Saturday, October 24, 2009

My Rant...or rambling....or

... I just feel like sharing something.

(Warning - this is adoption/blogging related so if you can't may leave.....or not.) ambiguity hints at my not wanting to step on any one's toes but I just feel like sharing something that's been on my mind. So I'll just plunge in....'k?

I think blogging is great. I think bloggers * are some of the most compassionate, generous, empathetic (or empathic....depending on your dictionary), resourceful and supportive folks there are. And because I am a part of this huge worldwide adoptive community, I have a deep appreciation for the adoption blogs that have come before me.
*Update: the "bloggers" I'm referring to are those who have posted and shared for several years, ones who have had support and feedback from other bloggers for a long time, not an occasional blogger for less than 2 months or those with an almost private blog.

During the wait for our second daughter, I clung to many of the adoption blogs who were in the waiting queue before us and fed off their journey as they received their children. And because we had our first daughter already, I thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated those who were already home with their children. I learned so much from their sharing and was encouraged by the similarities in our experiences. (Comfort in numbers.)

Many of these blogs became very personal to me. I can feel what they are expressing, I can sense their frustrations, joys and sorrows. I feel/felt personally invested in them, as if we had a very personal (in person) relationship.

And then........they were gone!

......and I feel sad.

And they are gone - not because they moved to another city, where we can still get together once in awhile for a visit, talk on the phone or e-mail......
they're just gone....

they don't want to play anymore!

Now, ahem, I'm a big girl and can get some perspective really....I can. I know that life happens, our priorities change, we change, we can't be everything to everyone but I feel that if we have fed from the table, we should leave some food for the next person.

There....I said it.


That's why I feel sad when I hear someone is closing their blog, they're otta here, ciao, adios amigos, they're done. I've mourned when they've agonized over the long wait that dragged on forever, cheered and celebrated when they received their referral and cried tears of joy when they saw their children for the first time. And now they are gone.

I wanted to see how they're adapting to home life, what are their challenges and how have they solved them. I want to see their children as they grow up and settle into their forever family life.

I'm not talking about blogs who have closed and gone private for very legitimate reasons, but rather those who just don't seem to have the time or heart to continue to share in this community.

And I will miss them! I alone here? I'm curious what others think.

Feel free to leave a rant or comment!

And have a great week-end.


Leslie said...

i totally agree 100% with you!! Im sure some just feel like they are ready to move on maybe ...but im staying and i hope you are too!!!!

your girls are precious and adoption rocks!

Hannah said...

I feel the same way. Some times I think the after you bring them home is MORE important. We need to support each other. It always makes me sad when the blogs close or just fall off.

Lisa said...

You said it all and said it SO very well!

I too mourn the loss of companionship and fellowship when a blogger simply ceases.... just stops. Of course,like you I completely understand, but still it feels like a loss.....with no opportunity for closure!

I'm so happy that you are continuing to share your beautiful adventure and I want to thank you for doing so!!

Hugs and thanks for sharing this.....something many of us feel, but may not have yet expressed!!

P.S. In some small way,I fear that Facebook has taken some our wonderful bloggers away too! *sigh*

Our family said...

I agree with you Wanda... It is a sad thing. Kind of like losing a friend in a sense. When we follow along so closely on such a remarkable journey, we invest our hearts in a sense. There is a definite bond formed whether we know the blogger in person or not. I think it is because anyone who has experienced any part of the adoption journey can relate so incredibly with all of the emotions that go along with it....

psychohist said...

I'm glad you feel this way, because I'm looking forward to enjoying your blog for a long time!

That said, some of them might just have found that parenting is taking up more of their time than expected.

Wanda said...


Yes, I get that, but I wonder if some of the motivation for checking out isn't that they just don't need the support or outlet anymore and I personally feel a sense of responsibility to pay it forward. (And I don't mean that in a "hey, look at me, aren't I great?" but rather I would wish that we who received that support continue the effort. )

And thank you for your sweet comment!

Nanou said...

Je suis tout à fait d'accord avec vous et j'espère continuer à vous lire encore pendant très longtemps. Bisous aux filles

Teresa said...

I know what you mean. When we were waiting for our referral, I was addicted to The Story of You and it was tremendously helpful to prepare us for our trip and what to expect from the babies. After we returned home, it was wonderful to see what others were coping with and how they made the transition. Now I just love seeing referrals coming through. I think part of the problem is that the wait is so long that it's a little discouraging for them to keep going. I am still involved in our Yahoo group that we created during the wait for our referrals and many of us actually still get together for an annual picnic (going on 6 years now!). Facebook allows us to give tidbits of our life (really, do we need to know that "so-and-so needs to go pee"?), but it cannot replace a blog. Facebook is a great tool to direct people to a blog, but it cannot replace a beautiful blog with a wonderful story to accompany the beautiful photography. Additionally, blogs give us the opportunity to highlight certain people and charities we like to support. There are numerous stories of how the blogging community came to the rescue of many a crisis. The social networking tools are great and working in conjunction can be enormously effective for a number of good things: bringing the world a little closer, understanding cultural differences without having to travel to that part of the world, raising awareness for a cause on a global scale, etc. Facebook is only good for YOUR network of friends and they can only be in your network if they are on Facebook. Another difference is that a blog can be used for business purposes, unlike Facebook.

Ok, I'm done. :)

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

I know, it is tough when someone closes up shop, isn't it? You and I have had a little dialog off line about things that have happened.....and truth be told, I almost shut down because of what went down. But like you, I have come to have real bonds with you and a lot of other women out here in our little community. I think I would miss it terribly if I closed down. My plan is to go on as long as I can.....even if it means only posting one or two times a week when life gets busy.

Great post!



Mary, Eric and Penelope said...

Well Wanda, I am a little upset with you my love for dissin' those who "blogged off" like myself. If the blogs that you follow bring you so much (especially in terms of how the kids adjust, what families cope with etc-which I agree should be the point of post-adoption blogging), then you are lucky. That has not been my experience. That is, I don't find that the blogs really contain so much of that important stuff which you listed. It seems to me that the vast majority of people who remain faithful bloggers (post-adoption) are the ones who are living a happy ever after adoption story. I mean give me a blog on your list from a family dealing with attachment disorder, fetal alcohol syndrome, etc... Yes, I "blogged off" after I got Penelope & also gave up following many blogs that I used to. The post-adoption blogging seemed to take on a very exhibitionist quality, which is fine, I understand how exhilarating it is to be so happy with baby & hubby etc...etc...but ca ne me donne rien apart from fulfilling any voyeuristic tendencies I (& others) may have. I also feel that the post-adoption blogs go off the focus of the "baby" and onto tangents like ...well you know buying a new car, the parade, the dinners they went to, and other exciting events in their lives. I "peak" (no pun intended re: the voyeurism) at a couple of blogs of people that are actually IN my life & that I truly care about(comme toi ma belle). I think that some bloggers "blog off" after their wait is over for many acceptable reasons...because they have simply moved on, life is going well, and don't have strong exhibitionist tendencies. It is not necessarily because they no longer need the support or the sense of belonging to this special community, or because they are ungrateful...perhaps they pay it forward by some other please don't judge all of us delinquent bloggers as being so selfish. I blogged off because I figured hey who wants to hear about the details of my daily life, life is good, my kid's amazing, I'm getting a new tv tomorrow, I'm thrilled to be alive, yadah yadah yadah. The people who love me, yes, they will care, but I would rather talk to them & tell them & squeeze their hand as I confide, selfishly and indulgently, how happy and blessed I am to have my daughter.
Phew I'm done!
BTW, I still love you.

Wanda said...

For clarification purposes, the bloggers I was referring to are those who have consistantly blogged and had 2 way conversations with other bloggers for years.

Alexa said...

I don't know you, but I've followed your blog for a while now. I agree with you and I'd like to say, in response to your friend, that I know of several bloggers who have not had the good fortune to have children who easily adjusted. Their bravery in posting about their struggles has been invaluable to others in similar positions. If the only blogs out there are the happy ones, the people who have not been so lucky and are looking for support will feel even more lonely.

That being said, I've not been blessed with children, either by birth or adoption, so I do mainly read to fulfill my "voyeuristic tendencies". I read blogs that make me smile, make my heart ache and long to help the author in some way, ones that educate me and some just to give me a taste of what parenthood would be like.

To you, and your friend- please don't feel like you're bragging or that others won't care to hear about your happy life. When you're having a bad day, sometimes reading about someone else's happiness is just what you need to help pull you through to the end of the day.

Thanks for 'listening'.

Donna said...

I blog for many reasons: Primarily to keep friends and family in the loop because I'm horrible about writing letters or making phone calls.

I also blog because it's a convenient way to keep a family journal that I can print each year as an album. We're all digital here and none of our photos would ever get printed and put in albums were it not for this once-a-year printing plan and the text from the blog is an important part of each of our yearbooks.

The final reason I blog is because I'm a "people person" but I'm stuck here at home all day with two 5 year old girls and a cat. I miss adult company and I have much in common with most of my blogger friends so they my friends. And many of them have come to be friends in real life too.

You might notice that none of my reasons for blogging include being an exhibitionist. I take exception to the assertion your friend makes that bloggers get some weird satisfaction from letting strangers observe their intimate family moments. Almost all of my blogger friends heavily censor what they share on their blog and preserving personal privacy is a top priority for almost everyone I know.

I understand where you're coming from when you say you're sad when long-time friends "blog off" and disappear forever. I often wonder about how some of my older blogger pals are doing and I try to drop them a note every now and then to check in and tell them I hope all is well. Facebook is also good for keeping up with them but some are really lost forever and that makes me sad because, like you, I was invested somewhat in their life and I miss them. I'm not the least bit mad at them for leaving and I didn't read anything in your post that indicated you were mad about it so your friend's comments are making me scratch my head.


Our Blog: Double Happiness!

Mahmee said...

Yep. It's like losing soul sisters so to speak.
Nice rant.

Briana's Mom said...

I'm really glad you posted this. I have been feeling this way a little too lately. You follow a blog for a long time, give support, get invested in someone's life and when they don't need you anymore - poof they are gone. I wasn't sure if I would continue to blog after I brought Briana home, but then I thought, I know there are a few people that might like to continue to see how Briana is doing. They might like to see how I manage as a first time parent. People might want to see the wonderful moments and sometimes not so wonderful moments in my life. I have a lot of lighthearted posts, but I have definitely shared when I had some tough parenting moments too. Sometimes I need advice from BTDT moms, and in turn, I hope that I help other future parents who will be in my shoes one day. I'm glad I am not the only one feeling this way!

Jednet said...

Hmmmm....I am one of those bloggers. One reason I don't blog much anymore is that life is busy now that I'm back to working full time and priorities have been forced upon me. 'Talking with friends' now means missing out on family or work prep time.

Second reason I don't blog as much is, interestingly enough, are because of the people who read my blog. My grandma reads it, aunts and uncles, etc. While my original intention was to keep people in touch - and it works beautifully by the way - I began to feel that it had become more like what Mary had to say, repetative, look at how great my kids are thing. Yet, I don't feel I can really write about the things that may be important to other people in the adoption community because, frankly, extended family members really wouldn't get it. It might be useful for someone like my mom to read what I have to say and then see that others are struggling with the same things, but yes, the important issues are too personal. I feel I would need to go anonymous-for my kiddies sake-like RQ to get down to it.....

Mary, Eric and Penelope said...

Me. Again. I do truly appreciate and agree with Alexa's comment that someone else's happiness can be uplifting and encouraging. And I heard and appreciate and understand Wanda how loss of a longtime blogger can be saddening-(which I think many of your commenters identififed with) but I was struck more by the judgment that followed or what felt like judgment. Perhaps my comments were a bit strong in addressing that latter point, but I guess I've heard one too many anti-non-blogger comments lately. I put as little as I possibly can about myself on the net because of the work that I do; the less clients know about me personally the more effective I am at helping them--especially those who are dealing with adoption issues. I'm just saying if I have my reasons for not blogging, then probably the majority of those who stopped and saddened you probably also do. So as Alexa wisely pointed out, yes, I am among those who will continue to enjoy your blog, delight in your joy, and be awestruck by your beautiful girls and I thank you for blogging and putting a smile on my face.

Maya's Mommy said...

Hi Wanda!
Since I have only been a blogger and reading other blogs since the spring, I am fairly new to this whole community and really enjoy following the blogs of families who adopted around the same time as us. One of the reasons that I may eventually end my blogging days is if I think that no one is reading our blog, so why bother? I sure am glad to see the comments that you leave - it lifts my spirits knowing that someone is still watching and interested. I sometimes get the feeling that I would really like to meet the families in person that I have connected with, especially fellow Canadians. If we are ever in Quebec, I may just try to do that!

Thanks again, Wanda!

the greek chinese connection said...

luv u


Carol and Taylor said...

yeah, bums me out too. I think there's something in the water, b/c like 5 blogs I link to are going private. I'll have to reorganize my links and find new ones.

I don't ask for invitations for the private ones, b/c while I have followed their blogs for years, I figure if they're going private its for "real" friends and "real" family, not blogger acquaintances. I was thinking of composing my own rant on this subject, when I came across your lovely one.

Rant on..Nicely said!

Lori Lynn said...

Donna's comment made me laugh. I have felt sadness and frustration when a blog stops, but life is full of changes. Some we welcome and some we don't. There will always be someone out there to support us and to be supported in return.

Sometimes I welcome the loss of a blog because it means I have a chance to add someone else to my reading list. I don't know how I have missed yours. I think I have only commented here a time or two. Now I will have to go back to my reading list and be sure I entered in your blog.

I only blog once or twice a week, but I do it to document my daughter's lives. The blog is much more reliable than my memory and it has already helped me on occassion. I too, use it to make a book every year for my girls and for the grandparents, who don't have internet. Now I'm just rambling.

I hope you stick around and I'll do my best to do the same!

Valerie said...

Hi Wanda, I'm new to your blog, and think your family is beautiful. I started blogging as a way to diary my feelings and thoughts during the waiting process. My blog was what I did while waiting to become a parent via adoption.

Once we got not one but two children within 8 months of each other...blogging was harder and harder to commit my time to. I hang on now trying to keep posting, but it seems people are more interested in hearing about the wait/travel part of the journey and if nothing serious arises after being home, then it is just a recounting of normal family life.

There were some blogs I felt were extremely helpful and soothing to read during our 3 year wait for our China daughter. I think this is a self renewing crop. When someone drops off the radar there is someone else to take their place.

Having said that, your blog is a wonderful and warm peek into a beautiful family.

May it always be that way for you.