To Facebook or not to Facebook?

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I love Facebook. Probably not for the same reason that most people do. My love of Facebook is because of my love to shop. There are a wide range of amazing shops offering an array of unique homemade goods. The first shop I ever bought from is A Crafty Hen. I bought 2 bibs just after we’d been approved. Having them helped remind me I was going to be a mum during some of the dark days while we waited to be matched.

My love of Facebook shopping has grown significantly since then. I buy a lot of unique presents for friends and family that you simply can’t buy anywhere else. I’ve bought personalised photo frames, personalised pictures, dresses for little Miss and a whole host of other things.

There is another side to Facebook though. Most people use it to tell the world about their lives. Some post about pretty much every second of their day with photos to boot. Every detail of their lives laid to bear for all their “friends” to see. Many share countless photos of their children too.

I use Facebook and other social media platforms to promote my blog and my Etsy shop. Social media is an ideal way for me to be able to share select details of our adoption journey. I do this so that hopefully it helps those going through similar experiences.

We Made a Wish was born because of our daughter so I do post some photos of her, but never any of her face. She’s changed so much since her birth family last saw her when she was a tiny tot. Even so, it doesn’t feel right to post photos of her showing her face.

As an adoptive mum watching her daughter grow into an independent little girl, Facebook fills me with complete and utter dread. As we feel our way through explaining her life story, I know it will hold answers to some of her questions.

The thought that when she’s old enough to have an account of her own, she can just type in her birth family’s names and find them, terrifies me. As do stories like this which shows the devastating impact finding her birth family through Facebook had for one girl.

I’ve searched for birth mum myself (anonymously so no way for her to trace it back to me). When we started out on our adoption journey, I always thought that we’d get the opportunity to meet her. Sadly, she didn’t want to meet us so I’ve always felt there was a gap.

The reports tell us something about her, but not a lot. I wanted to be able to meet her to let her know we’d look after the little girl she grew in her tummy. Not in a “we’re better parents than you” kind of way. I wanted to try and reassure her that we’d do our best to give little Miss the best possible childhood.

Facebook for me was a way of trying to understand birth mum a bit better. I wanted try and understand what made her tick so that I can talk to little Miss about her when she’s old enough to want to know. It has given me a bit more of an insight into her life so I’m grateful for that. I’ll keep checking so there’s a way of contacting her in a controlled way if that’s what little Miss wants to do. But it utterly terrifies me.

I’ve got little doubt that her oldest siblings will try and trace her in a few years through social media. I just have to hope that we raise little Miss to be as open and honest with us as we are with her. Then hopefully she’ll tell us if she gets any contact from them. That way we can help to keep her safe.

Not allowing her to use social media is completely unrealistic in the digital age we live in. It would simply fuel her desire to use it and we would then have no control over it. I’m sure I’m not the only parent who is concerned about their children using the internet and social media. Think You Know has a lot of advice not just for adoptive parents but for all families to help keep our children safe online.

Accidental Hipster Mum

3 COMMENTS

  1. It is an absolute minefield! You are right, if you try to stop her, she will go behind your back. The scary thing is how fast new social media develops, there’s always some new app. Scary times, but being open and honest, sharing what you do on social media is a positive step. #FTTWR

  2. I didn’t even consider the implications Facebook will have on children of adoption! When you see storylines on soaps about this sort of thing, it’s always been letter written then long bus or train journeys to find things. I hope she lets you know what she’s up to if any contact is made.

    #RVHT

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