Finding my voice: Why I blog

I’ve been a blogger since November 2011. Click here to read my first post ever. Don’t laugh.   I recently joined BlogHer, a place where female bloggers can connect and learn. I know. I need more social media like I need more shoes. Wait, I do need more shoes. Forget I said that.   Seriously, as a writer trying to find my voice, BlogHer is the candy store and I am the kid. This post is written in the spirit of Selfiebration and I’m sharing it with some of my new friends on BlogHer. 

I started blogging to memorialize our adoptions. Hubs and I have adopted 2 boys from China over the past 2 years. Yeah, we’ve been busy.   I learned about adoption blogging through a forum called China Adopt Talk .  All the cool China mommies were blogging.  I learned a lot by reading other people’s stories.  I learned stuff about the adoption paper chase and all kinds of cool facts about China.  I also learned about bonding, attachment and how to parent the post institutional child.

I liked reading these other blogs so much, I decided I would make my own.  I liked the idea of an online journal to keep our family and friends in the know as we chugged along on the adoption crazy train.  I’m pretty low tech, but I hopped on Blogspot one Friday night. After about an hour, I was sharing my words with the world. Over the past 3 years, I have made adjustments and hopefully, improvements in my writing.  I have looked inward but I have never looked back.

Here’s the thing.

We didn’t get a ton of overt support and encouragement from our friends and family with our first adoption. Even less with our second. I expected the excitement and the “woo hoo” factor that parents-to-be typically experience. We didn’t get that.

I’m not saying we didn’t get any support and that people weren’t happy for us. I am saying the majority of our friends and extended family were silent on our adoption choices. We are “older parents”. Maybe people didn’t understand  “why China”. Maybe they thought we should have given a home to an American baby. I don’t know and I no longer care.  I’m over the lack of fanfare that accompanied our kids’ entries in to our family.

Although my  blog didn’t seem to be too much of a hit with the intended audience, I was tickled when the comments and emails from other adoptive families started rolling in. My writing shifted. I wrote with the “what would I want to know as an adoptive parent” voice.

Me & Doodlebug, Shanxi Province, China.  August 2012

Me & Doodlebug, Shanxi Province, China. August 2012

Up until early 2013, my writing was very “this is my diary” injected with “this is what I think”. My writing was driven by events. I can’t exactly name a turning point but I started to write about things I was thinking about. Things I felt strongly about. My topics were more conceptual versus “this is what I did on my summer vacation”.

I started to piece together posts in my head while I was running or in the moments between lying down and finding sleep. Instead of the “yeah, I think it’s probably about time to put something on the blog” I was eager to write. I began to carve out time to put my thoughts down. I haven’t looked back.

I’ve written some good stuff. I’ve written some crap. My writing is all over the place. I write about whatever pops in to my head. I keep a running list of stuff I want to write about, although my best stuff usually comes from “hey, I think I’ll write about” spur of the moment thoughts.

I’m trying to find my voice. I started blogging to document our adoptions, and I’m so glad I did. My thoughts as I prepared to bring my children home, musings on my time their birth country, my detailed account of my first moments and first days and weeks with them will (hopefully) be something they will like to have one day.

My kids were 2 and 3, respectively, when they were adopted. I have scant information about their early lives before they came in to our family. I am not sure if my diligence in documenting their lives since they have been in our family will make up for that.

Am I a mommy blogger? Am I satirical? I’ve dabbled in recipes and household tips. I’ve reviewed products and places. I’ve ranted about dumb stuff.  If you ask me who my target audience is, I’m not really sure.  Other moms?  Adopting moms, older moms?  My mom (always my favorite reader)?  People who want to read something funny?  People who want to read recipes?  I don’t know.  I’m still working that out.

Family of 5 in Shandong Province, China.  August 2013

Family of 5 in Shandong Province, China. August 2013

I’m struggling to find my voice. I’m not sure what I want to say or who I want to say it to. I have no genre and no target audience. Yet I still say stuff.
My first blog was called “Adding branches to our family tree” because that is what represented where I was at that time. My new blog is called Ripped Jeans and Bifocals because it represents where I am now:  standing on the precipice of being cute and hip and being old and tired. How’s that for deep?

I started blogging to capture. I continue blogging to explore, connect, and learn. Here’s to continuing the journey.  Cheers.

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Chinese New Year 2014.

 

Us last week.  We've come a long way, baby.

Us last week. We’ve come a long way, baby.

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