I hope you have enjoyed the past five days of posts regarding the pros of blogging as a birth parent. I have enjoyed thinking of some of the many positive aspects of blogging about adoption from the perspective of a birth parent. Let me say, point blank, I’ve only covered five reasons. There are many, many more great reasons to put your voice out there in blog format.
In my experience, blogging about adoption has been overwhelmingly positive. Yes, I’ve had some negative experiences and I’ll talk about those next week. But, for the most part, I have had such a great time blogging about adoption. Perhaps that’s why I do it so frequently, in so many places.
I learn, every time I open a blog. Whether it’s a blog by an adoptee, an adoptive parent or another birth parent. Sometimes the things I learn aren’t easy to handle. I have taken offense with adoptive parents have blogged about the pointlessness and selfishness of open adoptions. (I counter these on my own blogs with the reasons why open adoptions are neither pointless nor selfish.) I’ve felt worried and anxious when an adoptee has talked about the issues that they attribute to their relinquishment. And yet, at the same time, I have felt empowered by reading their stories as I know, far in advance, about possible things I may (or may not!) hear from my placed child. When an adoptive parent opens up about the things that they wish for their child from their child’s biological families, I learn more about my own role. (Birth parents roles are so confusing as it is so any help is greatly appreciated.) It is from some of those conversations that I decided to send a monthly letter to my daughter this year. I am proud to tell you that I just mailed off my seventh letter this year (as it is July) this past Tuesday. I’m on the ball this month!
I cannot begin to describe the amount of healing that has taken place in my life over the past few years. It’s been an up and down journey. The low points have been low. The high points have been amazing. And from the mid-points in between I have been able to see how both the high and low have worked together to bring me to where I am in my healing journey. It is so great to be able to look back and see how far I have come. As an example, I was dealing with a very high amount of anxiety last year and I let it get in the way of a visit. I have learned, since then, how to properly handle situations like that and for that I am so very proud!
Blogging has created so many open dialogues for me with my closest friends and family. A recent example is one started with my Husband. He reads, though he never comments. I didn’t know how sad he felt about the lack of visits we have had with my relinquished daughter until last month when he finally voiced it to me regarding a post I had placed on my personal adoption journal. Because of that post, he was able to vent his anger, sadness, frustration and general run of emotions over the issue. He explained his point of view, empathized with my emotions and we had a great discussion about how we need to be handling issues on our end. I’m not sure if he would have broached the topic of his own accord had I not thrown the topic up on my blog. Maybe eventually but the immediacy of his reply (in real life) made me realize that blogging is a great way to start a dialogue!
As for freebies, well, I can’t complain! My most recent favorite freebie was the book The English American. I can’t say enough about it! I was also sent another adoption book (a memoir) to review. I’ll have it up for you after my vacation. I love to read and so the onslaught of books has been greatly appreciated.
I’m going to step out on a limb and say that I have fostered change. I cannot count the number of e-mails I have received from potential adoptive parents and current adoptive families thanking me for sharing my story, experience and point of view. I get e-mails quite often from expectant mothers considering relinquishment who ask my opinion and I offer it, without sugar-coating. Some place, some do not but all have been thankful for my honesty regarding things like grief and loss, ethical agencies and the importance of considering the child’s well-being (which includes emotional well-being). I have challenged the perception of birth parents on mainstream parenting sites and continue to do so, just by existing. I will continue to do so because I think it needs to be done!
Blogging as a birth parent has brought so many wonderful people into my lives. I am surrounded, virtually, by adoptive parents, adoptees and birth parents whereas, in my real life, there are no such people. I am blessed to have met these people and love the fact that my words have formed lasting friendships that stretch across miles and years.
Next week, of course, I’ll be going over some of the negatives (cons, if you will) of blogging as a birth parent. But I promise to end on a good note. Be sure to tune in!
For more on bloggers and blogging, read these posts.