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On Tweens, Teens, Adoption, and Parent Blogging

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9 replies on “On Tweens, Teens, Adoption, and Parent Blogging”

Sigh. This totally resonates on so many levels. I pulled back on the adoption writing because I’m in a place where I don’t want to break anything, and I know soon, he’ll be internetting, if he isn’t already.

And then there is my kids, with all their things. I just don’t know what I should or could or even WANT to put out there anymore. So I don’t unless I feel like it’s comfortable for me.

If you find the answer, tell me? Okay. Because I’m lost with you.

Raising hand along with you and Danielle.

I have strugged with similar challenges and questions and it is a primary reason my blog has become stale over the years. To adequately write, share, support, would have required me to teeter on that fine line of my story versus her story. To share a struggle I am having would require sharing what caused that struggle and as you note so eloquently that is not allowed. Someone else wrote the rules and I follow them.

Like you, this spills over into my parenting of my two kept sons as well as my adoption issues. When my oldest son suffered a brain injury I desparately needed to talk, write, vent, etc. would have loved to reach out to a community of experienced mothers. I was met with friends railing about HIPPA, his feelings, etc. How was I supposed to function?

I am told gifted writers are able to do it. I used to think I had some talent (as I believe you and Danielle do). I joined memoir groups, read books, etc. Stumped. More importantly, beyond my need to connect with others, is my need/practice of using writing to organize my thoughts. I still do that, privately but with less effect than if I had done it more publicly.

Finally, while you are younger than my own daughter, I did surrender my only daughter and am raising two teen sons. If I can ever help, lend an ear, feel free to reach out. Happy to listen and tell you how I handled things.

I obviously can’t quite understand the adoption part, for your boys, your daughter, or you, but I do sympathize.

The tween boy thing, though? Ugh. Mine is only eight and I’ve pulled back substantially starting about two years ago because he already had opinions; he already asked me not to share stories or post pictures. But Yes! to needing community! Tween (ish) boys are emotional creatures, and it’s sure to get even more interesting…

I’m right with you! My son no longer even wants me to TAKE his picture, let alone share it with anyone. I pretty much had to give him a written, notarized statement that the picture I took of him in his Christmas PJs was ONLY being sent to Granny, since the PJs were from her. And even then it was an ordeal.

I stopped writing about my own adoption story because while processing my feelings about my closed adoption, Liam’s birth mother was reading along and was upset by it, even though my feelings about my own adoption are very different then my feelings about his adoption… sigh… it’s just all so intertwined.

I agree though that we still need to share and get the support from our community. I’m just not sure how.

YASSSSS. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. I am with you on the Whose Story Is It? journey. (I think there might be a Dr. Seuss parody in there, in fact. “Her story. My story. Fight, fight, fight! How many stories can I write?”) Gracie hasn’t really expressed any editorial opinions yet. I’ve asked a few times about certain events, and she’ll answer, but the bigger picture doesn’t bother her yet. But it’s worrying *me*. For now, I’m trying to keep the story in *my* perspective and leave enough details out that the event sounds more universal. But I’m with you – let’s figure out some newer, better rules for our community and for US. Because, honestly: I need help.

What a great post!! I don’t often write about my sons (I didn’t do it even when they were babies), but it’s mostly because I have so many of my own issues to write about. And… because nobody reads my blog, so I don’t really have a community anymore.

I’m lucky that my oldest son LOVES to have me write about him. He has actually requested that I do so on occasion. And he’s 13, almost 14. Things are going very well in our relationship and raising him and his 11 year old brother so far. Perhaps that’s why I don’t feel the need to blog about them.

However, I TOTALLY agree that it’s sad that these “unwritten” rules of an all powerful internet and online parenting police are NOT necessarily “the right way.” I also wish other parents would share more… and I am oh, soooooo thankful for those who do share some — like you. I’m glad that you brought this subject up. I hope you can figure out your next steps.

I’m right there with you.

I rarely write specifically about adoption & when I do it is in very general terms. There are a few reasons for it, the biggest one being It’s Not My Story to Tell…parts of it are, of course, but they all overlap so much and I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes by telling too much of theirs along with mine. So I err on the side of not sharing.

And then there is not wanting to upset or hurt the kids’ first mother. Things are Not Good for her in ways that are None Of Anyone’s Business, and have been for quite a while. (Since long before the kids entered our lives, but I of course internalized her problems as All Because Of Adoption & spent a long time feeling guilty about it before I was set straight on that account…which doesn’t mean I never feel guilty but at least intellectually I know these issues are a factor in her decision to place the kids, not the other way around.) But how do I share that open adoption isn’t all I hoped it would be, that we haven’t seen her since the youngest was born and that we’re only sporadically in touch, without sharing why? If I don’t share any reasons it sounds like I am an asshole who isn’t keeping up my end of the bargain but if I say it is because she has blown off visits & is now in a circumstance where we can’t visit her it implies the Not Good stuff that is None Of Anyone’s Business…so I just don’t write about it at all. (Crap. I need to make a fake name now so that anyone reading this can’t see who I am. Because I’ve really said too much, but I guess it’s okay if no one knows who’s saying it…)

I wish things were different—for her AND for the children, who have all these questions and don’t understand why they can’t see her or talk to her. I knew this wasn’t going to be a walk in the park for anyone involved but I really hoped that as long as I kept things going in good faith it would be easier for the children. And it’s really bugging me that nothing I’ve done has made a damn bit of difference & my children might as well have a closed adoption for all the good any of my efforts have done.

Okay, done complaining now. This resonated with me, clearly…

[…] Refer to Jenna’s recent post again for thoughts on this.  What Maryanne alludes to has come up many times in the more than ten years I have been blogging or speaking at conferences.  You can search this blog and find many posts that speak to voice, using my voice, sharing my thoughts and the possible impact on my reunion. […]

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