Everybody else's blogs

Everybody else’s blogs

I’ve been reading adoption blogs the way I used to read comic books when I was a kid – one after the other, in heaps and stacks, secretly when I’m supposed to be doing something else, all day long on Saturday.

I feel weird about it.  I am fascinated by all the different variations of the adoption story and at the same time I keep hoping to find out that someone else feels exactly like I do.  Everything makes me cry.  And  I can’t stop reading them.

Blogs by families who’ve adopted make me jealous and hopeful at the same time.  They seem so normal, these families.  Moms and dads and kids just having a normal life, the anxieties and uncertainties of the adoption behind them, and ahead only the regular anxieties and uncertainties of raising a kid.  Some of them make it sound like everything is finally perfect, like all the pieces have fallen into place, like they’ve passed all the tests and finally been chosen, and their lives are complete.  They make me feel sort of resentful, and then I am ashamed of myself for being that way.  I love the ones who write about what their lives are really like.  They’re exhausted because the baby is up all night, they’re forced to welcome Thomas the Tank Engine into their lives, everything is always sticky and everybody in the family catches the back to school cold all at the same time.  I love this, because I know they’re telling the truth, and they’re real people, and someday this will be my truth, too.

Some of these have blended in with plain ol’ parenting blogs.  I hate the ones that are preachy and make it sound like if you didn’t breast feed your baby you’re practically guilty of child abuse.  It makes me want to tear out my hair.  But some of them are really, really great. They offer more questions than answers, they have a sense of humor, they get comments that turn into conversations instead of petty rants.

Blogs by birthmothers have become a weird addiction.  I feel like a spy, like I’m not supposed to be able to look into their world.  You hear over and over, “No-one else can understand how hard this is for the birthmothers, no one else can understand how they feel.”  But I’m desperate to understand.  I know I’ll be a good mother.  I have no doubts about it at all.  But I’ll also be a partner in this relationship with the birthmother, and I want so much to be really, really good at it.  I know I’ll make mistakes as a mother.  I have no doubts about that either!  But those mistakes don’t scare me.  Making a mistake in my relationship with the birthmother scares me to death.  I don’t even know yet who this woman is, but the idea of letting her down or disappointing her just freezes me in my tracks.  So I read all these blogs and resist the urge to take notes.

Blogs by grown-up adoptees make me anxious.  Like most of us who blog, they seem to be working out a private struggle by getting their journey into words and images that can be shared.  But the struggle is painful for me to acknowledge.  I want so much to think that if I just do everything exactly right (or even mostly right) my child will grow up confident that he or she is completely loved by all possible parents of all possible kinds – by me, by grandparents, by birthparents, by everyone; if we celebrate their adoption story just as we would celebrate any child’s arrival into a family, they will rejoice in it with us.  But it’s pretty clear that it’s not that simple.  These writers are telling me very clearly that adopted children have a lot of confusing feelings to figure out.  They need their parents to accept that, and not try to “wish”  that pain and confusion away, but to deal with it together.  That makes sense to me.

 

The best ones make me want to turn my own blog into something that will be helpful for someone else to read.  I’m not really sure how to do that, but I think about it a lot.

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