Saturday, May 30, 2015

To Share Or Not To Share?

Do I share too much?
Do I share too little?
Do I share just right?

My purpose for blogging is
1. To document our life with our adopted and grown children.
2. To encourage others to adopt and not fear special needs or older child adoption.
3. To be real and share the joys and challenges of adoption and having a large family.
4. To share with others what it is like to adopt as an older parent.
5. To encourage and support others that are going down the same path or who are considering it.
6. To be encouraged.

(pic taken halfway through our 3.5 mile walk.)

I am a nurse, a Mom and a wife for 33 plus years.

I sometimes say things that may be embarrassing to others but it doesn't feel embarrassing to us. 
I know my children may look back and cringe 
at some of the things that I have written about them 
or their siblings.
I cannot over analyze every word 
that goes into this blog.
For the most part readers 
"get it"
but occasionally through a comment
I sense that others may feel I have shared too much.

Our life is very good
but I feel
it is important to share some of our challenges so that others adopting will be prepared and 
will understand that adoption is not
all roses and sunshiny days...
There are everyday challenges
whether it is the child's or my own issue.

The important thing is to focus on GOD 
and pray your way though the
joys and challenges.

I also believe that attitude is very important... 

Having a child that is incontinent is no big deal... at all... to us.
And this was one of the special needs we feared.
Cathing and flushing are no different than you or me going to the bathroom.
Wearing diapers at whatever age 
for "just in case" reasons 
is also no big deal...
We consider it rather exciting that at some point- 
when he is ready, he will be out of diapers.
Even now he mostly wears them for "just in case" reasons.
He is also too busy being a child to care whether or not he is "going" like the rest of us.
When he feels it is important to make the change
(possible surgically or through better maintenance) 
then we will proceed.

It's no big deal to us to have an other son who was 
"re plumbed" and is now 
"going" like the rest of us.

One daughter gives herself a shot every evening so that she will grow.

Others in our home have cognitive disabilities while other have cognitive delays and learning challenges. 
Or to mention that a couple of our kiddos act impulsively and we are working on reminding them to think before acting.
And our list lovingly goes on...

This is our normal and we love it!

I learn from watching and reading what others are doing.
Sometimes it empowers me/us to do something we thought we couldn't do or were afraid to do.
I believe others learn from our sharing, too!
If I don't share the ins and outs
the interested reader will not learn and hopefully realize that they can do this too.

Potty, poop, shots, medicine, blood draws, transfusions, dr appts, learning and relearning academics and safety rules, etc 
don't bother us.

This is our life and we
LOVE it!

(This is the view as I open birthday gifts and the crowd get closer and closer!)

I'm a nurse so I could be a little off on my thinking and sharing when it comes to medical issues.
But we are felling pretty good about our openness.

Those that judge us or the children certainly have their own issues.

Our children are not embarrassed by this either...
At least not now... or yet.

Our children are comfortable with who they are and where they are at-
 they are not subjected to the outside world that teaches them
that they should or could be ashamed of who they are or what they need to do to maintain good health...

I see no reason to be embarrassed by this and at this point they do not either.
The happily restock diapers and the other necessary medical supplies for each other when they arrive.

It's actually a breath of fresh air to have them be so open and accepting of what ever
their siblings needs are...

I read many blogs and often have trouble remembering details about their family, so I try and do "recaps"  when I write posts, so readers know what I am talking about.

Will I regret my openness?
Will my children look back and be embarrassed by what I have written and shared with "the world"?
Am I making a mistake by calling them by their real names and openly writing about our life?

I don't know?
I hope not.

I am delighted that my children cath, flush, gives shots, take medicine, get new blood every 3 weeks and so on.
They are my heroes!
Their character is beyond their years.

None of this needs to be everyday conversation but educating 
those who are interested but don't know where to start 
or encouraging those who are living it 
makes it that much more important!

If even just one child comes home to their forever family because of our sharing, it was worth it.

Secretly, I hope God uses us to have MANY children come home to their forever family!

All praise and glory to HIM!


Amy said...

Jean , please keep sharing just as you are . I love it and it does help ! We are adopting too and every time I see your post And your kiddos smiling pics it just makes me smile . Your posts just feel good . Love you! Amy Bliss

Shay Ankerich said...

Love you Jean and your heart! Honesty is good and more kids will certainly come home because of you. I'm in awe of you and your beautiful family!!!!! Xo

dawn said...

Jean, your blog has inspired me in so many ways. I think your honesty helps many of us realize that we're all in the same boat. Personally, I love your attitude and it reminds me that while parenting our kids can be challenging, there are many more joys. Thank you for being so open and sharing your corner of the world with us :)

Lauren said...

I love reading about your family. I find it so encouraging. My husband and I are young and just starting a family of our own. While we don't feel God is calling us to adopt at this particular season in our life, We feel strongly that adoption is something we are being led to in the future. Your blog has been such a privilege to follow and I appreciate the openness. You have such love for all your kids (and grand-baby!) and I pray nothing but blessings for you all!

Sandra & Steve said...

Seems to me you are all just being yourselves, I don't think you overshare at all. I know I have benefited from reading you blog. This is your norm and real life. Sometimes privacy can be a euphemism for a fear of vulnerability and trying to appear a certain way too fit in with "others". Instead, you and your children own your stories. Builds character and a true sense of belonging and connection. Thank you for the virtual connection. I am an older working mother of two children (one home older) and reading your words is often as close as I will get to having "coffee" with another mother my age, with my concerns. Your insights and parenting experience have given me those much needed aha moments on more than one occasion. Keep it coming please! ;0)

Melissa said...

Dear Jean,

I was so afraid you were going to say you weren't blogging anymore! I have been reading your blog for several months and am so thankful for what you share!! We have 4 children we adopted from China and we homeschool. I love seeing what your beautiful family is up to! It is refreshing to see you all take the leap of faith each time and follow the Lord's leading. Thank you for sharing what you do! It is encouraging not only to me, but our children enjoy reading and seeing your kids too! Many blessings!

Melissa S.

Emily said...

I love your blog and your openness. You are a tremendous encouragement and inspiration to so many. Will your kids be embarrassed one day? I sure hope not! But if they are, they just need to go back through the comments and read and see that so many people are rooting for them and praying for them, because you have shared. Each one is a blessing. Each shot, cath, transfusion, etc. is a victory. And poop all of us! LOL! It's nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about. =) Don't let a few spoil it for everyone! If they are uncomfortable, then they should stop reading!!! No one is making them follow your blog.

Tracy said...

Well for what it is worth I think that you are always very respectful of your children and their privacy. You may talk about issues that you have but for the most part you don't point fingers at an individual child. I love that you are real in your post. Far to often blogs are way to sweet to be real. I like the honesty of talking about the good and the not so good days. It helps me to realize that as an adoptive mom I'm not the only one that deals with day to day issues. Some days are good, some are great and some just suck to be honest. I wouldn't trade a single one of those days though because I know that they teach me to do better next time, and it teaches me how to teach my child to have better days. So I applaud you Jean for keeping it real, because there is nothing wrong with being real. I have learned so much from your post and others out there that also have a gift for writing and teaching just by living. Thank you.

Lisa and Tate said...

Happy Belated Birthday! You have a beautiful family and life. I LOVE that you share this life and the struggles and joys.

Joy in Belgium said...

I feel you are respectful in the way that you share. Why should these issues be some kind of secret? They are not something to hide or be embarrassed by! Of course, I am also a nurse so these topics don't make me blink an eye!LOL I enjoy reading about your family, you share the joys and the challenges and I love the honesty. I adopted a child with needs, they are part of who she is and there is no shame in being yourself.

Jennie said...

Jean, So glad to hear you will continue to blog. Thoroughly enjoyed all your blogs - and stumbled upon your blog page when you adopted Emma and Ellie. Your honesty is respectful, and have educated me (and I'm sure many others) on the various special needs. Happy birthday!!!!

Laurel said...


I've read your blog for many years, and never once felt that you shared too much, but have so appreciated your honesty and transparency (as there are a few adoption blogs that seem to portray sunshine and roses every day).

When I met you a couple of years ago, it was the similarities of our journey that drew us instantly together as friends. (How long did we stand one step inside the front door and chat, before moving further into the house to sit down?)

It is good to ask the question, though: how much is too much to share? Some of my readers believed that I shared too much, and they tore our family apart with their internet stalking and harassment. I miss sharing my heart. I miss hearing from readers who were walking the same walk. I miss walking our adoption journey alongside other adoptive moms (through our blogs).

Keep up the good work, and please keep sharing your joys and challenges.

love & hugs to a beautiful Mama!!!

kimjax said...

Your posts over the years have given me courage to be open to more needs, inspiration to parent my children better, and consolation when things are difficult. We'll all be incontinent eventually - we older parents are just a little closer and have more understanding, lol! Love your family and their open hearts - hoping others will open theirs more as they hear your stories.

Stephanie M said...

Love your heart, your joyful spirit and all that you share! You are an inspiration to me and I am sure so many others!!

Gina said...

I have been reading your blog for years, and think you do a perfect job of writing truthfully and respectfully. It is so very encouraging, and I think it definitely inspires others to adopt older children and those with special needs. You don't paint a fake pretty picture, yet everyone can see the joy you and your kids have on a regular basis. Please continue blogging, you are an inspiration to me, and to many others. Blessings!

Fran├žoise said...

I read to you for a long time
I like your sincerity, you show enjoyments and difficulties of a so beautiful but exceptional family
Fran├žoise from France

Jenny said...

I think your sharing is of immense value and it never is negative. Keep on keeping on; it so helps me to know that others live this similar life to mine.

From the Erben Gang..... said...

Please continue to post with all the openness, compassion and humor that you have been over all these years. I am so inspired by you and your family. I agree with you wholeheartedly (maybe I too am warped since I am a doctor and love the "gory" details) that its a beautiful thing that the kids are so open to each others differences. If they had to navigate "real school" it would be a very different journey and I believe the strength, confidence and compassion that you are teaching them in your home is invaluable. Sending lots of love and hope to visit you with my girls again at some point int he near future!!

Brenda Fung said...

I think you share just right. I have never ever read your blog and thought "oh, goodness, did she really tell us that?".

Please continue. Your family is lovely, and you provide many of us with guidance and inspiration (whether you mean to or not).


Kristi said...

So grateful and encouraged with your honesty and positive outlook! Keep sharing!

Holly said...

I think your blog was one of several that helped encourage us to take the plunge and adopt an older child. So I thank you...for now at least. :P Once our new reality hits I may be commenting for help, until then I'll just be excited. :)

The Cruzan Homestead said...

I personally am refreshed by your authenticity, honesty & openess. I know that technology can give us a "false" sense of closeness but I adore your family & so appreciate your blog. It encourages & teaches me when i need it most. Thank you!


Pam said...

I am so thankful for the openness and honesty on your blog. I always learn from you when I read a post, and you are a great encouragement. Thank You!

Lisa said...

Even though I haven't been reading your blog for a long period of time. I look forward to reading it, seeing the children. I was only blessed with one daughter, who lives in another state. She is busy living her life, and thats okay. I hope someday to be like you and adopt several children. To have and to love on. Most important that they get the forever home they are looking for.


hsb7x said...

Just want to let you know that I think your honesty is refreshing. I love reading about all the issues of raising a big family brings. I love that you are so positive. Life is full of challenges, and when someone is honest with their struggles it helps others see that theres hope- and joy in life. Thanks for always putting God first. It is truly a blessing to me.

Kirstin said...

I have learned so much from all you have shared here. Thank you for taking the time to do so. I have not only learned from the facts shared, but also from your outlook on life and cheerful attitude that you maintain as well as the spirit in which you share about your family. I have been especially helped by all you share about about Sara and her story and education as we have been home from China just about 6 months with our new 9 year old daughter. So, so helpful to me. Thank you!

Jenny said...

Jean, we met you in China in March 2011. We have three grown sons and two daughters we adopted at 33 mos. (now almost 15) and 7 yrs(now 11). I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate you sharing your family's journey the way you do! It can definitely get lonely at times being an older parent who homeschools two daughters with special needs. It encourages me to know there are others out there walking the same path we are. I appreciate how your love for your children is so clearly shown through your words. Please keep sharing!!!


Hunan Mommy said...

Your blog and journey is amazing. Please keep sharing! If anything, when I go to your blog it motivates me to post on my own :-)