When I began this blog in 2008, it was simply meant to journal our Ghanaian adoption process. We were about to embark on a huge adventure, adopting our fifth child. Having five kids meant that it was difficult to keep up on baby books, to mark milestones, to capture the memories. We went on to quickly adopt two more children who had lived with our daughter in Ghana. Then, our Chinese kiddos came.
All of the sudden, we were somewhat of a spectacle. We have ten children. I get the curiosity. I now use this blog as a forum to educate about many, many topics that effect myself and my kids on a daily basis. I talk about what it is like to raise black children when I am white, what it’s like to be raising a mega-family, what it is like to be judged constantly for the way we live. I try as hard as I can to use this journal as a forum to pre-empt snap judgments. And, I get to continue to record the every day moments and the amazing milestones.
Sometimes, none of the writing works though, and snap judgments are made. Recently, an article I wrote about a judgment made about Cate and her missing left eye ended up on the Yahoo homepage. It trended on Facebook, and I ended up with hundreds of Facebook messages and emails. For the people who sent messages about how beautiful my daughter is, thank you, I think so too. There were many people who sent hate mail too though. This isn’t the first time this has happened. For a long time, my kids had code names on this blog because of it. The older ones have chosen to step into advocacy roles themselves though, are more involved in their communities, and are writing about their own experiences. They no longer wanted to be shielded. So, I let them make the choice to step into the light and shine for what they do for themselves, and for others. You see, writing is beautiful therapy. They see the value in it for themselves, and for what it can do to help others.
They’ve gotten hate mail too. We’ve now changed email addresses, installed IP blockers and filters on our internet. It’s so easy to sit there on the other side of the internet and say that you hate them for being “race traitors”, or being internationally adopted, or for being black. It’s easy because you don’t have to look them in the eye when you say it. It’s also easy to tell me you think I’ve committed some sort of crime against humanity by having as many kids as I do, that you “HATE mega-families” and that my home is no better than an orphanage. Sometimes, you’re actually brave enough to send these messages with your name attached to them. I prefer when you do. It seems slightly less cowardly.
I have to apologize to you though, because, you see, you have no voice here. I try very hard to make this blog about openness and giving a voice to the voiceless, but, not for you. I will never, ever publish your comments, nor will I ever reply to you. You need to go elsewhere to pick a fight, fan the flame, and spread your hate. I usually let the first comment go and just hit delete. If you send a comment again, I flag you as spam. A third time, and I block your IP address. You could, of course, go mobile, or use the local library or free public hotspot to continue to comment. But, I’ll block that IP address too, so you’ll have to continually search out new places to comment from. By doing that, when you know that I will be the only one reading your words, and that they will most certainly have no effect on the way I live or how I think, you should probably evaluate to what degree your mental illness is effecting your daily life. I guarantee there are more productive things you could be doing with your time. Join a book club, take up gardening, feed some pigeons, all of that would be more productive, and likely much more fulfilling, then continually getting ignored.
Love wins. Always. So, I would ask that you consider that when commenting here. I’m so sorry if you were given the impression that my little corner of the internet is in some way a free speech zone. It isn’t when it comes to hate. You see, everyone is welcome here. Black, white, gay, straight, Evangelical, Muslim, moms of one, and moms of twenty, you are all welcome, as long as your words are kind.
–FullPlateMom, who is ready to move forward in love.