Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Adoption Blogger Interview Project 2013

Adoption Blogger Interview Project 2013
I have really enjoyed participating in the Adoption Blogger Interview Project.  I have read interviews in the past from some of my favorite bloggers, like K from Letters to You and LisaAnne from Living Through Today, but this is the first time I volunteered myself.

I was matched with April from R. Sativus.  It was a pleasure to read most of her blog and get to know her a little bit.  April is a talented writer and an adoptive mom, and her story is fascinating.

Head over to her blog to read my answers to her questions, and keep reading for April's answers to my questions.  You can read more interviews for 2013 here on the Open Adoption Bloggers site.

Heather:  I blog to keep a record of my family—an online journal, if you will.  My audience is relatively small and consists of family and friends.  Why do you blog, and who is your audience?
April:  I blog to not be alone. When I started this blog, I was in the middle of a hiatus from the outside world, practically a hermit. I met new people and made new friends, and it kept me from completely withdrawing into myself. I think that's why I was writing less and less after I went back to work a few months ago--blogging would have actually been too much social interaction for me. My audience is the world I don't know personally;none of my friends know about it, and out of my family, only my husband and my sister, and she rarely reads.

I understand from reading your blog that your journey to adopt was atypical.  Will you sum up your journey for my readers?
Is it atypical? Everyone has their own path. We started trying to conceive in early 2006, a couple months after our engagement. I knew I wanted a big family, and my youngest brother is adopted, so no matter how many biological children we were able to have, adoption always seemed perfectly appropriate to me. Ian agreed that sounded reasonable, and as it became more and more of a challenge to conceive, adoption looked better and better all by itself. A little over a year ago, we decided to quit the conception game and focus solely on foster adoption. 

You share on your blog some of the challenges you and your husband faced in getting custody of your daughter.  How do you decide what to share and what to keep private?
That's an easy one. If I'm okay with it being read in open court, it's fair game. Even before my blog, which is protected freedom of speech, became an issue, I stuck to that guideline.

I loved when you wrote a post about adoption.  My favorite quote is, "I’ve said that adoption feels right in a way that trying never has; that’s not exactly true. Trying was all well and good for the first two or three years, but it lost its shine for me somewhere along the way. It’s well past time now to get back to the plan, and the plan was always parenting. Adoption feels right because it’s always been right, always been part of the plan.  My relief is not from moving on to a second choice, but from abandoning a dead end and continuing down the road that we were already traveling, the road to our family."  Will you talk more about this?
Adoption is hope. Whether or not we're approved for foster adoption is completely within our control. It's not something that's subject to how well I do or don't respond to medication. When there's a fault in your own body, you feel helpless, at the mercy of someone or something outside of yourself. Add to that the choices I've had to make because of other people's choices, and it's just a recipe for anger, frustration, and depression. Adoption is something that was here before, something that's still here, unaffected by infertility and infidelity. Adoption is a chance at normal.

There are many stereotypes of adoption.  Have you encountered adoption stereotypes, and how do you cope with that?
We've been lucky enough to come across more positive stereotypes than negative so far, but one negative sticks out for me. When we told Ian's parents our plans to foster adopt, his mother made a comment about 'unless they're too aggressive.' That really upset me; I have never been able to understand how anyone can arbitrarily dismiss any child, for any reason. No one knows how a biological child will behave, and yet it's okay, no matter what. An adopted child who isn't a perfect angel calls for a flurry of I-told-you-so's. It's a crappy double standard. I like to think we made it clear that this is our family, and our decision, and that no discrimination will be tolerated between Abby and any of our other children. 

How do you think your experience with infertility shaped your parenting?
I think it's caused a lot of tears, on my part. It's hard to parent someone else's child who should have been yours. But that pain is as much caused by infidelity as infertility.

Reading through your blog posts, I've noticed that you often refer to other people's blogs and the inspiration you get from them.  Are you surprised at how interactive blogging can be?  What are some of the advantages and challenges of being part of the blogging community?
Oh, I love it! It's amazing how sometimes such a large group of people can all discuss the same item so intelligently and articulately. But then there are the times, just like in everyday life, when someone's opinion is just, well, wrong. There are advantages in that, too, though. I can click away and not comment much more easily than I can just walk off from someone talking to me in person!

I love reading about your passions—writing, sewing, cooking, art.  What have been some of your favorite projects?
My favorite sewing projects have been the ones I did for giveaways, at the beginning of this year. I did keychains, a book cover, and a bag. Fortunately, different people won each time! I really enjoyed making something for someone I'd never met, having to figure out what they'd like best from their online presence. Investigative sewing! 

What is your biggest pet peeve?
Isn't it funny how it's a different answer every time someone asks this question? It's usually the most recent irritation. Right now all I can think of is when drivers break down the makeline the wrong way. Cheeser first, then trays!! Outside of that, chewing. Mouth open or closed, I can't stand the sound of chewing.

What is your favorite meal to cook for your family?
Thanksgiving dinner! Roast turkey, potatoes, gravy, veggies, green bean casserole, pies, pies, pies!

Is there a question you wish someone would ask you?  What is, and what is the answer?
 'What can I do to help you?' The answer varies depending on the situation, but I recognize that I have a hard time asking for help, and it's much easier when someone asks what they can do.

Anything else you would like to share? 
I really appreciate the great list of questions, Heather. It's been a pleasure being your interviewer/interviewee!


Betty Anne Davidson said...

I absolutely loved your first question about why you blog and why does April blog. With your permission, I might tuck that question away for next year's interview project!

Heather said...

Betty Anne, please feel to use that question! How flattering :)


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