Many people are much too specific when considering the characteristics of the child(ren) that they want to adopt. They may specify “absolutely no prenatal drug or alcohol abuse” for a domestic newborn, or a very small age range for an international or foster care adoption. This limits your options of children who will be presented to you for placement. You may miss your perfect match because the birth mother had a drink before she discovered she was pregnant, or the child is 6 months older than your preferred age range. Or you may specify a sibling group of up to 3, when in reality you would adopt 4 children if it was the right fit.
Remember, a match is only a match when you agree to it. The more options you leave open, the more chances you will have for a successful match. I have updated many home studies to include a broader age range or a larger sibling group when families realize that their ideal match is outside of the range that they initially specified.
My advice when doing a home study is to cast a wide net. This does not mean that you will be forced to adopt a child that you don’t feel able to parent, but it will insure that the child(ren) meant for you won’t be overlooked.