Friday, November 11, 2011

Spotlight Blogger: Meet Brittani

This week's featured blogger is Brittani of "loved_BE."  She also blogs at "Just Breezy," but she has recently moved all her adoption-related posts to loved_BE.  Let's find out a little more about Brittani...

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).

My name is Brittani and I am 22 years old. I am an Idaho girl, born and raised in the northwest. I’ve moved around a ton but I call Idaho my home. I was raised in foster care and went through 23+ placements as well as a failed adoption when I was in elementary school. I was born in Utah but moved to Idaho after my birthmom’s rights were terminated. I was separated from my siblings and everything I had ever known to live with my adoptive family. After nearly 4 years with them my amom was diagnosed with lupus. The combination of her illness and my attachment issues made for a pretty tough situation and they made the heart wrenching decision to place me back in foster care. From there I moved seven more times until I aged out of care. My last placement began my junior year of high school and they are who I consider to be my “forever family” along with my birth family who I reconnected with when I was in high school. This may seem unrelated but trust me; these experiences all played a large role in my decision to place my son for adoption.

Fast forward to adulthood and you find me a junior in college and unexpectedly pregnant. For the first few months I was really in denial about the whole thing. The game changer for me was when my boyfriend at the time made it clear to me that he did not want a child, especially not a child with me. That was when I realized I was in a tough situation. I am a strong believer that it takes two to raise a child. I had no desire to be a single parent raising a child on the part-time salary of a college student. I decided to look into placing my son for adoption when I was about 3 ½ months pregnant.

When and why did you begin blogging?

I began blogging when my son was one week old. I had so much going on in my head and heart and could not think of any other way to process all of it. I had read some other birthmom blogs in the weeks leading up to my delivery and thought maybe that would be a good outlet. That way I could feel like I was being “heard” without actually having to talk to someone.

I also knew I would not remember all of the details if I didn’t get them down in writing. I wanted to have something I could go back and read and that I can potentially share with my son someday.

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

When I started my blog it was more of a journal and was not exclusively about adoption. I recently decided to create a separate blog for my adoption related posts. I chose to call it loved_BE. for a few reasons. One is that my name starts with a B and I liked the sort of play on words. Second [and more significant] is that I experienced love through reading other birthmom blogs and I want my readers to feel love through sharing in my life. I feel like it is such an important thing to blog about because it is a reminder that we truly are not alone in this. Birthmoms are such a minority in the overall scheme of things, it is easy to begin to feel like nobody understands and that we are all alone.

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

I have had mostly positive response online and mostly negative response in person. I’m not sure why but it seems the anonymity of blogging helps remove the personal/emotional response from most readers. I know that is not the case for everyone but so far it has been the case for me. I have had a handful of negative responses but I try to screen them out and not fuel the fire.

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?

Obviously I would recommend that someone start with the first 3 posts that chronicle my pregnancy and decision to place my son.
But beyond that I would say that anyone connected to adoption should read the post "If I had to, I wouldn't."  It discusses feelings of regret post-placement. The moment I began to feel regret is huge for me and I think it is an important issue for people to be aware of – on all sides of the triad. Up until that point I never thought I could keep my son and I never thought adoption was the wrong choice. I’m not saying that I shouldn’t have placed my son, simply that I never considered not placing him. I wish that I had an opportunity to know what it would have been like with him here. I wish someone had believed that I would be a good mother. I do not feel that I had the support I needed to make an educated decision.

For a woman planning to place her child for adoption she should read "Things I regret...".    It goes through missed opportunities during my time with him in the hospital. I think they are important things to think about ahead of time so she will know what she wants and won’t miss those opportunities if she doesn’t want to.
Do you have any advice for someone thinking of starting their own blog?

Learn blogging etiquette before you start! :) I failed to do this and broke many rules as far as anonymity, giving credit where credit is due, replying to comments in a timely manner, etc.

Have an idea of who you want your audience to be and what your content is about. I made the mistake of jumping around a lot as far as content goes.

Don’t be afraid to go awhile without writing. It is better  to have space between posts than it is to have nonsense posts that people will not care to read.

Be honest. With yourself and your readers. Don’t try to present an image because you will get caught up in trying to fit that image and you will become less and less genuine.

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