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 Katelyn. I am 22, and I live in Utah. I'm currently getting my Master's degree in Social Work. I found out I was pregnant in September of 2008. I was just starting my 2nd year at college and was about a month away from my 19th birthday. The birthfather and I were having some serious issues by the time I found out I was pregnant, but we still tried to make it work for a little while. We were going to LDS Family Services for some counseling and birthparent group. By December I had given up on him and had decided I would just single parent. In January of 2009, I agreed to look at adoptive profiles through the agency. After a long and torturous few months, and with some divine intervention, I decided I really would place my baby for adoption and picked an amazing family. We spent March, April, and May getting to know each other, and I placed my son in an open adoption the end of May, 2009.
When and why did you begin blogging?
My blog is kind of unique, in that the idea originated as just me posting the letters and emails and journal entries I had written during my pregnancy. I wrote a lot during my pregnancy, and from the first part of January 2009 on, I wrote a journal specifically to my son. I have a journal like that from my mom when she was pregnant with me, just detailing her pregnancy and what my siblings were doing and how they were reacting to having a new baby, etc. It is one of my most cherished possessions, and I decided early on that I wanted all of my children to have the same thing. Because it was written to my son, I wrote a lot about my feelings for him and about the entire process, from deciding to place to picking a family to the day of placement and a few entries post-placement. I wanted to share that story with the world, so I started posting them in about September 2010. Now it's just a place for me to write my adoption thoughts, feelings, and experiences.
Tell us more about the title of your blog. Why did you choose it?
The title of my blog is "Letters To You," and given the story behind my blog, it seems pretty obvious why I chose it :) I started every journal entry to my son with "My son," and ended with "Love, Mom." They were journal entries, but they were really more like letters from me to my unborn child. Because I knew I would be including a lot of other e-mails, conversations, and personal journal entries, I decided to keep it generic, with Letters to You, rather than Letters to My Son.
Has the response to your posts been mostly positive, mostly negative, or a mix of both?
I haven't had much response to my posts :) Maybe that's a good thing, maybe it's a bad thing. I haven't done much to put myself out there in the blog world, so not many people have read my blog. The few comments and responses I have had were almost all positive. I did get into a blog and comment 'war' with someone who had very differing views on adoption than I did, which was interesting. I am extremely welcoming to all feedback, as I really have enjoyed getting to see the other sides of adoption as well.
I have had the opportunity to remain anonymous through my blog posting, due to some interesting circumstances, until mid-January of 2012 when I decided to finally really own my story and admit that I am who I am, and it's a big part of me, and anyone who has an issue with that will just have to take it up with me directly. I'm a little more afraid of critical feedback now, as I cannot hide behind my initial!
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?
This question is impossible to answer! I love them all, as they all chronicle my story, so I think they're all important. I wouldn't have written them if I didn't. A must-read would be my first-ever post, since it explains why I decided to start the blog in the first place. This post explaining to my unborn son why I was placing him for adoption was the hardest entry I ever had to write. My post about the day of placement was almost as tough. More recently I did a post about no longer being anonymous, and my favorite-to-date post with a picture that sums up my adoption experience. Because my story is written through letters, each and every letter is important to understanding the full experience.
Do you have any advice for someone thinking of starting their own blog?
Just do it! If you have something you want to say, just go ahead and say it. If you think you need to remain anonymous, go for it. I did for the first year and a half I blogged, until I really became comfortable enough with myself to claim my story and experiences as mine. Don't worry about not having readers or not knowing how to publicize your blog. If you really want things to happen, they will. It's only lately that I've been featured on a few adoption sites, and I am glad it took this long. You have to really be ready for those things to happen. Also, just be honest. Don't pretend to be something or someone you are not. There is no point in blogging if you're going to blog about a fairy tale experience in a fairy tale world. This is the real world. So write about it!