Writing this blog IS my therapy. Its supposed to be a safe space that I can off load all of my thoughts, feelings, wondering’s and anxieties that I’m unable to just say out-loud. Its also a place that I can share our journey, the ups the downs and the downright ridiculous.
I started to write this blog around a year after we became a family, It was at this time that I started to realise that things weren’t quite right, I cant tell you what It was that wasn’t right, it was just a feeling, I just knew things weren’t right. So I read more books, I talked to more professionals and asked for support. It didn’t matter how many books I read or how many appointments we attended, I needed to talk about what I was feeling, what we were experiencing as a family, I needed to get stuff off my chest. I tried counselling, what a joke! So instead I’d write things on my Facebook page. This didn’t go so well, I was judged and critisised a lot, some people that I’d considered close friends didn’t know how to respond to some of the stuff I wrote, it scared them I guess, was too far out of their comfort zones maybe, the fairy tale adoption that they’d been following suddenly got very real, the idea that ‘love’ isn’t always enough was just beyond people. Most of them left. So anonymous blogging seemed the next best option, a place that I could offload without the fear of being judged or criticised. Or so it was supposed to be.
On the 20th May 2011 I published my first ever blog. I never imagined that I’d still be writing it now, nor did I know how it would change my support network so dramatically. Since beginning my blog I’ve been welcomed in to an online network of over 300 adopters, that’s 300 new friends!! I’ve linked up with local adopters, I have a twitter social circle, I have received heartfelt messages of empathy, messages from other bloggers and adopters thanking me for my honesty and for writing the things they’ve been too afraid or ashamed to write or say, I’ve even received the odd free item in return for an honest review, but the thing that kept me writing, the thing that spurs me on the most is when I receive those messages from adopters who are feeling alone, unsupported, and in their desperation reach out to me for help. Knowing I’ve been able to help those adopters means more to me than anything.
When my identity was compromised last year I considered for a long time how it might be best to just delete my blog, knowing that people were reading my words, about my life and judging ME, not just anonymous MrsFo5, was hard. No one likes to know when people are talking about them behind their backs. In the end, obviously, I decided to continue. I decided that writing my blog had given me so much, bought so many lovely people in to my life, touched the lives of other people in a positive way and given me a much needed space to offload my thoughts and feelings. I couldn’t delete it, I needed it.
My blog has been read almost 100k times, Its read in more countries than I even knew existed, Its been shared over 400 times and I’ve received over 2k supportive comments. I’m not a writer, I’m not an author, I’m just a mum, so I feel immensely proud of these achievements.
More recently I created a Facebook page and Twitter account that are linked to my blog. I use these for sharing useful articles, important facts and supportive messages (you should follow them if you don’t already). You can also read shorter and usually sharper real time updates from me. These are like little snap shots of our lives, snippets of reality and they’re not always pretty, although at times they are very funny. In the context of our whole story, and for those that have followed our journey, they are understood for what they are, mini moans. But outside the context of our whole story I can see how these might on occasion seem quite worrying and even cause for concern. I’d like to reassure all my readers, both the well meaning and the judgmental, that as a family we are very well supported by various professionals, we also now have a great relationship with the key members of staff at school (who read my stuff regularly actually) and I receive regular support from the post adoption team. We are not a family in crisis, but we are a family, like most other adoptive families, that are doing the best we can to manage the trauma baggage that our girls came with. I guess the difference is that I’m just very open about how difficult that can be some days.
The phone calls to social services, no matter how well meaning they may or may not be, not only infringe on our right as a family to blog anonymity but they really do just give everyone, including social services adoption team whom already support us as a family, a great big fat headache, so please stop.