Suddenly Mummy is a single adoptive mummy and foster carer, here she shares why she blogs, and what blogging means to her…
Even before I formally applied to be a foster carer, I decided that I would have a blog documenting the whole experience and that it would be called ‘Suddenly Mummy’. I’m not sure what motivated me at the time and it was actually months after I was approved that I got around to making that first post, but once I got my first comment, I was hooked!
I guess my imaginary future blog was a bit like my imaginary future child. I had thought about it and named it, but hadn’t really got any clue as to how that might work out in real life! I was new to blogging, had no idea how to get my blog ‘out there’ and not much desire to find out really. At first it was only about writing (which I love), documenting moments I didn’t want to forget, and keeping distant friends and family in the loop with what was happening. I thought that if nobody else ever saw it, that would be fine with me.
Yeah, well, that didn’t last long. Pretty soon I noticed that my stats page would tell me how many page views I had, where my readers had come from, and which of my posts were most popular. I started checking . . . it got addictive! When I started getting the odd comment, I found the feeling of connecting with and hearing from the outside world strangely exhilarating. I wanted more!
Then I was introduced to the blog of a friend of a friend, and through that, to #WASO. I had never even heard of a linky before and had to ask for tech support to work out how to put the #WASO badge on my blog! But once I started linking up each week, my page views, comments and other stats practically exploded. Even better than that, I discovered a whole host of other superb blogs.
I had found a community I didn’t even know I was looking for.
I suppose there are some who would think it a bit sad to get so much out of an online community. Why don’t you go out and meet some ‘real’ people?” they might say. Easier said than done!
I am a single parent and carer. I have one adopted child, and I also foster children aged 0-3. That means that during the day I am running around like a crazy woman, and in the evenings I am tethered to the house. I do get to meet other foster carers at mandatory training and things like that but, although I spend a lot of time with other families with young children, I don’t actually know a single other family who have adopted a child within the last 20 years.
It takes a lot of time, perseverance, effort and kind babysitters to get out there and meet brand new people. Thankfully, my laptop isn’t so high maintenance. Sitting here in the evenings, blogging and reading blogs, I get to ‘meet’ adopters and adoptees from all walks of life, with all types of experience, and from all over the world – impossible for me to achieve in the ‘real world’.
Added to that, I’ve found that connecting with adopter bloggers has not only given me an insight into adoption (and everything I’ve got to come!), but has also opened up a whole new dimension for me as a foster carer. Now, when I’m preparing a child to go to their new adoptive family, I have such a clear idea of the experiences that family may have gone through; their hopes, wishes and dreams, their heartaches and yearnings.
I have known the longing of childlessness, but I have never tried to have a birth child. I have never been through the dashed hopes of infertility, the trauma of miscarriages or the indignity of infertility treatment. I adopted my little one after I had fostered him for a year so I have never had to leaf through a magazine of heartbreaking images of children’s faces, looking for ‘the one’. I have little in common with many adopters, but through reading honest and open blogs, I can add the experience and knowledge of so many others to my own.
Now, when I’m preparing to meet that new adopter for the first time, I have a clearer picture of where they have come from. I can let myself walk in their shoes a little, understand some of their anxieties, prepare myself for their questions, and even answer the questions they might not ask.
Hopefully that makes me a better foster carer, and a better parent.
When we choose to connect ourselves to others, to learn from them and embrace their perspectives, then we all come away enriched by the process. As I continue blogging, I discover that what was meant to be just an outlet for me has become much more than that. And if anyone thinks that’s a bit ‘sad’, then I’m ok with it!
You can read Suddenly Mummy’s blog here, she’s also a regular contributor to the Weekly Adoption Shout Out.