Ten years ago (and I can’t believe it’s been that long), I was a waiting mom. My husband and I had just submitted our paperwork for the initial stages of adopting our son through Catholic Charities of Baltimore, and, I was frustrated. I was really having trouble with the waiting game that is the adoption process, and I wanted very much to feel “in control” of, well, something. If I couldn’t be in control of the process of adopting my child from South Korea, then, why not create an outlet in which I could “vent” (in a positive, non-self-destructive way, of course) and at the same time share our family’s unfolding story? So, I decided to start an adoption blog. It turned out to be one of the smartest decisions I ever made as a waiting mom. And there were some unforeseen side benefits that I didn’t think of back then: My husband and I now have a lasting legacy to hand down to our son—a beautiful story, told through the eyes of a sometimes-anxious mom-to-be, about a chubby, spiky-black-haired little boy in foster care in South Korea who came to be our son. The boy who completed our family of three.
So, what do you write about in an adoption blog? Different people write different things. For me, I wrote about not just the logistical steps and paperwork details, and “why” we were waiting for “xyz” thing to happen, but I also wrote about my feelings, my frustration sometimes, my longing to be united with my son, adoption poems, and bits of notes that I had written directly to the son I was yet to be united with.
So, here’s a list of nine things that you can write about on an adoption blog. This will help you get started.
Remember, you don’t have to write a lot. A blog post can be (and should be) relatively short. It’s more likely that people will actually READ it. Or it can be broken up into a series of “parts” if it’s a long story that isn’t feasible to tell in one fell swoop. You’re basically capturing a moment in time, or telling a story, or sharing something that you think others can benefit from.
So, peruse this list, and use it to get some ideas for what you’d want to write about. But, ultimately, the decision is yours. Make your blog what you WANT it to be. Instead of asking yourself, “What should I write about in my adoption blog?” ask yourself, “What do I want to write about in my adoption blog?” And that, ultimately, is your answer.
- Write about the various steps in the process, as they happen.
This type of blog post is a fact-sharing post and may or may not cover the writer’s feelings or underlying thoughts behind what is going on. Here’s an example, taken from my friend Laura and Dan’s blog, Mainers in Maryland. In this excellent blog, Dan captured, step by step, what he and his wife went through as they navigated the adoption process and waited to be united with their son. In particular, read the blog post from Sunday, March 7, 2010, titled “Two Whirlwind Months.” Here’s an excerpt from it:
“After receiving our referral, we scheduled a meeting with our social worker to discuss what we had to do for the next phase of the adoption. We met with her on January 15th. The majority of the meeting was used to explain the next round of adoption paperwork that we would need to complete. We also talked about some of the things we would need to do when we bring Zachary home (for example, writing status reports and a visit to our home from our social worker). After the meeting, we knew that our first priority was to get our paperwork completed as quickly as possible so that it wouldn’t slow down the process of bringing Zachary home. While the paperwork wasn’t as extensive as the initial adoption paperwork, there was still much to do. To give you an idea of what we had to do, here’s a list of the primary documents that we had to complete . . .”
- Write about your feelings and thoughts.
Break it down: How are you feeling TODAY? As in, RIGHT NOW? Write about that. It doesn’t have to be long—a few paragraphs are perfect. Here’s a great example of that, taken from my own blog titled “Kath and Jeff’s Adoption Update” (creative, I know). Most of my posts are about my feelings, but, for a specific example, see the post from Wednesday, November 18, 2009, titled “Being a Mom, and Fixing Little Holes in the Heart.” Here’s an excerpt from it:
“[This week] is proving to be particularly hard for me. Grueling, actually. I’m not sure he’ll be home for Thanksgiving, despite my best efforts to remain positive and prayerful and hopeful. And I worry, now, about what it will be like, for us and for him . . . . and I just want to cry but will choose to smile and look forward to him, instead. Stay positive. Stay positive. Stay positive.”
- Write poems or personal essays on your adoption experience.
This is YOUR blog: It’s a perfect place to share the poetry you have written about your wait, the child you are waiting for, and (even after your child is united with you) your experience as a new parent.
- Write about, and provide links to, other people’s adoption blogs.
Find the blogs that you have followed up to this point. What adoption blogs may have inspired you to start your own? What did THEY say? What did THEY write about? Tell your readers about these blogs. Share the URLs. What a great way to give fellow parents some exposure and to give other waiting parents some great resources to read and share with family members.
- Write about interesting adoption-related news items.
What is going on in the adoption community “these days” (meaning, the time of your blog post writing)? These posts can serve as a sort of “time capsule” for your child, later on.
- Write a letter to the child you’re waiting for.
What are you thinking about? Share that with him or her. As your child grows up, this letter can be a cherished heirloom that can be passed down from generation to generation.
Your adoption blog is a literal chronicle of your journey to parenthood, your thoughts, your feelings. It’s a cyberplace that can help you cultivate your creativity as well as document the logistical steps of your adoption journey. Happy blogging!