When we talked, often, (at Family Focus Adoption Services) about me starting this blog, I put it off for many many months. I was afraid that I would run out of things to say. The people around me weren’t worried about that (hmm….) but I was. I sensed, and then realized, that while it may appear that I have a lot to say, I actually say the same things over and over. One of my colleagues pointed out that that is also true of the many columnists who write for the newspaper and whom I never tire of reading. That’s true.
But the other day, reading something or other somewhere or other, there was a line written that grabbed my attention. It was about someone sliding over the line between writing a blog and becoming a diarist. Immediately upon reading that, I knew that that was a line that I worry about.
My intention in creating this blog was to get the people reading it to think about our kids almost as though the kids were their own. I hoped that readers would respond to the situation of our kids some way or another. The ideal, of course, would be that they would go so far as to adopt one or another of them. Short of that, was that they would at least keep the kids in the forefront of their thinking. Perhaps they would think of a person whom they could encourage to adopt – or help with an adoption.
Maybe my readers would think of some way to help us stay in business. One of our board members – a subscriber to the blog – found a site that encouraged people to donate a dollar to the charity of the day (Philanthroper.com). I’d never even heard of them. But he contacted them; they liked what he told them; they took us on; and that brought us in nearly a thousand dollars out of the blue. Significant money for a small nonprofit.
So that was my intention. I did not want this to be a blog about me. I did not want to be a diarist (as I see that term). But walking that line is hard. People tell me – and I know that it’s true – that I have a million stories. But most of those stories are personal in that they belong to other people. I haven’t the right to make them public the way the Internet makes things public. Getting permission, as my son Luis has been happy to give me, works sometimes. As does disguising people (“Ted”). Again though: sometimes. If someone is dead, it feels fairer to tell a story about them. But even in all those circumstances, privacy matters, because respect matters.
So I am not sure where I am going to go with the blog. “Ted” will be visiting every weekend beginning Friday, until he moves in. Then my nearly sixty one year old self will have an eleven year old living in the house full time. Something that hasn’t happened here in thirty years. Thirty years. Half of my lifetime ago. I was only thirty myself the last time an eleven year old lived here full time. Carter had only recently lost to Reagan. That really was a long time ago.
I have forgotten a lot about what that was like, living with an eleven year old. But I am starting to remember…and what I am first remembering is that my time was not my own. I can’t imagine that the blog will not be impacted one way or the other.
I hope it’s for the good.