Tag Archives: The Puffin Diaries

How Twitter Changed my Life.

Today Sarah from The Puffin Diaries tells us how her life has changed since joining twitter.

Last week I attended a conference. I stood on stage next to my friend, fellow adopter and founder of The Open Nest Charity, Amanda Boorman, and talked, all be it briefly, about how The Adoption Social came to be. We then went on to introduce and show, for the very first time, the new animation commissioned by The Open Nest and based on information that The Adoption Social had collated from the on-line community. At that moment, I couldn’t have felt prouder of being part of the adoption on-line community.

Throughout the day I also spoke to many people about the support they could find on line, about the fantastic friendships I’d forged with people I’d met through Twitter and how wonderful it is to read so many amazing adoption blogs.

Even as I write this, it all seems a little surreal.

Nearly three years ago I joined twitter and I didn’t really know what was going to happen. Many people I know had said “oh I can’t get along with that twitter” or “I don’t get it”.Tweeting

I think it is a little bit of an odd space if you don’t really know why you’re there. Especially if you already do Facebook where the majority of your friends hang out. But if you have a cause or are looking for some like minded folk,, then it can be a really positive place to be.

My first twitter name was @adoptionbliss, slightly tongue in cheek because life was far from bliss. We were experiencing regular violent out bursts and I think it was around the time of fire starting, running away and stealing too.

Something strange happened; maybe I tweeted something or said “hello” to another adopter on twitter, but suddenly lots of people were saying “hello back” and suggesting people for me to follow.

I must confess that from that point on I became massively addicted to twitter.

So nearly three years ago I took the plunge to join a social media thingy. One that often gets bad press for bullying, bitching and general hating of others. In my three years I’ve only ever had a couple of bad experiences on twitter and they were quickly dealt with by blocking.

Instead what I’ve found is the most INCREDIBLE source of support, love, empathy, compassion, understanding and a sense of belonging. I have friends who understand my life. I have friends who are there online but are also at the end of the telephone. I have friends that I can make plans to see all of whom I met on twitter.

I am a co-founder of The Adoption Social a site which aims to support the on-line community because of twitter.

I have my own blog The Puffin Diaries, where I write, all though not that often recently, about adoption because of twitter.

I am a trustee for a progressive and creative thinking adoption support charity The Open Nest because of twitter..

And I’m talking at conferences because of twitter.

But most of all and most importantly, for me, is I am now no longer ever alone because of twitter.

Three years on my life has changed quite dramatically because one day I decided to joined twitter.

So if you read this site but have not yet taken the plunge to join twitter, why not give it a go today.

Here’s our post on how to set up an account safely.

Oh and don’t forget, once you’ve joined to come and say hello find us @adoptionsocial.

An Interview with an Adoptee – Youtube video

Today I bring you a conversation between myself, Sarah from The Puffin Diaries, and my eleven year old son, Stig. 

We talk a little about how he feels about adoption and the things he struggles with.

If you would like to interview someone you know who is involved in adoption, we would love to hear from you. It doesn’t need to be in the style of a video, it can be presented as a post or a sound cloud or any other creative way.

Meet The Blogger – The Puffin Diaries

Today we start our first of a new section called Meet the Blogger with Sarah from The Puffin Diaries.



Book – Her Fearful Symmetry – Audrey Niffenegger

Music – The Killers Direct Hits, Pharrell Williams Happy, and favourite new band – Half Moon Run

TV programme – Struggling here, not much I like at the moment but always enjoy a good detective programme that’s not too violent or gruesome, think Poirot or Lewis. Or something with Kirsty Allsopp making things. 

Food – New Lebanese cook book for Christmas that I’m looking forward to using.

Pass time – Currently involved with local pantomime, crocheting and blogging.


 What is your biggest challenge as an adoptive parent?

Oh there are so many aren’t there? The challenges have changed as well over the years, with each age, new school year, different environment and so much more, something new presents. I would say my biggest challenge in most recent times has been to stay positive. In the last year the realisation that a family life I had once dreamed of, is never really likely to happen, has hit me hard. I had a very laid back up bringing, my parents socialised a lot and we went a long, or there were often people at our home. I would have like a similar life, I knew it would never be easy but I’m not sure I understood how much I had hoped for would be lost. I suppose in that sense I’ve almost been mourning a loss, and during that time visualising the future has seemed quite bleak. However, I am coming to appreciate that although the future may not be as I imagined, it will just be different and that does not mean that it will necessarily be bad. It’s also made me address the need to ensure that there are aspects of my life that do satisfy my own needs. That way I can be stronger and accepting of some of the tougher times that family life brings.


Where do you get your blogging inspiration from?PuffinDiaries

Inspiration comes from my family of course, although I do also include posts about my own interests on my blog, cooking and photography mostly. I find I am more inspired when I’m emotionally and mentally in a good place. If I write when I’m feeling depressed it seems like I’m whinging and moaning a lot. That is why I haven’t write as much in the recent past. Being depressed does however produce some rather dark poetry, however I’m not sure I would ever want anyone else to be privy to it. I’m also inspired by other bloggers and the things they write about. For example I recently wrote about my one word New Year’s resolution after reading another bloggers post.


Who is your favourite non-adoption blogger?

I do really enjoy reading blogs, not just adoption ones, but there really isn’t enough hours in the day to read as many, as often as I would like. However, if I do get a chance I love to catch up with Older Mum in a Muddle. I just love the way she writes and her outlook on life is always inspiring, she makes me want to do a better job of things, blogging and life.


If you could take your children anywhere in the world to see something where would you go?

Forgetting all the horrors that travelling with children with early life trauma can bring, I would take my children to South Africa. It’s the country I was born in and I have a huge amount of love for the place. I’d so like to take them on safari and see all the wild animals, it’s such an incredible experience. Maybe after South Africa we’d have a week in Mauritius, another beautiful place I’ve been privileged enough to visit, so Stig and I can learn to scuba dive. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and I have told him that I’ll now wait until we can learn together. The reality is that the long flight and dramatically different environment would probably be too much for both the boys to cope with at the moment, but maybe one day.


What makes you and/or your family laugh?

My children can both make me laugh with their funny antics, although Tink particularly has a sharp and witty, almost caustic sense of humour. My husband also has a great sense of humour and some of my fondest memories of us together are of times when we’ve laughed endlessly. That hasn’t happened so much in recent times, but when it does it completely reminds me of why I love him so much. As a family we do laugh and joke quite a lot and certain films are family favourites. With Christmas just passed those that spring to mind are Elf and Nativity.

 So are you a blogger or even a regular tweeter with us? If so would you like to do a similar post? We have a list of questions, you select any 5 to answer and do your quick 5 as above. Contact us on our contact page or email theadoptionsocial@gmail.com and we can share the questions with you. 

My Twitter Life from @PuffinDiaries

Today, co-founder of The Adoption Social, Sarah from The Puffin Diaries tells us how she discovered Twitter…



When I joined twitter I was sceptical about it, as I think a lot of people are. I’ve had friends join, who just can’t get the hang of it or fail to see its merits. I was at the time sewing and making things, also selling vintage bits and pieces on Etsy so I joined really as a way of promoting this venture and to connect with other crafting and making folk.

I think one evening I decided to do an “adoption” search and there before me unfolded a new world.

Afraid of mixing my two personas, crafter and adopter, I opened a new Twitter account under the name @adoptionbliss. It was meant in all ways to be humorous, as bliss was far from what my life felt like at times. We were five and a half years into our adoption and it felt like a lonely place.

I tentatively reached out to a couple of people who had popped up in my search, feeling a little awkward and embarrassed; it can be very daunting taking those first steps. Almost worse than approaching a stranger at a party or gathering, in that instance there is more for you to read into, their body language, a welcoming face or a friendly smile. Easier really to detect the possibilities of rejection. Anyway in I plunged and to my surprise and delight, people seemed friendly, introduced me to others and soon I was chatting away and share snippets about myself and my family. From those early days I very much remember @BoysBehaviour, @SallyDWrites, @On_the_edge , @Purdy2233 and @jayandaitch to name a few.

I really did feel elation at having discovered a community where I could truly share my life and feel that it was understood. Initially I also found it all very addictive and soon found myself, glued to my phone or stuck behind my laptop.

The twitter community felt like such a great place to be, often much better than what was going on around me at home.

As I explained in Me and My Blog, Twitter did soon lead me into the world of blogging and the birth of The Puffin Diaries. When I started blogging I started a blog and didn’t intend for it to really be an adoption blog, I still believe that’s not really what it is. I found I was just really taken by the whole world of blogging in general. Because of this I was soon following lots of bloggers of all shapes and sizes through twitter. As my confidence grew I would make little comments were I thought appropriate, to anyone I felt seemed friendly, or whose writings I enjoyed. Soon I was building up quite a circle of twitter friends.

What I love about twitter is how very instant it is, on the most. You dip in and out, pop into conversations, and join in a feed, with whoever is about at the same time as you. Sometimes it’s very quiet and at others times you’re down to twenty characters for your response, so many have joined in.

Either way it gives me a little escapism sometimes and often makes me smile or laugh.

Other times its brilliance is in the empathy it can provide. I recently tweeted about having been in a very dark, depressive place and the amount of people who responded and contacted me to make sure I was ok was really overwhelming. People out there truly are very kind and that kindness helps feed the soul and makes the world a better place, in my mind. In return I try to support others I can see are struggling, reaching out with a few kind words is the very least I can do to help someone whose finding things tough. The adoption community on twitter are particularly good at helping each other through bad times and on a couple of occasions I know the support of many tweeters has pulled me through.

Nowadays I know I’m not as twitter crazy as I was at one time, but I still love very much, sitting down with a cup of tea and finding out what’s going on out there in twitter land. It’s never disappointing, often enlightening and always a very enjoyable place to be.

Tweet with me here @puffindiaries

The Puffin Diaries

Today Sarah from The Puffin Diaries shares how her blog came to be…


I can’t spell to save my life, my English homework was always covered in red ink. I would never have thought that I would be able to write a thing, and yet one evening I sat at my lap top and decided to start a blog. I blame it on twitter it would never have happened if it wasn’t for that pesky form of social media. I innocently signed up to that “just to have a go” and yet I suddenly discovered lots of adoption types out there, sharing their lives, the good and the bad, all in 140 characters. I then realised some shared more ….on their blogs.

 Reading other peoples blogs became addictive. The content is of course very important but the style of writing and the tone of the blog, the characters, are what draw me in. Some blogs provide you with moments of clarity about your own life, others give excellent advice, most share their experiences and in doing so invite you to join their journey.

With each post I read a seed of intrigue was planted, what was it like to write a blog?

The seed soon bloomed into a fully fledged desire to have a go, so I did.

 I’ve never been one who wanted an adoption blog, in fact my blog started off being about me. I was on a mission to change my life and giving up alcohol for a year was going to be the answer to all my life problems. Turned out that’s not the case but more on that another time.

So there was my first post, where I lay myself on a blogging plate for all to inspect.

I took a deep breath and waited. What would the verdict be? Good it was good, thank goodness, as the bug had bitten me and I wanted to write more. Without thinking my second post was an adoption related post, realistically it was what I had to write about. The lives of my children, our relationships, the story of them and us, began to unfold on the screen of my laptop.

050 It still was not wholly an adoption story, my own experiences of living with depression soon made it to the big screen, revealing the often over whelming depths of my despair. My love for my newly acquired camera also became apparent as I tried to find more interesting ways of photographing my kids without showing their faces. The challenge of presenting a moment in time and an expression, from the curve of a child’s back or the tilt of their head has consumed my photography to a point where I often forget to capture their beaming faces for the family album.

065 It would never be long until a family passion for food crept into my writing and image making, and the same can be said of our love for the outdoors. Living in such breath taking surroundings (my humble opinion) we often reach to the outdoors for family solace and inspiration on how to move forward. Incredibly the natural habitat often obliges and offers renewed vigour to our sapped life.

 So The Puffin Diaries has evolved to what it is today. I love writing my blog but I am a little sporadic.

Life unfortunately gets in the way, and when times are tough I actually find sharing it all too difficult.

I write very much from the heart and when I feel vulnerable and exposed emotionally, as my life and adoption can make me feel, putting it all out there doesn’t always seem right. Sharing food and photos at these points also seems frivolous in light of the darkness I’m living in, so yes the blog does get neglected at times.

 However, I am extremely grateful for the amazing opportunities writing my blog has delivered to me and all the wonderful new friendships I have forged through blogging. Writing is now something I love to do and technology (spell check) means no more red ink, but if the odd miss-spelt word does slip through, please forgives me. 

Here’s how to connect with me…

Tweet : @puffindiaries
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/ThePuffinDiaries
Blog : http://thepuffindiaries.com/