I can't tell you how excited I am about this "Month of Blogging". I can't get over all the amazing posts that are hitting the Bloggosphere (both here and on individual blogs). Everyday I look forward to the next batch of blog posts which always seem to get better and better as the month goes on (which surprises me because I've been blown away each and every day!). Before I get into today's prompt, I just wanted to say a giant THANK YOU to all the people contributing and blogging out there. It's not easy to put your voice out there, but at least one reader sure appreciates it!
Do you read blogs of other members of the "adoption triad"? If so, what do you learn from reading those blogs? When you disagree, what's your preferred method of dealing with it (such as leaving a comment, writing a blog post about it, or ignoring it)?
I’m an adoptee. I read blogs of other adoptees. I don’t always agree with them but that’s because no two adoptees feel the same or have the same experience. I also read a lot of first parent blogs. I’ve noticed that there are a lot of first mothers blogging out there, but not so many first fathers. I sometimes read adoptive parents’ blogs as well. For full disclosure, I often avoid potential adoptive parents’ blogs. I find most of them too painful to read.
When I started out blogging, I only read other adoptees’ blogs. These were the blogs I felt most comfortable reading. They didn’t often challenge me and if they did, I didn’t continue reading for a while. At the time, I was so new to everything and I was really in a fragile place. Slowly I started to read other blogs that did challenge me. I added to my reader blogs of other adoptees who I don’t always agree with. Those thoughts challenged me in new ways. My views didn’t always change, but I did look at things in a new light. Sometimes, those opposite views actually helped to strengthen my own views. I’m a firm believer in learning all sides of an issue for a more well-rounded view, and reading thoughts from a different perspective helped me to understand why I felt the way that I did, and why I didn’t feel the same way.
As time went on, I started to read first mother blogs (and one first father blog). Some of my favorite bloggers are first mothers. I have learned a lot from reading those blogs. I know that like adoptees, not all first mothers (and fathers) feel the same about adoption. They all had different experiences, and different circumstances. They feel differently from one another and have different views. Some have had good experiences in reunion, some have had bad experiences. In many ways, that’s similar to adoptees. I am often blown away at the similar emotions. I once read a blog post from a natural mother that described my post-reunion visit emotions to a T. We felt the same emotions, had the same fears, and used a lot of the same words to describe them. I wasn’t expecting that. I have learned from many of these great women, including insights on how my own first mother might feel about certain things. It's helped our communication and our relationship. I also find that I respect her more knowing a bit of the reasoning behind why she sometimes acts the way she does. That's not to say she feels the exact same way as these women do, but I'm a lot more forgiving than I once was.
That being said, there are other first mother blogs that I shy away from. Sometimes blogs veer into the “them vs. us” and I don’t like that. I don’t agree with trying to divide the community or putting blame on one part of the triad. I’m not interested in playing the “my pain is greater than your pain” game that sometimes occurs online in our community. I tend to walk away from those blogs for a while. When I’m feeling stronger, I’ll go back and read them sometimes, but I can’t always handle it. I feel for women whose children have rejected them. I really and truly do and I wish things were different for them. But I'm also not that person. I didn't reject my first family. If anything, I was rejected by them. So I don't like to play that game where I'm automatically the bad guy or where the adoptee always has all the power. In some situations, we don't. Then again, I tend to not like any blog (adoption or otherwise) that deals with absolutes. If anything, I've learned to appreciate the grey over the last few years.
I also recently started to read some adoptive parents’ blogs. I do discriminate though. I only read the blogs of those that are at least trying to get it. There are some great adoptive parents out there, and some have fantastic blogs. Some are adoptees themselves (our Rebecca comes to mind!) and some are really doing the best they can for their children by educating themselves. Again, I think you have to at least try to understand all sides of an issue, and I read the blogs of those parents who are doing their best to learn the other side of things. I don’t tend to read the blogs by adoptive parents who belittle adult adoptees, or try to tell people that they are the perfect parents so their children will never feel any negative effects of adoption. Those blogs just trigger me and I can’t always handle that.
I often come across ideas I don’t agree with. Sometimes I don’t agree with them more than others. My preferred method is to walk away from my computer for at least an hour. I don’t like to comment when I’m riled up. I might post a comment if I feel I can be respectful. If I don’t think I can be respectful, I walk away for good. I didn’t used to be that way, but I had a few commenters on my own blog be disrespectful and I know how much it hurts. I truly believe that everyone should have their own space to write and I don’t like the idea of others coming into that space just to be hurtful. I fully support the idea that if you put it out there others can and will comment. You can’t control the Internet. But I’m more of a fan of a commentary on my own blog, in my own space. I don’t do it often, but if I feel strongly about whatever the post was about, I will blog about it on my own. It’s my own way of dealing with things I guess.
Overall, I think that blogging takes a lot of guts. It takes a lot to put a piece of yourself out there for others to comment on, challenge, or disagree with. I for one have found many great benefits that outweigh the risks, but it's not always easy.