September 10, 2011
Many of you have followed me since I adopted The Bee from Kazakhstan. Back then I wrote a blog called Treasures of the Silk Road. It was our adoption journal. When I wrote that blog I was always careful, AWARE, maybe even a little bit paranoid that someone who could effect the outcome of our adoption was reading it. So I was cautious and politically correct and in the course stilted and illusive.
When the time came for us to actually travel to Kazakhstan I made the entire blog private. I think most of us going to Kaz did. We had confirmed Kaz officials and adoption facilitators were reading the blogs of adoptive families and THAT was risky. Adoption in Kazakhstan (at least then) was a less than transparent and forthright process. Criticize your coordinator on a blog and your child might suddenly become unavailable (to you).
Later with the Ladybug I didn't make the site (Treasures of the Silk Road, China Edition) private but I did write as if my social worker and the entire Chinese adoption authority were reading. ... tra la la la la, I (heart) China, patience is a virtue, everything is perfect...it wasn't true.
With those heavily edited blogs I felt like I developed an online personality that was false. One that seemed to me (and the friends who knew me) too nice, too perfect and frankly too boring. I am a decidedly flawed, opinionated and snarky individual and that wasn't coming though in anything I dared to write while in the middle of an adoption because at the end of the day I was unwilling to write anything that might risk our adoptions.
So when my girls were finally and forever home I decided to tackle the whole blogging thing differently. I was not going to be afraid to write in my own voice. You know the one that says politically charged things like "anti adoption activists can SHUT UP!"
And so 10 months ago I started Five of My Own and set out to write (and frankly live my life) without (or with less) reserve.
It was all going along pretty smoothly until three things happened.
First, I got political. I wrote I would participate in the Both Ends Burning March March in DC and I encountered criticism from the anti international adoption fringe that until then I didn't really know existed. A few weeks later I was enraged by the photos of a baby starving in orphanage in Bulgaria and I berated "anti-IA activists" in an emotional blog post. That really drew fire (from some self termed "angry adoptees" who identified with "anti-IA activists"). It wasn't pretty.
Words can be powerful weapons and some of the their comments have left me reeling. So many of the comments left here were not topical or constructive: many were personal, attacking and down right threatening. (I know it sounds naive but it was also the first time that it even occurred to me that people who didn't support adoption would be reading my blog.)
There were strangers, angry sounding strangers out there saying menacing things like "we will rip your children from your arms" and it scared me. Let's face it there are some freaking crazy-ass people out there.
Second, as you all know we are adopting again and with that all the familiar insecurities are creeping back in to my head (and my writing). I am not paranoid or conspiracy minded, I do not believe there are aliens at Area 51, that Kennedy was assassinated by the mob or that the Bush administration planned 9/11, but my recent "experience" with USCIS makes me go, hmmmmm.
Third, I was more open about my faith and that's all I will say on that.
So to quote a favorite song , "I'm brave but I'm chicken shit".
All of this has lead me to pull back. I realized I was second guessing myself. A lot. Which (as you may have noticed) is why I've stopped using the girl's names and why I'm currently working to reformat this blog to remove anyway to identify or target my family. (God that sounds nuts...and more than a little pathetic, sigh.)
And it's also why I've marked a couple of posts as private. Some you've already read that in retrospect now fill me with worry and new posts I want to write contemporaneously without fear of repercussion.
Right now the only invited reader is my husband (only because I had to at least one person to make the privacy feature work) and I'm not planning on sending invites. There is no exclusive club here; just me, my husband and misgiving.
Most posts will remain public.
My plan is to publish all private posts once I have the Butterfly securely in my custody.
And I know that sort of sucks. And it feels pretty cowardly. And the truth is I'm still trying to work it all out.
But right now it's the only way I can think of to write EVERYTHING about this adoption and still keep it real.