Friday, October 28, 2011

Spotlight Blogger: Meet Katja

Today's featured blogger is Katja of Therapy is Expensive. Let's find out a little more about Katja....

First, please tell us a bit more about yourself (name, age, where you live, what led you to making an adoption plan, and anything else you feel comfortable sharing).
The name I go by is KatjaMichelle or Katja. Not my real name, but close enough to not be truly anonymous. Perhaps I should have thought that through better. I'm an army brat born and raised currently living in Washington (state not DC). I'm in my late twenties, although since I had typed mid-twenties and had to go back and fix it I guess that means I'm in denial about being in my late twenties. I placed Kidlet for adoption because I didn't feel I had any other choice. I had just turned 18 when he was born and was working part time scooping ice cream for minimum wage. I'd just graduated high school and I was living with parents who were barely speaking to me and not really acknowledging the situation. I'd been told by others who were important to me at the time parenting would have been selfish and I was childish to have even been considering it. Looking back, it would not have been selfish or childish of me to parent. In fact I would have made an awesome mom, but I can't change the past. Instead I chose great parents for him and have spent the last 10 years learning to navigate the waters of open adoption.

When and why did you begin blogging?

I started blogging a long long time ago on myspace, but I started my current blog in 2007. I needed a space to process my emotions about the adoption (and other things). I had been searching for a therapist, but for multiple reasons that search wasn't fruitful at that time. I felt like I had to censor myself in forums and like I didn't really belong. So I started my blog. My place to just let it out.

Tell us more about the title of your blog. Why did you choose it?

I chose to call my blog Therapy is Expensive because at the time I had been looking for traditional therapy. I contacted the facilitator who'd arranged my son's adoption as well as many local agencies looking for therapists or support groups in the area who might be competent in adoption issues. I was met with resistance, told I should be over it, and made to feel like the lowest of the low. I don't recall a single one of the those calls that ended without me in tears. So i changed tactics and just began cold calling random therapists and learned that on what I was making I couldn't afford therapy. I did save up and try a few sessions, they were awful. I'm working toward my hours for full licensure as a clinical social worker so I know the value of therapy and know I can't do it completely on my own so once again I am searching for a therapist, but adoption competent therapists are hard to find.

Has the response to your posts been mostly positive, mostly negative, or a mix of both?

It's been a mix. I don't mind when commenters disagree with what I have to say I like discussion and will try to have that discussion so I can understand where they are coming from. What hurts is when the person obviously has no interest in discussion.

What post on your blog do you consider a “must read” for people visiting your blog for the first time? Or what post(s) from your blog is (or are) your favorite(s) and why?

One of my favorite posts is actually one I did as part of the Open Adoption Roundtable. It's one of my favorites because it allows me to recalls some of my favorite Open Adoption moments: These are the Moments.  Another of my favorites (and also an Open Adoption Roundtable Post) is one that responds to some questions from a woman who no longer blogs, but that I think a lot of people have about open adoption. I think it was good to have a lot of people answering these types of questions: Brevity and I Have Never Met.

Do you have any advice for someone thinking of starting their own blog?

Be genuine. Give people the benefit of the doubt, sometimes because you can't hear voice inflection or see facial expression typed words come across harsher than they were intended. On the flip side there is negativity in the blogosphere, try not to let it get to you.

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