Category Archives: Support Group

Time Outs, Switches & Modern Parenting on AWAS!

The Podcast!

The Podcast!

“Ohhhhh man!  Back in the day, my mom whooped me with an extension cord!”

If you’ve ever hung out on “Black” social media, surely you’ve come across such a #ThrowBackThursday kind of post.  Not only has corporal punishment long been a form of discipline within the Black community (and other groups too), but there is often a certain amount of pride in having endured and thrived under the lash of a good spanking/whooping/beating.

On this week’s Add Water and Stir podcast ComplicatedMelodi’s Mimi and AdoptiveBlackMom will talk about discipline, communities of color and adoption.  Adoption often involves significant loss and trauma, requiring patient, therapeutic parenting.  Mimi and ABM will talk about how all this jives together in the face of family and friends who fondly reminisce and declare that if it was good enough for them, then corporal punishment is good enough for the kids.

Of course, we’ll have our regular Wine Down session–we’ll catch up on Married at First Sight (live tweeting tonight)–and offer our recommendations!

 Join us on Google+ on Thursday night at 9pm CST/10pm EST!

 


Add Water and Stir: What’s Going On?

The Podcast!

The Podcast!

On this week’s Add Water and Stir, Complicated Melodi’s Mimi and ABM from AdoptiveBlackMom talk about current events, raising children of color, power and privilege, and their fears, hopes and dreams for their kiddos.  Recent events like, but not limited to, the killing of 18 year old Michael Brown of Ferguson, MO, should give all parents pause and require a moment of thoughtful reflection.

So what do you think about Ferguson? Did you talk about it at all in your family? What did you say? Does it make you think about how you raise your children? If you are an adoptive family of color or transracial adoptive family, how did these lenses shape your reaction to this social episode?

Drop us a line and let us know your thoughts and we’ll try to chat about it on the show.

In the “Wine Down,” Mimi and ABM will chew the fat on the Love and Hip Hop:ATL prize fight reunion shows and Married at First Sight (which incidentally we both live tweet through on Tuesdays).

Find us on Google+ for the live hangout on Thursday, September 4 at 9pmCST/10pm EST!

The YouTube video is available immediately and you can catch our MP3 downloads on our Add Water and Stir podcast page within a day or two of our live show.


Episode 5 of Add Water is Live!

The Podcast!

The Podcast!

The latest episode of Add Water and Stir, Take Your Time, We’ll Wait, is live!

Last week Mimi of Complicated Melodi and I welcomed relative new comer Future Adopter from A Sista’s Guide to Adoption to talk all about all the waiting involved in the adoption process.  The episode includes lots of good stuff about length of wait times, emotions associated with waiting and how folks keep themselves busy until their bundles of joy arrive.

In the Wine Down (which I’m thinking we totally need to trademark and during which my homies had me drinking alone this week—the horror!), we ladies dish about Love and Hip Hop:ATL couple Wacka Flocka and Tammy’s fertility issues, Kim K-Dash’s whimsical desire to adopt a Thai tween while vacationing, and the latest on Married at First Sight.  As usual, we wrap up with our recommendations for the week!

Peep us on:

Towards the end of the podcast, poor Future Adopter experienced a power outage that ended her connection.  Don’t worry I’m sure we’ll have her back on the show at a later time to see how she’s progressing through the adoption process!  We are happy she was able to join us last week!  🙂

And yes, my recommendations actually included “grease,” aka Blue Magic this week.  This naturalista’s hair likes it; nay, it LOVES it!  What can I say, petroleum and mineral oil are my friends. #shrug #dowhatsrightforyourhair #itsalsocheap

Blue Magic Conditioner Hair Dress, 12 oz.

This image is for Mimi!


Add Water and Stir: It’s All About the Match

The Podcast!

The Podcast!

It’s time for another episode of Add Water and Stir!!

Join Mimi and ABM as we host the next episode of our podcast tomorrow night, August 7th at 10pm EDT/9pm CDT on Google Hangout!

In this episode we’ll talk about the matching process and placements. We’ll also talk about the emotions associated with saying “no” to a match or a placement! Tough but important decisions!

RSVP or just hit us up on the Google Hangout! <<<link here! Or peep us on YouTube or the podcast page on Friday!


Add Water and Stir

Last fall two bloggers stumbled upon each other out here in the blogosphere.  One had been chronicling her life via blog for a number of years; the other had been blogging for a couple of months.  Both had only recently begun writing about their adoption journeys.  Over the months, Mimi of Complicated Melodi and AdoptiveBlackMom (ABM) found they had a lot in common and shared a strong desire to give voice to women of color interested in adoption.

In December, Mimi wrote a great piece called, “Infertility, Adoption and The Best Man Holiday.” ABM commented that they should write a movie; Mimi replied that she had something else in mind!

Well, nearly 7 months, one dissertation, two adoptive placements, one finalization and lots of life adjustments, we’re delighted to announce the launch of our new podcast, Add Water and Stir!

addwater3

Add Water and Stir will focus on promoting adoption within communities of color, especially within the African American community.  We want to give voice and visibility to families like ours who often seem left out of mainstream adoption conversations.  We hope to educate others as we talk about our struggles and triumphs of parenting adopted children.  Of course, there will be time for Mimi and ABM to kick it about all kinds of not necessarily adoption related topics as well.

So, join us for our first live podcast on Thursday, June 26th at 10pm EDT/9pm CDT on Google Hangout!  (You can RSVP or just find us live by clicking the link!) Podcasts will also be available on YouTube and Itunes the day after the hangout.

We’re open to suggestions about topics from our blog followers.  You can leave them on either blog in the comments sections or drop us an email at our respective email addresses!

Come hang out with us every other Thursday.


Liebster Award

liebster2

First of all, thank you very much Heart Mommy from Heart Mommy’s Strawberry Shortcake for nominating me for a Liebster Award. As Heart Mommy discussed in her own post, I had to run off and see what the Liebster was all about! It is a great way to spread the word about great blogs out there with relatively small followings. I’m touched that someone thinks my little ramblings are worthy of the attention. So thanks very much Heart Mommy.

So, for newbies to my blog, I’m a Black new adoptive mother to a soon to be 13 year old. My adoption journey started in January of 2013, and Hope and I just finalized our deal in early June 2014. Yep, we were speedy, so we’ve compressed a lot into a short period of time. Somehow during all of this I managed to finish my dissertation and graduate in May of this year. I’m single and Hope and I have a geriatric pup known as The Furry One—yeah, he’s special like that. Hope and I are just figuring this whole thing out, the ups and downs of life.

So, here are the questions my fellow blogger suggested I answer.

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment in life?

Oh, without a doubt becoming a mom. Geesch I can barely have a conversation without gushing about becoming a mom. Even at my recent graduation, having Hope, my daughter, there just made me tear up. Sometimes I just look at her and think to myself how frigging awesome it is that this person is in my life and that she chose me and that she is proud to bear my last name. Mad, mad cool.

If you could change anything in your life what would it be?

Well, the easy answers would be to be rich and healthy slim, but meh…more realistically, it would be to have more time to nurture my relationships with friends and family. The last few years in school I pulled back on so many things and the last few months I feel like I’ve barely seen anyone. I thirst for those relationships; so I would change things so I had more time and opportunity to just hang out with friends and family.

Who or what is your biggest inspiration?

There is a whole constellation of folks who inspire me to push forward. Each person plays a unique role. Some are great role models, others are cheerleaders, still others are motivators and still others practice tough love. I find them individually and collectively to be fascinating and they give me the fire to get ‘er done!

I’m not sure if saying that the Holy Homeboy is an inspiration as much a major force in my life, but I will say that I’ve learned more about grace in the last few months than almost any other time in my life, save one or two. I am mindful that the strength and the gumption and the at times reckless ambition that I have stems from knowing He’s got my back. There’s a peacefulness in knowing this that allows me to be the total badass (ironically) that I believe I’m called to be.

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?

I’ve been working on a fantasy to move to a beach in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic for years. I would travel there or to Madrid—a city that dwells in my heart—in a NYC minute!

What is the best piece of advice that you could give a foster/adoptive parent?

I’m beginning to work on a piece about what I wish I had done differently. I would say to folks considering adoption–get that inner circle around you to support you and do your best to educate them in ways that help them help you. I regret not doing more of that prep work and I think the end result has been tougher than I imagined. Having friends and family support you is important, but there is type of nuanced support that is needed to grapple with the need for different expectations and different realities inherent in adoption stories. I think adoptive parents may feel under a lot more unintended pressure because we also get put on absurd pedestals for being such “good people” (emphasis on the air quotes). Pedestal falls hurt.

Other advice would be get and go to your own therapist, buy wine by the case and not the bottle, and try to reflect a lot so that you can keep track of progress. Progress can often get lost in the mayhem.

If you were to be granted three wishes, what would they be and why?

Wish 1: I wish I didn’t have the need to work for a living. I have little desire to live an extravagant life, but I’m finding other passions that I’d like to devote time to. Time constructs are pretty finite and I need to finance my and Hope’s lives. I wish I was at a point where I could monetize those other passions so that I could devote myself to them without restraint.

Wish 2: I wish the compound retreat that some of my best girlfriends and I often joke that we are going to start was real. Sometimes you just need to get away to a special place and shut the world completely out; you just need days or weeks to breathe deeply and rest, rather than just simply a few moments gasping for oxygen.

Wish 3: I wish there was a quick fix for Hope’s emotional healing. I wish I had one of those gadgets in the movies where I could just zap away all the bad stuff and replace it with good stuff. Healing take an enormous amount of energy, and it’s great to watch her blossom. But sometimes it’s just a painful, really painful process that I wish I could speed us through.

Describe your blog in three words.

Transparent. Irreverent. Emotional.

 

So, the Google tells me I should nominate a few other blogs to keep this thing moving along. So here are a few blogs that I follow and read with great anticipation.

Complicated Melodi: Melodi is a new adoptive mom to darling Nana. I see similarities in our experiences as people of color in the adoption community. I appreciate how Melodi talks about her own story and how it influences her adoption journey.

FosterWee: This blog chronicles Carrie Ann and Andrew’s experiences as foster parents to Blitzen. Blitzen and my Hope are similar in age and this blog has really helped me understand that the wacky things going on in my home are normal for older foster/adopted kids. I would hug these folks if I could.

Minuit262 AKA AdoptiveNYMomma: Awesome blog by an amazing single mom who juggles a lot and has this huge heart. She has encouraged me on many days, but she inspires me every day. Definitely swing by and check her out.

 

So here are my questions:

Why did you start blogging?

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned on your adoption journey?

How do you practice self-care?

If you could be doing anything else right now in your life, what would it be?

What are your predictions for the next year on your journey?

 


Thoughts on Resiliency

Oh, y’all thought I was going to talk about Hope’s resiliency? No this post is about my own elasticity.

Honestly, nothing is wrong at home, really. Hope and I are doing fine, being normal (whatever that is), but there’s just messiness all around that has me feeling stretched and tired and cranky and just ugh.

Overflowing toilet, faux belly aches, missed buses, rejected dinners, continued village fallout, a nosebleed that lasted more than an hour, a demand to do laundry for one item, a sick dog, an epic grief attack, a meeting with the school counselor, the attorney, the adoption support rep and the fact that my hair looked remarkably like Fredrick Douglass’ hair yesterday.  Seriously, Frederick Douglass…I know that sounds vain, but don’t you find that you can handle things better when you’re having a good hair day?

Frederick_Douglass_c1860s

Frederick is serving some serious side eye. Yeah, I was channeling this yesterday. I’ve even got the mean silver streak. Sigh…

Last night I poured a big glass of wine, fixed myself a cookie butter sandwich and washed my hair. Then I set about to google “Adoptive Parent Resilience.”

Ugh. Oh that was fun. #notreally

It always amazes me that while there is tons of research on child resiliency, there seem to be little about parental resiliency, much less about adoptive parents. Certainly there are resources, and it would seem that having access to resources seems critical to nurturing parental resiliency, whether you’re an adoptive parent or not. That said, I find myself wondering how parents just deal.

I mean, I just do deal and I know the adage that parenting is the toughest job…blah, blah, blah. But when it seems like Rome is burning and you’re the empress and you have a personal fan instead of at least a fire extinguisher, you might feel inadequate on a good day; absurdly stupid on the next.

So my next search string was “Self-care for adoptive parents.” This search was much better; apparently I stumbled on the right lingo.

I did find this article: Self-Care: Barriers and Basics for Foster/Adoptive Parents. I found this particular barrier resonated with me:

“Fourth, too many parents simply do not know what would help them. They know something is missing, but can’t put their finger on just what might make them feel better. Parents are often told, “Call if there is anything you need,” but it is hard to call and ask for help, especially when you cannot even articulate what you need. This leaves many parents vulnerable and exhausted.”

And also this because I just posted how someone is always doing worse:

“Compounding matters, recent disasters—9/11, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the earthquake in Pakistan, and the prolonged conflict in Iraq—remind us all that there are always other people who are worse off. We are taught as children to be happy with what we have since other people have it much harder. It is little wonder we sometimes feel guilty because our ongoing trauma pales in comparison to these catastrophic tragedies.”

Yeah. That.

So, the recommendations in this document are cool. Yeah, I need to find a few more things to personally look forward to and I need to just be ok with being different. I thought I was, but I’m not. And yes, connecting with other parents helps—there’s a delightful notion of finding commonalities in the countless struggles. It is validating, and reinforces that this stuff is “normal’ for this population, but does it make me feel better? Not really. And giving yourself permission to ask for help feels useless when you really can’t put your finger on what really would be helpful other than a good cry that can happen somewhere other than in your master bath with the bedroom and bathroom doors closed, sitting on the toilet because that’s the most private place in the house. #maybeIshouldtrythewalkincloset

On other sites I stumbled over, respite is the be all, end all solution to my resiliency problems. But as a single parent, I don’t have a partner who can pick up some slack and I’m sensitive about how I use the geographically accessible village and I love my sitter service and it’s worth the money, but “respite” makes for a pricey night out before I even leave the house.

So, now what?

Oh, I pray a lot. A lot; a lot.

So here’s my current approach to trying to practice self-care:

Lower expectations. Seriously, I’m lowering them all the way to the floor. Having so many unmet expectations can’t be healthy, so that’s where I’m going to sit down and take a rest for a while.

I’m tired of having expectations that the school counselor is going to respond to my email about bullying on the same day or that I’m actually going to get to play Boggle with Hope when she gets home from school or that some folks in my life will ever meet me where I am on this journey or that the Absurdly Hot Therapist’s scheduler will actually give me a consistent set of appointment dates or that Hope won’t lose her shiz every time she sees a bug as tiny as an ant or that I won’t cry inside when Hope and I go out and I get the crazy eyeballs from people while she’s in the middle of a meltdown because I can’t stop it and I feel like it’s a commentary on what kind of parent I’m perceived to be. I’m tired of a bunch of stuff, even though many things are going well.

I’m just tired of having expectations that are just not going to be met.

I never knew my skin was so thin. Maybe this process just strips so much from you; maybe you need that thick skin coming in just so you have a little reserve when it’s all sloughed off as you progress through the process. I don’t know. I do know that in terms of resiliency, I could use a lot more bounce to the ounce. #rogertroutmanfan

So there’s my current two nickels of thoughts on parental resiliency. Lower expectations to reduce heart and head pain risk. That’s my goal for the next month or so as we move toward finalization.

So, fellow bloggers, readers, parents, how do you keep it together? How do you recharge, how do you make it work?


Uncontrolled Cries

So today is the day I have hit my emotional bottom.  It’s been 54 days since Hope arrived.  We’ve had ups.  We’ve had downs.  I’ve learned a lot; I’ve endured a lot.   I’ve laughed a lot and I’ve cried a lot.  There were a few days when I felt like I couldn’t get out of bed.  I finished writing the last two chapters of my dissertation during these 54 days and sit on the precipice of attaining my highest academic achievement.  I met someone who brought a little color and calm in an otherwise difficult time.  I love my daughter; I am committed to her, and I’m hopeful that one day we will be the kind of mom and daughter that I dreamt of a long time ago.

And on this 54th day, I sit in a local Panera crying uncontrollably while shoveling obscene quantities of carbs in my mouth, knowing I’ll regret it later, but unable to stem the tide of snarfing.   Several very nice ladies have stopped over with stacks of napkins and kind smiles.

I don’t lose it in public often, very rarely.  I cry a lot, but I try to do it privately.  Today, I really am unable to pull my scattered self back together.  Today I am completely unhinged, and the only reason I’m not in my bedroom crying in a ball with The Furry One looking on fretfully is because a loving cousin rushed over to kick me out to find some respite alone.

I debriefed with Grammy this morning and the full on rejection, accusations and inability to believe in me or the long term success of me and my daughter is just too much to bear.   All other real or perceived battles with Grammy are unable to even come close to the emotional upheaval I am grappling with today.

I didn’t say much on the call.  I attempted to call her to debrief yesterday, but told my dad I didn’t have the courage to do it.   He didn’t understand.  I won’t bore you with all the gory details but here’s a little Sports Center highlight reel:

  • Hope is going to bring me down; all her problems will negatively affect me.
  • Grammy is physically afraid of Hope and will not provide respite for me.
  • Grammy thinks that smelling wine on my breath after coming home from a work reception means I have a drinking problem.
  • Grammy insinuated that my daughter might be possessed.

Oh and one from earlier in her visit:

  • She didn’t think it wise to make hotel reservations to go to my graduation until after my defense because you know, I might eff up.

I’m not sure what to do with this and all the rest that I can’t write here.  I’m so disappointed, but most of all I’m angry…angry with myself.  Grammy had already shown me repeatedly that she was not the person I would be able to rely on during this journey.  But she told me she wanted so much for me to give her a chance, for me to open up, for me to lower the cloak I had around me and my daughter and let her in to help us, to love on us and to be Grammy.  So I did.  And the first exposure to our reality sent her doing a drive by drop-off.  And me sitting here with a heart full of regret that I ever let my defenses down at all and a feeling like I never will again.

I know at some point I’ll let Grammy back in because I want to model for my daughter how to get over such incredible pain and how to forgive.  But I have no earthly idea how or when I will be able to muster what’s needed to do that.  Hopefully next time I’ll be better prepared to wrestle with the possible rejection and abandonment that may follow.  Also, maybe next time I won’t carb load while sobbing at the local eatery.  Maybe next time I won’t need respite because my reserves will be deep enough to plug the gaping hole that might appear in the aftermath.  Maybe next time I won’t be hurt and disappointed at all because Grammy’s reserves will be deeper, and she will be able to embrace us as we are, thorns and all.  Maybe she will believe in us then.  Maybe she will actually believe in me too at that point.

When I first started this journey I was rather put off by how conservative the adoptive community seemed to be.  I had a healthy sense of my faith and belief system, but I rarely saw folks who were like me—pretty liberal, comfortably Christian, but not showy about it, progressive, Black…the list goes on and on.  I still don’t always see myself in this community, but I know and appreciate how much I have found my place and how my faith in God has evolved, especially during these 54 days.  I’m in a constant state of prayer.   I’m still not as conservative as I perceive many in the community to be, but I get it now…this calling requires something more, something deeper than ourselves.

I’ve often said I don’t know how something would get done, only that it would get done.  It always has gotten done.   I have a set of footprints and a small cross on my right ankle reminding me that when it’s only one set of prints, it was then that God carried me.  My faith has always been there, but it is a bit more on the sleeve now.  And so I’m puzzled that the model of faith I’ve had, Grammy, just doesn’t believe in Hope’s healing from trauma and in the ultimate success of our family as I believe.  I believe we will be delivered.  I believe that Hope will grow up to be happy and healthy.  I believe in her restoration.  I believe that we will be ok, better than ok.   I don’t understand how Grammy doesn’t believe that.  I don’t understand how she can utter words that don’t speak wholeness over us.  I just don’t understand, and now I don’t think I want to hear what she is saying at all.

What’s the adage? If you can’t say something nice….

I know she loves me, but today was just too much.   It was just heartbreaking.

Today is the 54th day in this post-placement journey, and it was so, so very hard.

Now that I’ve made numerous people uncomfortable at the Panera, I think I’ll take my weepy self to the beauty supply to buy crap I don’t need.  I will blow out my afro tonight and paint my nails and give myself a facial.  I will reach out to the new sitter service I found and see about setting up once to twice a week respite so I can practice some self-care.  I will thank my friends and family who have come to my rescue.  I will pray for me and my daughter.

I will pray for Grammy too, even though I am not sure what to say.


Testimony

ETA: Oy–so tired can’t even spell my titles right…

Last week was tough.  It was tough in so many ways.

My heart broke when Hope described her angst about going to school.  I was frustrated because I still hadn’t finished the conclusion of the chapter I was writing.  I was really scared by some of the things we discussed in the initial consultation with the absurdly attractive therapist (Side note: My GOD he’s is so handsome it hurts, and it might be a problem since I can barely look directly at him without thinking I’m going to burst into flames.).  I wasn’t very productive at work because I was consumed with home life and I have no idea when some semblance of balance will be discovered.  I was frustrated by all the paperwork I needed to complete, the scheduling that needed to happen, the permission slips that needed to be signed and the school fees that needed to be paid (I’m convinced school fees are the new hustle).  Oh and I registered Hope for a few camps for the summer that cost a grip.

Then I had to get us ready for our first road trip.  The road trip that involved a weekend with the Grands and a wedding to go to and Hope meeting her godparents—who happened to be the couple tying the knot.

Oh and how could I forget the Friday night post- travel, middle of the night, ER visit? We started our health care adventure at a local Patient First, where I enjoyed some same-race adoption privilege in which despite my fumbling efforts to pull out my care authorization everyone assumed she was my kid.  On the one hand the ease of it was cool, but then the nurse kept looking at me like I was stupid because I knew so little about Hope’s medical history.  When we got to the hospital later and I needed a bathroom break, Hope cut through all the BS while I was in the loo and just told everyone that I was her new mom via adoption—everyone was so nice, gave good advice and relieved my terror when, essentially, Hope was not really all that sick.

Got all that?  Heavy sigh!

I am astounded by how much I accomplished last week, and how much must be accomplished to keep my house running.  There is always something.  And the some things almost keep me from thinking about anything meaningful outside of the Hope universe.   I’m still sad about the things, the critical things that keep my individual life running that I simply can’t get to.  I still struggle with feeling incredibly selfish at times about my own sadness and angst.

I’m tired and weary, but looking back, I’m not broken.   Bruised, yes, but not broken.   Taking time to reflect on the week in its entirety gives me solace that I made it, and hopefully I can do it again next week.

And I’ll survive next week.  And the week after.

But it does come at a cost.  It’s worth it for moments like the one in the car this morning returning to the DC area; I insisted on playing gospel for the ride since we were missing church.  She broke out singing Marvin Sapp’s He Saw the Best in Me.

For her, she was just singing it; but for me, I know the song to be true for all of us and especially for her.  She’s been struggling to keep her badass persona and it’s crumbling, little by little each day.  So moments of testimony that she doesn’t yet realize are such, bring me exceeding joy and comfort in knowing that she’s doing ok.

Now I have to just to make sure I keep grinding, so I can also be ok and so we can thrive.

Special thanks to those who reached out to me concerning post-placement depression.  I wish my agency had some info on it during the process.  But I’m glad to have discovered this issue and I am deeply appreciative that my experience was validated.  I thought I was going nuts. Thank you.


When Support Groups Jump the Shark

So, for about 4 or 5 months I’ve lurked a FB older child adoption support group.  I posted a few times, didn’t really get much notice.  The group is dominated by older child adoptive parents, usually women, and overwhelmingly international adoptions.  I never quite felt I “fit” there.  Only saw only one or two other non-White faces in the group members’ FB photos.  Couldn’t relate to some of the issues unique to international adoption.  Still I found the group to be generally educational and supportive of posters who reached out to seek advice, camaraderie, support or just to vent.  It was a fine group to just hang with the pack and lurk about.

Until the last 24 hours.  Jeesch louise!  Some people have way too much effing time on their hands.  Way too much.

A woman posted yesterday that she and her husband found themselves with a CPS case investigation concerning a bruised adoptee.  The couple had used corporal punishment and things had gone badly.  It was a sad story, and the woman was seeking prayers and support to help her navigate a very tragic and sad situation.  It was really sad.

I was raised with spanking; I don’t intend to spank Hope, nor could I since my state makes you sign a form saying you won’t.  Had I had biological kids, I might feel differently.  I don’t know all that happened in that family; it’s not my business.  They had a horrible moment that they may pay dearly for in more ways than one. Corporal punishment is a ouchy-touchy subject that I won’t debate here because it’s just not the point of the post. (<<<<See what I did there?  Stay on topic!)

What I found curious about the post was how many supposedly supportive, compassionate fellow adoptive parents WENT IN HARD.  Oh I get it, spanking, beating, corporal punishment is a controversial subject.  The mother posting knew that–I can’t imagine she just landed from the planet Zoron–but she was scared and in need of some help and prayers and compassion.  Now maybe it’s hard for some folks to have compassion for such a parent.  I can dig it, but you know I would’ve expected a couple of judgy comments and for folks to just move on.  You know the adage, if you can’t say something supportive for this mother and father who lost their ish then pass this post by.

These folks tore this mother a new one, and when she was online begging for mercy, they went in again.  She deleted her post, posted something more conciliatory, and these folks went in again.  #wheretheydothatat?

Seriously there ended up being FB blockings, accusations of harassment and bullying and all sorts of mayhem.  It was crazy.  This morning there was a grateful post thanking those folks who just said they would graciously pray for the family.  This afternoon came a post from a responder that raised the issue again and went on to shame the mother and the family without calling them by name.

No really, that happened.  Seriously, people have so much effing free time.  If we could refocus half the energy that some folks spend doing dumb ish on social media the world would really be a better place.

This shaming post went on for hours more.  As I watched it unfold, folks were debating Christian parenting, the nuanced distinctions between beating and spanking, and a bunch of “who shot John” foolishness.

As I mentioned, I usually lurk but decided to post a message about how I, as a group member who has learned a lot about parenting and was on the precipice of my daughter’s arrival, was just offended by the overall tone, lack of empathy and compassion for a family in need on the forum.  Finding support among fellow adoptive families is so important because there’s so much that other people just don’t get or understand.  So to see folks tear down each other with the nastiest posts, all in the name of “dialogue” mind you, was just sickening.  That’s not support at all.

Some motor-fingered poster decided to try to school me on what happened over the last 24 hours along with her two cents about corporal punishment.

#girlbye.

For reals?

I saw the meanie posts, the passive aggressive language, and just overall disgust that she tried to coat with the air of authority of a frequent group poster, also known in this context as a bully.  I politely responded that I saw what was happening and was disappointed in this kind of “dialogue.”  Then I went to the group settings bar and “ungrouped” myself.  Did a quickie search for another older child adoption community and sent a member request.  Let’s see what they’re serving across town.

This journey is hard enough, does there really need to be public shaming?  I mean really?  I already felt like I was way out on the periphery of this support group, why would I ever feel safe enough to post how hard life might be with Hope on some low days?  God forbid I make a big mistake and need to find someone to just send me some positive energy.  I got enough stuff to muddle through without watching a support group be anything but.

I’m all for dialogue but e-yelling and e-screaming is still yelling and screaming.  For all of the judging going on of the original poster, I can’t help, after seeing some of the nasty things parents said to each other ,wondering what’s going on in their homes.  “So, are you raising your kids with those poison fingers?”

Lesson learned:  Find a group where I can feel safe and truly be a part of a community of adoptive families.  Sure there will be disagreements, but there isn’t a need for lack of grace or compassion.  Life is much too hard and much too short.

I suppose this lesson is also more broadly life applicable.

So disappointing.

 


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