry them with them and hand them out to anyone they may know who is considering adoption. I've even heard of people who give them to cashiers at the grocery store or waitresses at restuarants. The point is to get the word out there about your hope to adopt. Pass-a-long cards provide an easy, no obligation way for a prospective birthparent to find out your information and a little about you. If you don't think pass-a-long cards work, you obviously haven't read Que & Brittany's story on how their son's birthmom found them. You can read that here. My friend Angie is running a contest on her blog through tomorrow where a hoping to adopt family can enter to win 500 custom designed pass-a-long cards! Check out that contest here.
Another thing you can do to help spread the word is tell everyone! Everyone and anyone. I know some couples choose not to say anything, and that's fine. For us, if we had decided not to say anything, who knows if we would have been chosen. But because we told everyone, and we gave our pass-a-long cards, it was fresh in everyone's minds. So when Kristina found out she was pregnant and started considering adoption, we were the first family she thought of. Tell everyone people! Not to mention, my friend Sara and her husband Issac. Their daughter's birthmom found out about them when she went to the dentist who happened to be a friend of Sara & Issac's and told her about his friends who were hoping to adopt. You can read about that here.
Next, Social Networking. I know, that sounds like a weird suggestion, but it's not. It really works. I'm not promoting any social networking site here, but it's a way for you to spread the word. Take this story for example. This couple posted on Facebook about their hope to adopt. A friend saw that post and posted it on his page. Someone else saw that posting and it eventually led to a birthmom contacting this couple about a little boy she was going to place for adoption.
My last and final suggestion, and there are a lot more then this, but these are the ones I have chosen to highlight, is to have an adoption blog. I know, you're signed up with an agency, why do you need to have an adoption blog. The way I look at it, an adoption blog is a more in depth way for someone who is considering adoption to get to know you. Your agency profile, or parent profiles or what not, only allows so much information. You really don't have the opportunity to tell about your every day lives. And that is what a birthmom would like to hear. They want to know you, what your family life is like, what kind of life and family their child will be apart of. Some of the things you can include are information about each person in your family. Info about your extended families. Places you like to go, things you like to do together. Traditions you have. Pictures of your lives, home, the area where you live. The great thing about doing a blog, is you have control over how much, or how little information is out there. So if you aren't comfortable with having your personal lives out there, don't put it out there. Put basic, unidentifying information. Another helpful thing on your blog is a blog button that others can put on their blog that will link to yours to help you spread the word. And Blog Button's work too. My friend Shauna recently guest blogged about their story, and how they were found when a birthmom's lawyer was looking at his child's blog one day and saw their Gavin & Shauna's button. Here are a few blogs so you can see ideas of what you can do. And yes, these couples are hoping to adopt, so if you know someone who is considering adoption, pass these on. :D
Don't have an adoption blog and don't know where to start? You have a blog but it's boring and you want to give it some flare but don't know how? Then Don't forget about about my month long contest sponsored by Envision Image Design for a hoping to adopt family. A complete blog redesign. :D The entry deadline has been extended to Tuesday of next week!