Tuesday, November 5, 2013

wow. just...wow.

Still no baby.

BUT- at least I went to bed BEFORE 9:00 last night and slept the WHOLE ENTIRE NIGHT!!! Woooo! It was a major accomplishment and I'm sure it will revolutionize my entire outlook on life today. Which is good, because I woke up to a less-than-pleasant situation. Or comment, as the case may be. 

Before we get to that- I heard that my post yesterday wasn't showing up in people's feed readers for some reason? Several people emailed/tweeted/texted wondering what was up and thinking that my non-blogging meant something had happened. Sadly...nothing's happened and I did blog at the exact same time I always do...only it wasn't showing up for some reason? No idea how to fix that, but in case you missed it-- I blogged yesterday. There was no major news or excitement, which is apparently why Blogger thought it wasn't worth letting folks know about the new post or something. Who knows. 

At any rate, I woke up this morning to a lengthy and vitriolic comment on yesterday's post. It really wasn't the best way to wake up. I only had about two seconds to enjoy the fact that I'd slept for over nine hours and then BAM- comment notification in the inbox. This should teach me to read emails in bed...



The screen shot is a little hard to read, but the comment is still live on the post if you want to go read it there

I must admit-- I haven't gotten a whole lot of negative comments in all of my years blogging. I know it's supposedly par for the course, but I guess my 'course' has been pretty non-controversial and since I have a relatively small 'audience,' I haven't been met with much negativity yet. But there's a first time for everything, I suppose. While my initial inclination was to just ignore and delete the comment, I ultimately (obviously) decided not to. While I don't think that the author of the comment was really looking to open up a dialogue (given the fact that he/she remained anonymous), I feel like she (for the sake of ease here, I'll pretend the commenter is female) did raise some valid points that are worth responding to. I would probably suggest that using a little bit less judgment, anger, and name-calling would go a long way in helping her 'cause', but I'll try my best to ignore all of that and hopefully clear up any misunderstandings about the things she mentioned.

First of all, I can only guess that the commenter isn't a regular reader here. I say that because I honestly feel like (and can/will 'cite' my sources) I have addressed both of her issues. But that's okay. I don't expect people to read through years (or weeks, as the case may be, since both of these issues have risen during the past month) of my writing...but then again, if you're going to attack someone, I would at least think you'd want to make sure you were making valid 'attack points,' right? 

The Birth Father Issue 

I think she makes a very good point in general. So often, we (and I mean a general, community-as-a-whole "we") do really run over the birth father and his rights/feelings/place in the adoption discussion. It is something that I personally am very aware of and concerned about. In fact, it's something I directly addressed a number of weeks ago, which is why I said: 



In my humble opinion, that is not "ignoring the fact that this baby has a birth father." It is not "too selfish to acknowledge that someone else is this baby's REAL parent." I am the first person that will admit it isn't my place to judge whether her birth father loves HIS. OWN. DAUGHTER or not. I have never stated that he didn't, nor attempted to villanize or judge his ability to parent. We do not know much about him at all, and we would never try to 'truck over' him just because we are "desperate for a baby." 

The fact is that-- and this is due to the laws in our state, not anything that Matt and I or anyone else has 'done'-- at this point, the birth father does not have any legal rights to the baby. As I discussed (and gave references to outside sources) here, at this point, the birth father could not take custody of the baby when she is born, whether or not Matt and I (or any other adoptive family) were in the picture. So if we 'back out', it's not like he 'gets' her. The baby would go to the state. The birth father does and will have the opportunity to proceed with the process of legitimization once the baby is born no matter where the baby is. It's true that in this state, birth fathers have a humongous lack of rights by virtue of their DNA, compared to birth mothers. However, I am not personally responsible for that and would suggest that contacting the Georgia Legislature would probably go much further towards correcting that issue than attacking random bloggers will. 

For the record, Matt and I are in 100% agreement that we could never in good conscious proceed with the adoption if we find that the baby's father is willing and able to raise her. How could we live with ourselves and tell our daughter we did what we thought was best if...we didn't? But at this point we don't know, so I would ask that you give us a little grace to figure things out. 

The Crib Bumpers Issue

First of all, the commenter begins by stating that "no one else here seems to be willing to say it..." ("it"=crib bumpers are dangerous, etc.) Well, that isn't true. I have had a number of commenters leave non-hate-filled, kind comments gently stating the exact same thing. Feel free to check out the comment thread on this post-- several people kindly suggest that I reconsider the bumper thing, as they are in fact not considered safe. I appreciate the willingness of these girls to point that out in such a mature and loving way-- they use a tone that can lead to adult discussion and dialogue. On this issue (or any issue), I certainly don't expect everyone in the world to agree with me and I don't expect that what I think is 100% correct or best-- but pointing out the truth in love is always the best way to start a conversation. Attacking rarely is. But anyway-- just so Anonymous knows-- people ARE willing to say they have a differing opinion, and I am thankful for that.

However, the fact remains that I also have already addressed this issue:


I know that bumpers are unnecessary and potentially dangerous! Of COURSE I know that! Good grief. I would never risk my future child's health and safety over something ridiculous like bumpers. Like many parents, I want the bumpers right now because they are CUTE. And because the baby won't be sleeping in her crib (once we even GET a crib, ha) for quite some time! She will be sleeping in our room (in a 100% safe, non-recalled Moses basket and/or pack and play) for the first few months, most likely. The crib will be a large piece of furniture taking up real estate in the nursery and I plan to have it cutely decorated so that it's nicer to look at. Once she actually starts sleeping in the crib, I will remove the bumpers. I will probably reattach them if we have a 'crib photo shoot' or something. But I really think that declaring me to be making a 'horrible parenting mistake' at this point is a little bit premature. Let's save that judgment for a situation that actually merits it.

Anyways. I think I've spent enough time on this. I really do not want this to turn into any name-calling or anything-- I think that while Anonymous's tone and choice of words leaves something to be desired, she obviously cares a great deal about babies, so I wanted to address the issues just in case anyone else was thinking the same thing. 

With that, I'm off to embark on another day of work. Have a good day!


61 comments:

  1. Yay for sleep!

    I'm so sorry that Anonymous obviously hasn't read your blog and doesn't know you at all. The concerns "she" raises, while valid, are completely mean and done in a non-loving way. We who read here often (read: ALL THE TIME) know your and Matt's hearts and are behind you 100% of the way. Okay, maybe I should just speak for myself :)

    Sending extra love and prayers today for everyone -- you, Matt, the birth mother, the birth father and Ellison.

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  2. As my mother always used to tell me "It's not what you said but how you said it". It saddens me that Anonymous chose such hurtful words to express his/her thoughts. Also, the fact that they chose to remain Anonymous is also hurtful. If you have an opinion and or thought you feel so strongly about, stand up for it, not behind "Anonymous". You can care without hurting another in the process.

    I am so excited that she's so close to arriving! Sending nothing but love and positive energy your way Erika! Hugs to you and Matt! xoxo

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  3. I think this might be my first time commenting, but wanted to be sure to give you the support I think all moms, women, and humans deserve when they are attacked in such a brutal way. I'm proud to see you addressed her issues, but I hope you don't give her and her attitude a second thought. Your choices, your parenting style, your beliefs... they are yours and only yours. I have truly enjoyed reading about your exciting journey toward parenthood and am rooting for you all the way. Can't wait to hear about the great news of Baby Ellison's arrival!

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  4. I'm sorry that you woke up from a good night sleep to this comment! This cyber bullying really scares me, especially as a parent. People can sit behind a computer and say all kinds of hateful things. Your readers know your intentions and your heart and as you said, this person is obviously not one of them.

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  5. I started writing a really long comment about this but I think it's best for you to hear, from one of your avid readers and one of the very first blogs I've ever read and got me hooked, I so very much enjoy reading all your posts!!! You are always honest here and I hope you continue to be. I laugh out loud when I'm reading them and even though we've never met, I am SO excited for you, Matt and Ellison!! :)

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  6. What a shame that some people focus so much energy on negativity and hatred, when that energy could be used on making the world a better place.

    So excited about Ellison's impending arrival, praying for health and peace for all involved!

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  7. Whatever happened to, if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all? Sheesh... I'm sorry that was the first thing you had to deal with this morning.

    So excited with you and Matt for Ellison's arrival. Keeping you and all parties involved in my prayers. Do you think there's any way you could post here or on Instagram or something when labor starts so we can pray with you in the moment?

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  8. Good for you for addressing that person's "concerns". (BTW - what... they couldn't leave their own nake with their comment...?) But you should never have to defend yourself as a mom! NEVER! I am learning this. I have an 8 month old. You do what you feel is best. You are her mom. You will have your mom instinct kick in (which it probably already has). Explaining myself has been exhausting. So I have learned I am my baby's best advocate. Just like you will be your child's best advocate. Ignore the irrational and continue on. You are doing GREAT!

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  9. Oh Lord. Open mouth insert foot. Would this commenter have said this to your face? Doubtful. She shouldn't have written either. She can think it, but I think it would be in her best judgment to keep it to herself. That's just my opinion.

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  10. It was nice of you to even address this. Because ain't nobody got time for this kinda negativity. YIKES.

    Can't wait to see baby news soon!!

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  11. Ughhh... I'm proud of you for responding to the hate and venom with a lot of grace (and a bit of wit). I would have deleted it and then cried about it!

    I'm really, really proud of you and Matt for the way you are handling the situation with the birth father and Ellison... I don't think anyone would argue that the state is better than your home. You guys are offering (with open arms) the very best thing for her upon birth... if it ends up not being the best thing for her, y'all are willing to accept that and back out gracefully at 100% loss to yourselves. Sure, by stepping into the situation, you have the opportunity to gain a child that you have longed for and fought for for years... that doesn't make you a bad person. Many (heck, most) people would be too afraid of the pain to take the risk... because it's a heck of a risk. I think it shows A) how badly you want a child, B) how much you already love this baby, and C) that you are both incredibly mature to handle the situation responsibly and with a lot of grace.

    It's obvious to me (and I hope to you) that this person had no clear motive here other than too bash you and spread hate. Her words are not a reflection of the friend I've come to know and love. Those who love you know that your intentions are good and that you are putting a lot of prayer into any and all decisions going forward (even bumpers). Don't let this get you down... we're all praying for you and Matt and baby Ellison.

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  12. I'm not sure what Feedly is doing but yesterday's post came through today... which is why I responded before realizing that this one was indeed the current one.

    Anyhow, I am now caught up to current.

    And despite, what "anonymous" said, I DO indeed know your heart about the potential birthparents, you know.. because we have INDEED discussed it and I shared with you that while the waiting period was a bit nerve-racking we were comforted by the fact that if C wanted to change her mind, she had the opportunity, and how much peace that has brought us over the years.

    Praying for you!

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  13. Ugh. I sure hope whoever made that comment isn't a parent herself... because I feel sorry for her kids. They're either going to be the bullies who end up in prison or they're going to need extensive therapy. (Sorry for being mean, but sometimes, it's just warranted.) Love you! (For the record, I had the cutest crib bumpers in Leah's crib when she was a newborn. Once she could move around and roll over, like any caring parent, I took them out.)

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  14. Proud of you, girl! You addressed this commenter's concerns in a mature way after he/she attacked you. I'd like to watch this person tell you all that in-person ... .ooooh the safety of the keyboard ... Insane ... Like, seriously???!!!!!

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  15. Hi Erika! I am not good at keeping up with reading blogs daily, but I do totally blog-stalk you to see how the baby situation is coming. My husband and I have been praying for y'all almost every night for almost 2 years. I am so overjoyed about what is happening right now, and can't wait to hear about & see pics of baby in your arms!

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  16. Being a new reader to your blog (found while googling for nursery ideas/ new baby blogs), I can understand where anonymous was coming from (though her/his delivery was totally way too harsh). I must admit that I was taken aback when I read two moms and one dad were ready... The new baby does have two moms and two dads and always will. Hopefully both Dads love her to the moon and back, with one raising her and the other loving her from afar. The more people that love a child, the better off that child will be. (and by leaving off the one dad, you also excluded a whole set of grandparents/great grandparents/ aunts/ uncles/cousins that would probably love the child also, same thing either by being in touch of by afar through prayer and thoughts) And on the bumpers, it is the dumbest purchase for a nursery ever but lots (including my daughter who will be giving us our first grandchild soon) of parents buy them. Maybe anon thought you didn't realize the dangers of SIDS / strangulation (again his/her delivery sucked). My daughter also bought the most adorable ones that will be photo ops and then removed when the baby is using the crib. Also the matching baby quilt...dumb to purchase for the crib!

    Anyway, my take is that anytime someone (like anon) lashes out, there is more to the story. Respond with grace. Maybe this person is a grandmother who doesn't get to see their grandchild because their son isn't raising the baby and isn't recognized as the Father? Maybe this person had a father that loved them and they weren't allowed to see him? There is something going on in Anon's life that makes a person say things harshly like that. I am thankful that I am not walking in anon's shoes.

    I have heard the saying "when you put yourself out there like that, be prepared to be hit with the stick.." . I guess with blogging, you are putting your life details out there and you get the good and the bad. I honestly would be terrified to have my life details out there like that to TOTAL strangers. I know there are people in the world that don't/won't agree with things I do, so I don't take pictures or blog about it. :) And once you have a new baby coming into your world, your number ONE priority is safety of the child. Whether that be from bumper pads or strangers. I have told my daughter when her baby arrives, she should ABSOLUTELY not have the big "stork" sign in the yard, no balloons, no welcome baby signs, etc. Just not worth the risk from a total stranger driving by her house on a busy road. Protecting the baby above all else.

    Have a great day, enjoy that new baby of yours that will hopefully be there soon!

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    1. I feel like it's necessary to point out that, regarding your second paragraph, Erika DID respond with grace. A lot of grace, actually. Second, regarding your third paragraph, I don't think Erika shares about her life and expects everyone to accept/agree with her choices/views. This is proven by the fact that she responded with grace to the anonymous commenter. I'm not sure anyone wakes up and is fully prepared for a comment like that, but most people wouldn't have responded like Erika did. You say a matching quilt is dumb to purchase for a crib? Are you referring to Erika's purchase of a matching quilt??? If so, that is not a very nice thing to write.

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    2. bellehavendrive- I agree she did reply with grace. I wasn't criticizing her.

      And as to the quilt comment, if you re-read it, I was not talking about Erika. I was talking about my daughter buying the matching quilt to the bumpers (that won't be used). The quilt/comforter also should never be put in the babies crib, so it is also a useless (but cute photo op) item for the crib.

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  17. P.S...is there a chance that the birth father knows about your blog? Or the birth father's family? The way the first parts were written very intensely, I would wonder if anon were maybe connected to the baby's birth father. (and btw...I am anon because I don't blog, normally don't read blogs, but have taken up the habit for a bit while looking at nursery ideas)

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  18. Girl, when we are walking in the Lord and being obedient to Him, we will ALWAYS face opposition. Satan is not happy right now because of the LIFE that God is bringing. He is using other people to attack you. Stay steadfast, stay strong, and whatever you do, don't take this personal. We all LOVE you!!!

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    1. These are my thoughts too Erika! Stay strong you know we all support you here :)

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  19. I'm so sorry you had to wake up to such hurtful words. I think you explained yourself well, not that you needed to, but you know what I mean. Way to be the bigger person. Keep your head high, Erika. You are a fantastic person and soon to be mother!

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  20. Well, you completely titled this properly. I'm quite dumbfounded by the comment ledpft and angry they don't have guts to put a face to the words.

    I want to encourage for whenever you are finally a mom (which I'm hoping and praying will be very soon!): there will be times you feel like you've made a bad call, times when you have made a bad call and realize it, and times where someone else will, hopefully lovingly, need to point out you made a bad call for you to realize your mistake. My point is, as great a parent as you strive to be, you will make bad calls.

    However, there will also be times (kind of like the awful comment) where people will judge your decision, but it's really one you and Matt have to make together and stand your ground. No matter the root of what's brought on the "I'm a terrible parent", remember that God designed you to be that baby's mommy and as such the mistakes you make teach you just as much as they will her. And gah! I really hope it's little Ellison!!

    Hope your day is getting better and you're able to focus on the tasks before you while you wait!

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  21. WOW. I think you responded well and hope you don't give it another thought. Ugh.

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  22. Erika...your openness about adopting Ellison was bound to bring out a crazy or two. Don't let this one post ruffle your feathers (sorry about the bird analogy). There isn't a person in the world (virtual or otherwise) who can pretend to know exactly how you're feeling.
    Enjoy the happy posts from those of us waiting anxiously for Ellison to arrive. I'm super excited for you two, praying for your birth mom and a happy, heathy delivery!

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    1. Wise words Susan. -Jess

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  23. I feel like when it comes to comments like that one, "Anonymous" is a code name for "overly opinionated pansy." Just my 2 cents.

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  24. I agree with Allison. And I think you are such a bigger person than me for even addressing this- I commend you! I would have cried and then deleted it. XOXOXO

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  25. You will find that people are extremely opinionated when it comes to adoption. There are even blogs out there of people who are anti-adoption and think that all adoptive parents are monsters. Yes, in a perfect world there would be no need for adoption but we all know this is not a perfect world. I think your response to that comment was great.

    I also used crib bumbers with my daughter until she was big enough to stand on them. She loved to crawl up and put her head against them when she slept. I always made sure they were pulled up enough so that air would flow freely and she could breathe well. Of course, if she had any kind of health issues, like respiratory problems or something like that I wouldn't have used them. You have to do what you feel is best- don't let anyone bully you into doing otherwise.

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  26. Wow - that was a horrible comment but you handled it beautifully.

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  27. Even when you know an attack isn't fair, it really hurts. I agree that anyone who has read your blog for long knows that despite your desire for a child, you want what's best for her and wouldn't interfere with an able and loving birth parent. Someone else suggested that the commenter may have had a negative experience on the flip side and took it out on you unfairly and RUDELY!
    I also got a beautiful, useless, expensive crib bumper knowing the SIDS risk. As soon as he started moving around in the crib, I took it off. Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that one out. I know plenty moms who put their babies on their tummies so they would sleep, despite the very tiny risk and against recommendations - everyone makes the best decisions they can for their children, wanting only the best for them OF COURSE! Hopefully Ellison will arrive soon and this will fade quickly!

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  28. Classy. Graceful. Thankful. Mature. Loving. Those are the attributes that come across with this post. Ignore the haters. You are a fabulous role model to all.

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  29. Well said! I feel like we all live in glass houses where we constantly JUDGE people. We do not know the story behind... we cannot judge or assume.

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  30. oh erika. so sorry you had to get such a rude comment. you guys are doing great so don't worry about McHater.

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  31. Oh, girl. I'm so sorry you had to deal with that negativity right now, when we should be surrounding you with all the positivity we can muster. As others have said, you responded with class and I admire you so much for it. I think people have all of this courage when they're "Anonymous" and behind a keyboard. I highly doubt whoever that was would have had the guts to address you in such a horrible way without that cover.

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  32. I woke up to an anonymously written comment recently asking, "who I thought I was to" have a certain opinion. Spent a couple hours in tears over it and then reworded the comment section of my blog. If a commenter is not going to at least stand behind their opinion with a name, I don't think it deserves much credence.
    Take a breath, know that you are doing what you know to be best for this child of God, and then reread all the good stuff again. Unfortunately, the negative stuff can be pretty loud. Very sorry.

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  33. I am so sorry you had to respond to this comment. We know both you and Matt have pure hearts in this. Praying things go well. On the bumper thing-- we had them with Charles for about 2-3 weeks before I got tired of taking them off and putting them back on to change the sheets. I think bumpers are for what you said to make things look cute and for photos. I pray that this comment doesn't steal the joy you so deserve to have right now. Love you bunches.

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  34. I'm really proud of how you handled that. I admire you, seriously. I had an "anonymous" comment over a month ago. It was extremely rude and hurtful. I have a very good idea about who wrote it and sadly that is a problem my husband has had to deal with now. I read comments before they are ever posted to my blog, so that gave me a chance to reply to this person without making it all public... They wrote back a week later to my reply thus locking in that it WAS them who wrote it. Sorry, I am making this all about me, I just know how hurtful and awful it is when somebody writes rude, uninformed comments. You handled it very well just like a good mother should.

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  35. Been thinking about you. Way to take the high road and 'turn the other cheek'. That person must be having a lousy life right now.

    Sending prayers.

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  36. I really want to write a much more hateful and less gracious blog post in response to that person, but I shall refrain and limit my hateful and immature ranting to our private email exchanges :)

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  37. Can I just say how impressed I am with the way you handled this situation?! You are a good egg, my friend. As for Anon, I still have a few choice words for "her," but you and your blog are far too classy for my four-lettered words. Ugh. What a coward. Get your own clue, Anon.

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  38. Well I will name call...what a butt head. Worse, actually. Talk about disgusted. I'm disgusted someone could jump to such conclusions and then w/o valid facts blast a stranger. Maybe that is why Anonymous felt he/she could blast you though...b/c you are a stranger. I'm gonna chalk them up as "nuts." If Anonymous gets to read this i would like for him/her to know that Erika truly does have a beautiful perspective about the sweet baby's possible father(i say possible b/c we do not even know if he is the sperm). Anyway, when asked about it Erika and Matt quickly came to the "father's" defense by saying they would rather sweet Ellison be raised by her biological father than them b/c it would be so much better for a baby to have her biological parent in her life! I'm glad for Christ's grace b/c you, sweet, Erika demonstrated it to Anonymous and I hope that person can find some love and maybe help. I sure would have been tempted to rip them a new one...I'd justify it as righteous anger. All teasing aside, I agree with many of your commenters that you handled it beautifully and I do ultimately hope Anonymous is satisfied with your answer and their concerns are extinguished. -Jess

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  39. You responded with wayyyy more class than I would have been able to muster. That comment left a bad taste in my mouth. But, I think you addressed her 'points' perfectly, so good for you.

    Haters. Sheesh.

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  40. What a terrible way to wake up.

    I think the people who have been reading and following your story (your friends) know what a wonderful and loving person/family you and Matt are. Boo for them.

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  41. Blogs are so hard because we see tiny snippets of people's lives, and just the parts that they want to show. Many bloggers are wonderful and transparent, but so many aren't. People that hate on blogs usually have some kind of inner turmoil (from what I have experienced.) Please, after all of you and Matt have been through, don't let this ruin such a happy time!

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    1. Ok this the last comment I will ditto. Promise.
      Your daily readers responded so eloquently. I wanted to say, "ya", "me too", "exactly" to most posts.
      The stories of your day to day life in Ga and the tone of many of your blog posts have caused me to laugh, to cry.
      They have made me add two, three . . . four complete strangers in my prayers.

      There are so many wonderful benefits to this form of communication and some pretty ugly negatives.
      Sorry a ugly negative reared it's head.

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  42. Wow. Girl, you responded to this with way more grace and understanding than I ever could.

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  43. That was an amazing response! Will you adopt me? You're my new hero ! Lol.

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  44. Wow. What a jackass. It actually just cracks me up sometimes that people leave such hate-filled comments. Personally, I've never left a negative comment and have tried to reach out to the few that I've had over the years blogging. Now.... let's get back to focusing on little E!!!!!!!

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  45. Perfect response. Also, you are free to fill that crib with plastic bags and hair dryers before the baby takes up residence.

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  46. Way to graciously dodge the hater! I'm flabbergasted that anyone would take the time to write such a thoughtless, ignorant attack on your beautiful blog. And can I just say, the crib bumpers look lovely and tie the whole nursery together. Plus, it's not like Ellison is ever going to be in her crib anyway; she's always going to be in someone's arms!

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  47. Erika... omg. What a nasty rude mean comment that was totally undeserved! So sorry. I really hope you can get it out of your head soon! I was thinking while reading her comment, "but she DID say she knew crib bumbers were dangerous!" & "but she did say she knew there was a birth father & who was she to adopt the baby if he was willing and able to care for her!" I was getting mad! Glad you addressed it. I imagine she will read it but not respond (b/c she won't have anything to say!). I really don't understand people attacking others like that. Especially people who are not really going through an easy time either! Grrr. You definitely responded in the right way. Hang in there.

    P.S. That baby isn't here yet?!?!?! :)

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  48. Such people should be ignored, this is ridiculous, you don't deserve all this crap!!

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  49. Way to respond so respectfully to a comment left without care. Girl, you are awesome and I am sorry you were the target of someone's anger/distress/depression. To me it sounds like "Anonymous" has lots of heavy baggage. "Those who are the hardest to love need it the most..." I think Anonymous needs A LOT of love!

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  50. Ugh!! Well, maybe you don't have Ellison yet, but you must be a parent if everyone has an opinion about you and your child!

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  51. Just checking in! Any action this week?

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  52. Augh!! Three days without a post. I'm going crazy!! Hoping this means good news! Continuing to pray for everyone. Lots of love!

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I love comments almost as much as I love Mexican food. Seriously.