Everything Is Not Everything: On Blogging/Social Media & The Whole Picture (+ Adoption)

Thank you so much for all of your AWESOME response to our news about adopting. It's crazy because we've been in the process for months, but this is truly the first time it feels ... I don't know, "real" is not the right word - exciting? Fun? Like a big, giant party on social media just for us?

Something like that.

As you guys know, I tend to wait on sharing big announcements on the blog and social media for quite a while after they've happened or been decided on. Most of it just to simply have some semblance of privacy, and so we can celebrate well with our friends and family IRL - but also as a protection mechanism.

I'm a verbal processor, and I know if I were to go with my natural instinct and quickly share something online right after it happened, I may share too much information, wrong information, or something that's just not helpful to me or my family. And so, knowing myself, I've set up a guard to not share as much in "real time," but instead to wait a few days, weeks or even months after something has happened to be sure what I'm sharing is not only true, but also wise in the sense of protecting my family and those around me. I'm not perfect of course, but that's the gist of how blogging works for me.

All that to say, I'm DYING to share more about the adoption process, and while some of it I just plain can't share legally, I am really sifting through how much to share in order to protect my kids - all four of them, bio and adopted. It's the common dilemma we all face in this age of rampant social media, but especially as a blogger I really struggle with what types of photos to share: what story is mine to share, what is too much information, what might come back to bite me someday, what might come back to bite my kids someday, what might my kids just someday "not like" that I shared - you get the picture.

And honestly, I don't always have those answers. Some of it is a gamble, a bet on what might happen in the future, and some of it is just remembering that I'm not painting the sistine chapel here, fighting to protect our freedom, or performing open heart surgery. I'm not changing the world with every eye watching, I'm not making history or dealing in life or death situations. And yes, while things online "live forever," common sense says that most people are not printing or screenshotting every blog or social media post I've written only to pull it out later to use on my kids. I can delete this blog with one click - and I think it's a safe bet to say it won't be of interest to a hacker someday who could probably use some sort of crazy coding to raise it from the dead.

Plus, this blog has been about a lot of things over the years, but it has never really been about my kids. It's been about me, my experiences, processes, learnings and failures. And yes, my kids can't help but come into play when writing about those things, but I do try to take great care in never reflecting poorly on them.

So here's what all this means. I WANT to write about the process, to bring awareness to adoption, the orphans, the families, the great enormous need - and so I will do that. It's a huge part of my life now, so how can I not? But I won't share everything, and I trust and know, that will be okay with you. That you will remember through it all this is a curated record of the process, a selection of highlights that don't always represent the whole picture, but that's okay, because it's protecting my family. I'm willing to bet it's the same thing you would do if you were in my shoes.

And really, it's what I'm already doing here on the blog. Everything I share here is real and true, but everything I share here is not everything. And that goes for any blog or social media post on the internet you read - you guys always remember that, right?

No matter what you see online, it's chosen. Maybe not carefully, or well, but it's been picked to be there, representing someone, some family, some people group, some business. Someone, somewhere said, "This would be cool/interesting/encouraging/beneficial to share," and so they did. But it's a snapshot, a glimpse, something that feels like everything but is really just something. 

So from someone who consistently forgets about how big "the whole picture" really is, and falls into jealously, insecurity, greed or even self-righteousness and superiority, what you see online might be real, but it's not all encompassing. And since it's not a full look at someone's life, it's not worth letting your heart get caught up in something you see online. (Preaching to myself here.)

I work hard to share honestly on the blog with you in hopes that my story can be an encouragement to your story. And I want to offer a balance of both the good and the bad here. But at the same time, there's always a lot of other stuff going on that I'm not sharing, and that's not because I'm not being honest with you, it's because it's private and probably ... because it's not my story to share. And I have a feeling that will be the case pretty often as our adoption story unfolds.

BUT, I do want to share as much as I can, so here's where I throw the ball into your court - what do you want to know? Who else is thinking about adoption? Who else is adopting? Where are you at in the process? Any burning questions can I answer? I've already gotten quite a few, but if you have something you want to know shoot me an email or leave a comment here or on social media. I honestly don't know much yet since we're still at the beginning, but I'll tell you what I can!

ps. And nope, I promise this will not just be an "adoption blog" going forward - you can expect it to remain as it's been, with just a bit of adoption sprinkled in. 


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