Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Whole Privacy Thing...

Recently a lot of the bloggers on my blogroll have decided to go private. While I completely understand and respect that decision, it is kind of leaving me with an unsettled feeling.

I don't really feel the urge to go private, don't really want to go private, but maybe I should want to? Maybe I'm weird because I don't really hold back much? The pictures are probably the only thing I really worry about. Mostly since that ridiculous news story a while back about the picture that was stolen from a family blog...

But - especially now that we have Charlie, the whole point of this blog is for me to share. Share our experiences, share our lives, and share the joy we have in our son. I feel like going private would somehow change blogging for me in a bad way.

Then there is the anti-adoption hate garbage that's been happening around here lately. Honestly, this just makes me sick! I do not, and will never understand how there are people out there who feel vindicated by attacking others. Especially others like some of you. Sweet and caring people who are trying to do their best given the circumstances they face. I just don't get it, and this whole thing makes me really, really mad. I want to fight back, but instead I am watching as one by one, many of my favorite blogs are forced to go underground. It's ridiculous, and I wish they--those anonymous idiots--didn't have that much power over us.

Whatever. It is what it is. I can completely understand why those of you who are now private have done what you've done. You have made me think about it myself, and to be honest...I'm still thinking on this one. I guess the bottom line is that I just wish I...we...could feel safe. Safe to be ourselves and share our experiences without all the worry and fear.


Jamie said...

i agree melba ~ i just don't get why it is important to be so cruel about your personal opinion or experience. are there adoption cases where the birthmother/father were pursuaded? absolutely ~ and in those situations, adoption was certainly done illegally and not in the best interest of the child. then there are stories like ours....a situation where if we were not available...if we did not experience years of heartbreak going through infertility and be lead to adoption....where would our children be?? going from foster home to foster home? how is that a better situation than having a loving forever family? one in which our reality has completely surpassed our dream? these are the most loved children on the face of the earth...i know this for a fact. :)

Anonymous said...

I also completely agree with you. I just can't understand the closed minds that come along with those hateful words. Not all adoptions are alike - some are not done professionally or for the best interest of everyone involved but MOST are. Why attack people because they have made a different choice in life then you have? I realize that there are always going to be people that disagree with your actions - there are anti-ivf groups, people that frown at you because you don't have children, there will be "comments" no matter the path you choose. We must keep going with OUR lives and make OUR choices and make OURselves and OUR children happy. "Hate hurts the hater more than the hated".

Mrs H said...

I'm right there with you. It's impossible to reason with people like that. They can't agree to disagree. I CAN. I can feel empathy and sympathy. There a subjects about which I'm passionate but I don't abuse and stalk people because of it.

Plus if everyone were private I would be totatlly lost out here in adoption land. My biggest support base has come from bloggy friends I'd have never discovered.

That said, I understand the need to go underground. We stressed and insecure and overwhelmed as it is. A daily does of being told we're the devil is just the last straw.

Good luck deciding!

Mrs H

LL said...

Privacy was an easy yet hard decision for me. Easy because it allows me not to censor as much. I can write about my relationship with my daughter's bmom and my mother in law and not have to worry that they will find my blog and get their feelings hurt. Parenting and open adoption can be quite overwhelming. But then I knew I would lose readers and gain very few new ones. But the security outweighed that. I never got any hate mail so that didn't play a factor. But there was a girl on one of my adoption forums that "stole" pics from blogs and message boards of children and claimed them as her own.And one of my blog friends had a stalker. And then the incident you write of and it just made me more aware of the false sense of security I had with the internet.

YOur son is beautiful. I enjoy reading about him and seeing his smiling face...and if you go private one day I am sure to follow you.

Denver Jen said...


I'm so glad that you posted this. I've been having this same debate. But I also felt like I really have enjoyed and learned from so many blogs during my wait and they were so helpful that I don't want to make mine private either. As a matter of fact, I think your blog was the first that I found! I think that we're also in a place where it's a little easier to get these comments. If I received hateful comments during the wait or particularly, while I was matched, it would have been really hard.

Thanks for another great post!


Wendy said...

I don't understand why people feel the need to leave negative or even nasty comments on other people's blogs. And the whole stealing pictures from blogs...that's just crazy.

I've wondered about going private on my blog, too, but I don't think I want to...I am very careful, however, about what I include in my posts. I definitely keep a lot of information private.

I love your blog. I was just reading the previous posts that I've missed (I've missed a lot of blogs lately) and I love all the pictures of Charlie. I can see how very happy you are, too, in your pictures.

Hoping for a Miracle~~ said...

I agree with you, I find it sad that so many have to go private because of the anti-adoption comments and whatnot lately and I just don't get it either, but I understand why they are going private. These anti-adoption people don't have to read our blogs just as we don't have to read theirs so I don't understand why they have to leave such horrible comments to everyone. As someone else commented, there are going to be flaws with how some adoptions are done (as there and flaws in most everything that happens in life) but for the most part they are ethicaly done. I also understand your dilema with posting pictures...I too worry about this and that is why I didn't for so long.

I guess my fears are one of the reasons why I pretty much keep things pretty neutral on my blog. I am with you on thinking on the whole picture thing...that would really be my only concern as far a my blog at this point. I too am thinking on this one...

I hope all of this stops soon because I really enjoy reading everyones blogs and I hate how everyone is getting attacked and how its making them feel!!

Debbie B said...

I've given this some thought lately as well. I won't be going private but that is why I have moderation on my comments. So no one can see the hurtful or dumb comments unless I decide to post them.
What I've decided to do awhile ago was go back to only using M's initial and not her name. And I with all the recent stuff I've decided to remove pictures of her. Hope to work on that next week as there are lots. Just to protect her.

For me I feel I've gained so much from blogs that I don't want to go private. If one person can gain something from our experience it's worth sharing. And well being and adoptive parent I've grown a thicker skin.

Jessica said...

I haven't had any problems with hater comments since I turned off anonymous comments. But I've gotten sucked in to their websites and once I realized that it was making me question myself and the way I built my family...I refused to allow myself to read anymore.

None of us have "bought" babies or "stolen" babies. Many, many of us have open adoptions, almost all of us have gone through reputable agencies or facilitators so we're even removing the private adoption piece through an attorney. These haters do no research into our stories, situations, feelings, I can't respect them or sympathize with them. Those birthmoms that are open and ready to have conversation and try to udnerstand (however difficult it may be) have provided me with so much insight and understanding.

I have never even thought about going private. I understand why some do, but the whole point of me blogging was to share in an open forum. And some of the most famous bloggers out there share their full names and locations and pictures of their kids...I don't know why that gives me comfort but it does.

Yes, it's scary to think about someone stealing my photos or thoughts. But I guess if that happens, I'll deal with it. I try to keep up with private blogs, but I end up getting so behind because I read most blogs via feed reader.

I wish that we didn't have to get scared or intimidated by haters...I wish we could all just respect the wonder that is blogland and avoid areas we don't agree with while embracing those we do.

Great post!

Blessed said...

I totally agree I think about it alot but I want to share our story!!!!

I refuse to let the anti-adoption people get to me!

Unless our safety is ever an issue than I want to stay public!

Anne said...

Hi Melba,
Just delurking to say I've been reading about the antiadoption stuff going on lately too. I do not understand why some people feel the need to go on people's blogs and say mean, hateful things. I adopted my daughter, and our blog is private, but it does make for less readers, which is a bummer. I love the adoption on line community. I've debated going public many times, and may some day.
I totally enjoy your blog. If you'd like to check mine out, feel free to email me at, and I'll send you an invite:)

Lane said...

Hi Melba,
We are waiting to adopt, and I have really enjoyed reading your blog. It is so nice to see the perspective of someone who went through a similar process and is now on the other side, with all the good stuff that brings! I understand the decision of those who go private, and I am also angry and disgusted with those who would post hateful comments, so I appreciate even more your decision to stay public, at least for now.

BB said...


While my decision to go private wasn't necissarily based on the horrible, mean spirited comments, this discussion here is why I continue to blog!!

I love the comradare and support I get from people who really have been through what I have been through. I have simply amazing family and friends IRL, but they just don't get it. I can't expect them to. This is the only place that I can get true understanding when it comes to how I built my family. Lots of love, my friend!

Anonymous said...

i had to go private.. anti-adoption people went so far as to contact my agency. thankfully my SW thought they were nuts. makes me very very sad.. all of it.

hope548 said...

It makes me sad too. I've thought a few times about going private just to be safer. I still don't use my real name or my husband's, but I do use our son's, though I make it non-searchable. I like to post photos now and then, and I'd hate for that to ever be a problem.

More than anything I just don't understand the people who attack others. We are pouring our hearts out and we research and respect adoption and all members of the process. If someone had a bad situation, then they should go to therapy, not come online and spew their hatred and ugly thoughts. I haven't been unfortunate enough to be attacked, as I don't allow anonymous comments (not that all anons are bad), but that may have saved me thus far.

There is no easy answer, but I agree with others, that finding other blogs helped me through the process. I don't share as much as I might if I were private, but I think I've become a bit more of a private person lately anyway.

KT said...

Private or public...I will continue to follow. Love seeing the pictures of Charlie...he brightens my day!

Duck Hunter said...

It's something that I have thought about as well. You wrote it very well in this post. I feel like going private is a big negative depending on what the purpose of your blog is. How many blogs have many of us read for encouragement or learning? Mel - your blog would be so great to read for a couple looking to adopt. On the other side, if your blog is just to share with family and friends, then no harm done adding a password.

Anyway, now you got me thinking about this topic again too. Hmmm...

RB said...

It's a personal decision to go private. I personally don't want to give those people the power to dictate what I do on the web. I won't be going private but feel for my bloggy buddies who feel like they have been forced into it.

Kel said...

I'm not going private. Unless I have a good reason to. And spite filled comments are not a good reason. :)

For those of you who have gone private I fully support you!

The funny thing is that now that I've decided only to post positive comments, the people who were polite before are now getting brazen. But I'm sticking to my guns. I am public for those who are entering adoption after me, just as you did for me Melba. I am not going to respond, I have trained my eyes to not read and just hit "Delete".

Life is just too short to focus on the negative. We need to address the negative and move on to healing and positive things. That is my goal. :D

Thank you for posting your thoughts. It's nice to hear that others struggle with the thought of going private too.

Love to you and the men in your life!

Cyndie said...

PLEASE don't go private! I have enjoyed reading your blog. I'm fairly new to your page but I am little by little catching up on your "story". I read a few blogs a day hoping I'll catch up to the present. =)

I stumbled upon your blog by browsing through them here on Blogger. I was looking for other parents or new mommies like me to follow and possibly strike up a friendship with. When I opened your page and saw Charlie's SWEET little face and big brown eyes my heart did a little happy dance. When I read about his adoption my heart absolutely melted. My story is not as long as yours but after 5 losses God blessed my husband and I with a beautiful baby girl by way of adoption too. Though Skylar was not born to me, when I look into her sweet face it's as if I see a part of my own soul there. She brings us such great joy and every day I have to stop and thank God for her....and for the birth mother who wanted a better life for her.

Keep your blog's nice to read about your wonderful family!

Rachel said...

Hey Melba!

I will fully admit I have gone private (although I believe it to only be temporary) because I am a huge chicken :)

This journey for me is fraught with emotion was just too much to discover the harsh way that total strangers thought it was their RIGHT to leave hateful comments.

But also, since I was linked to an "adoption vulture" site I wanted to protect my family.

I'm chicken LOL

However, I really do think the privacy thing may only be temporary - like I said.

Meanwhile...anyone can track down my profile & request an invite :)

I love love LOVE the pic of Charlie and I loved your "Awed" post, too. You are definitely an inspiration!!


E said...

Thanks for posting this, Melba. I think that it needed to be said, especially with the ridiculousness of the nasty commenters I've seen affect several of our bloggy friends. It is so unnecessary. Mean people really do suck!

Like many others, the thought has crossed my mind to go private. I think that I typically censor myself anyway and avoid writing in detail, or at all, about potentially "controversial" stuff. That's my personality anyway...I'm not one to give every single detail about my life. Not that it means I don't remain a target...I am a proud adoptive mom-to-be:)

I don't want to give in to the haters though. Although very hurtful, if it happens to me, I hope to remember that no one else knows my journey or me for that matter. The haters are obviously ignorant (as far as the adoptive parent experience anyway). Any negative comments will simply be's MY blog. I understand that people who decide to go private have to do what feels safe and right to them. I personally love receiving comments and support. I tend to not visit the private blogs as regularly...not on purpose, but they fall from the radar for me.

birthmothertalks said...

I decided to maintain two blogs. One that is open for all to see and one that is private and for invite only. I did it mostly, because I think family might be reading and I got to keep something from them. It was a hard decision, but it was what I felt was best for me.

Nancy said...

I've considered going private, and I may still do it. But I have to say that some of the bloggers I read _ and I count you among them _ have inspired me with their stories. That is a tremendous gift that I was lucky to have when I was down and giving up hope. There's a lot to be said for that.

Karen said...

I've noticed that a lot of adoption bloggers have decided to go private. I've actually just started reading more adoption blogs because I've been feeling more connected to other adoption bloggers. DH and I got a preadoptive placement through foster care in September and hope to finalize before the summer. I've been disappointed that so many links are to now private blogs. I feel like I missed out. However, I understand because I've seen some horrible anti-adoption comments on several blogs. I don't understand why people have to be so nasty. :(

Malloryn said...

I've thought about going private myself lately, but just to be more open about sharing our story. I'm very leery about sharing details about our adoption. I've always had anonymous comments disabled and have probably saved myself from some heartache that way.

You make some good points though (as always). I don't know where I would've been a few years back if I hadn't found blogs where people were open about what they were going through in IF and adoption. It was a huge source of comfort and support. It's a tough decision!

TXMom2B said...

I just couldn't go private. Knowing that total strangers might be reading, as well as family members and in-laws, keeps me accountable. It makes me careful about how I word things, which makes me a better writer. I would get bored if my blog was private. The family members who are uncomfortable with my writing so openly have just stopped reading. Heck, it probably makes them careful about what they say to me, too, LOL. Even though I would never identify someone by name, no one wants to be the subject of a blog post.

As for security, there are things I've done that has helped a lot. As for the comments, I've only gotten one ugly comment, and it was not about adoption. That was when I had anonymous comments. Once I eliminated those, I felt much better. At least, if I get an ugly comment about adoption, I'll be able to see who it is from. I welcome comments from people who are brave enough to do so openly.

Also, I protect my pictures. There is a free program called that is easy to use. I wrote a post about it with complete instructions on how to label your pictures. I have another blog, just for family members, with unprotected pictures. It isn't private, per se, but you can't find that blog using a search engine or blogger. You have to know the url and type it in directly. So I can still share photos for my mom and share a limited number of protected photos with the "public" via my adoption blog.

Sorry this comment is so long! I've been thinking about this subject a lot lately, too.