Saturday, August 28, 2010

"Quick Niles, pull up the ladder, she's found our clubhouse!"

Last night I thought of that quote from the TV show Frasier. It felt appropriate, given the circumstances.

I suppose it was bound to happen sooner or later. I've had this blog for nearly a year now. I should be surprised it didn't happen sooner. But it didn't happen sooner, and I was lulled into a false sense of security. I felt like my blog was one of the last safe little corners of the Internet.

But last night, it happened - the meanies found my clubhouse. And they had a lot to say. Thank goodness for comment moderation!

So far, I have published only one of the comments I got - the commenter disagreed very agreeably, which I appreciate. I have no problem with that sort of not-so-mean meanie. But the others weren't as nice. For some reason, I can't bring myself to delete their comments on my moderation page. I can't read them all the way through - I feel angry and sick halfway through - and yet I can't bring myself to delete them. I could publish then, I suppose, and leave follow-up comments trying to refute their nastiness and explain my position. But I've seen that done on other blogs, and it never works. The angrier a person is, the less likely they are to react with anything other than more anger.

I understand that. I understand the psychology of that kind of behavior, anyway. And I know that there are meanies out there (I've discussed them at length on this very blog), and that for many women, many years ago, adoption was a bad thing.

I know all that, but that doesn't mean I want any of it anywhere near my blog. There's enough anger and bile and filth out there (I'm looking at you, Ms. I'm-going-to-liberally-sprinkle-every-comment-with-the-F-word). I can't stop any of that. But I'm sure as heck not going to give it so much as a pixel on my blog. I'm not going to entertain or encourage or even try to understand that kind of rage and hatred. It has no place here. None.

The invasion of the meanies brought to the front of my mind something that's been floating around for a while now - what is the purpose of this blog?

When I started it last year, I wrote it for P and M and for Roo when she gets bigger and can read and understand. And I wrote it for me, so I'd have a record of this significant time in my life. It honestly never occurred to me that anyone else would want to read it. My mother, maybe. Close friends, if I ever made any. Family, perhaps. But I didn't write it for any of them. It wasn't their blog. It was Roo's.

My, how things have changed! I had 89 followers when I checked this morning, and thanks to Google Analytics I know that I have plenty of regular readers beyond those who follow. It's kind of amazing. And overwhelming. And sometimes creepy and weird. I've had moments of, "Who are all you people and why are you reading my blog?"

When I first started to get blog followers, I panicked. I considered making my blog private. But I also got these amazing, kind, meaningful e-mails from people who were touched by my story and who thanked me for being willing to share. So I kept my blog public.

But as time passes, and I tell more and more, I still question that decision. I've seen people on other adoption blogs gloss over parts of their stories because they (rightly) feel that the stories have almost a sacred quality, and they don't want to cheapen them or tell them to just anyone. And I think, am I doing that? Have I cheapened Roo's beautiful story by sharing too much? Do I share too much?

I think, maybe I should stop with the story parts. Maybe I should make it not about Roo at all and more about me and things after placement. Maybe I should start a new, private blog for the Roo stuff so I can keep it special, just for her. And I have, but I worry that maybe the damage, if that's the right word, has been done. I think I'll always worry that I've said too much, things I can't take back.

Blah. My brain is a jumble of this sort of thought at the moment. I wish the jumble would settle a bit so I could sift through the rubble and try to arrive at some sort of decision or conclusion. My mother told me that my blog is important, that it has helped people and changed their minds and hearts, and that Roo will appreciate it when she's older. I'm not sure what I think.

What I do know is I don't want meanies hanging around here. I'm not saying that adoption is absolutely always a wonderful thing. But this blog isn't just about any old adoption. It is about Roo's adoption, which was a wonderful thing. Call it denial or stupidity on my part if you want, but I'd rather not hear about adoptions gone wrong. I'd rather not know why the meanies are meanies. Knowing why they're angry isn't going to make me a better, happier person. It's not going to change how I feel about the adoptions closest to my heart. I'd rather just stay away.

And I'd rather they stayed away from me, too. Nothing and no one in this world will ever convince me that placing Roo wasn't the best thing I could have done for her. Nope, sorry. No talking me out of that one. And this blog is still, at heart, a blog for Roo. So there.

So consider this my official notice. I'm posting a sign outside my treehouse. No meanies allowed! I'm not going to share or spread your anger, and I'm not going to change my mind. Play nice here or find a meanie treehouse to play in.

19 comments:

Savannah said...

Mean comments are horrid! I couldn't believe I was getting them. All I was doing was blogging about my own experience, my own feelings. People started telling me MY feelings weren't valid. I couldn't believe that! I think comment moderation is wonderful. I was like you; I couldn't make myself delete the mean ones. I will NOT publish the mean comments. My blog is not the place for that and I don't want to give them even a second of a spotlight on my blog. But I couldn't delete them. So my husband did. :) He noticed each time I read them, I would be in a bad mood. So he deleted them. At first I was upset, I thought I wanted to save them. Why? I guess so I could let them pull me down even further. But I feel so much better after deleting those comments. I don't need that kind of negativity in my life or on my blog.
Oh, and I LOVE your blog!

Rachel said...

Yay for you keeping those meanie-faces out! I'm sorry people are mean to you. I guess I just don't understand the birthmom perspective, because when I tell someone we're hoping to adopt, it's nothing but warm-fuzzies coming my way. I suppose on occasion I get the "But you're too young to be thinking about a family now," which is frustrating, but not outwardly negative. I'm sorry that your courageous and loving and selfless act has been treated with such contempt. You're a wonderful and beautiful mother to your daughter! I know you say you are not her mom, and I get what you're saying that P and M are Roo's parents, but you made a very motherly decision by placing her, and it is incredible to see that you don't regret that decision, even when it is difficult for you. God bless you, Jill!

LeMira said...

I know what you mean. . . but I want to thank you, too, for sharing Roo's story and your feelings. You've opened my eyes and many hearts. Opposition is in all things, unfortunately. Satan is ever-present, but I can still feel the spirit when I read your blog. Love ya! Love your blog!

Nikki Bly said...

Very well put. I heartily agree that not every adoption is perfect for everyone involved, especially ones that happened decades ago. However, there are some of us out there who have had a great adoption experience and know in our hearts that what we did was right for the child. Thank you again for all of your insight.

Margaret said...

I am sorry the meanies have invaded. It bothers me when people can't understand that while they might have had a bad experience doesn't meant that other people can have good experiences.

Personally I don't think you share too much and I like how you acknowledge your pain then and now.

audra said...

Yeah, I'm pretty sure I know where they linked to your blog from. I still read her blog and want to comment SOOO badly to argue with the raging haters on there, but I don't want them tracing back to my blog and spreading their anger in my personal space too. I love your blog Jill, you have come such a long way from when I first met you. You are incredible and someone I feel honored to know. Way to stand your ground!

Dobby said...

Jill, let me start by saying that I'm not one of the meanies:) You don't know me and I don't even remember how I came across your blog now but I continue to read your story because it inspires me. Two years ago my sister placed a beautiful baby girl for adoption with a wonderful family. She was a drug addict and it was the best thing for the baby! We have custody of her other two children (ages 14 and 12 now) but I just couldn't see myself raising another child especially since my sisters other two children came with so much emotional baggage. i felt as though I needed to focus everything on them. What a wonderful blessing adoption has been in our lives. We are lucky enough to have an open adoption! It has been such a healing experience for Kali and Kaiden (my sisters kids). They can see their sister any time they want to. Both families feel that the other is just an extension. In fact, we just went on a weekend camping trip together and had a fabulous time. We will be eternally grateful for Mike and Julie for allowing us into their lives. I'm so grateful they do not feel threatened by us. We know they are the parents but baby Marin will grow up knowing where she came from and knowing she is loved by two wonderful families! Ignore the meanies, Jill, they just don't have any concept nor should they be judging anyone else. You're a wonderful person and little Roo is so lucky to have a birth mother who loves her enough to give her more!!

Kara Witt said...

Sorry for people being mean. I decided to follow because we have adoption in common. I am sorry if that offended you or angered you. It is just nice reading and hearing about others' experiences. I created my blog just to channel out emotions.

jgirl said...

Listen to your Momma Jill. I think you have helped so many more people with the sharing of your story than you'll ever really know. I won't go into why I follow your blog because I'm sure you can figure that out.=0) I have loved to read your story and see how much you have grown and it does my heart good. People will be mean, whether you want them to or not and sometimes instead of holding on to what they have to say, it's just easier to delete and move on. You know what? You ARE awesome! What you did for little Roo was the kindest most self-less thing anyone could ever do for a child and it was right and beautiful and don't let anyone EVER take that away from you! Be gone with the meanies, you have no power here!
(((hugs)))

Brittany said...

I am so glad I stumbled onto your blog. I loved hearing your story and feelings. I also would totally understand if you chose to go private.

Sarah Buttenwieser said...

You're writing from the heart & I say bah to meanies but really bravo to you for honesty & for positivity.

People periodically give me a hard time on my blog about too much sharing & I just feel like for me, for us, it feels okay. I believe in our story -- adoption, teenager etc. I try for honesty & compassion (you'll have to tell me if I succeed). I hope that when Saskia reads her story if she even wants to she'll feel that the line I often think about "more love is more love" in regards to open adoption is true for her too.

Lara said...

Very well said. I am often in denial about meanies - and I think that's okay. They aren't gonna change, and they aren't gonna change me. So let them stew in their own bile and we'll have all the fun!

Rachel said...

I second what your mom said. And I love the personal stories about your pregnancy, birth, etc. They inspire me and teach me. Don't stop! :)

Bellatrix and Narcissa said...

There will always be meanies :( Sad, isn't it? But I wanted you to know that I have appreciated your blog being open--and hearing your story. As an adoptive parent (a very recent one), it really helps. It is so nice to have perspective--the other perspective--so I will better understand and appreciate what our birth mom and ALL the other birth moms out there are doing for us :)

Amander said...

I hope you don't go private - don't let the meanies ruin it. Your blog is a wonderful expression of yourself - I love reading it.

Jennifer said...

I'm one of those that have been reading but not following. I admire you and I know it must have been excruciating to place your baby for adoption after having spent time with her. You are an honorable person and your blog will help others to be honorable too. Just delete mean comments. Don't even finish reading them, as soon as you can tell they are meanies...delete! Keep blogging!

Bean Sprouts said...

I'm sorry you got mean comments, yet another hard aspect of being a birth mom. They judge and say horrible things.....but we know the truth, we know why we made the choices we made, and most important: we know that we love our little ones with all our hearts, and what else really matters?

Mary said...

I am SO SORRY about the meanies and I feel partly responsible for quoting you so extensively. It takes a great amount of courage to share your story and stand up for what you believe. You have touched many people and Roo is one lucky little girl to someday read about all that you have gone through out of LOVE for her!

AubreyMo said...

Meanies make me want to throw up. Or pull my hair out. Or pull THEIR hair out. I'm sorry you've even had to see those comments, as you've done NOTHING to deserve them. I love your blog - I feel like I've really gotten to know you. And as for sharing your story, sure, there are those who would argue that adoption is sacred and shouldn't be shared with anybody - and I'm not arguing that it is a very special, emotional and spiritual experience, but adoption is different for everyone and as long as you, P and M (and some day, Roo) know where you stand on it, that's all that matters.