Friday, March 8, 2013

Spotlight Blogger: Meet Renee

It has been a while since we've done one of these! If you follow any birthmom bloggers that haven't been featured in a spotlight post, please let us know. We'd love to get the word out there about their blog!

Today's featured blogger is Renee of Letters to Little Man. Let's find out a little more about Renee...

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).

Hello! My name is Renee, although my beautiful little boy, Liam, calls me Nay-Nay. I am 21 and a senior in college at UNC-Asheville. My son will be three this summer and he is my inspiration (along with his wonderful adoptive family)!

When I discovered I was pregnant, I was 18, a part-time server and a full-time student. I chose adoption because I knew that, as much as I wanted to, I couldn’t provide for my son in the way I thought he deserved. When it came to adoption, I knew I wanted an open relationship from the start – I wanted him to know me, I wanted to watch him grow up, I still wanted to be his family. Luckily for me, his adoptive parents wanted the same things, and we see each other about once a month or so, plus we text, Facebook and e-mail constantly. It’s a wonderful relationship and I couldn’t be happier with the way things have turned out. I got very lucky!

When and why did you begin blogging?

I began my blog about a year ago. It was an idea I’d been playing with since Liam was adopted – there are just so many things you want to tell your child. You want to tell them why you chose to place them for adoption. You want to tell them about yourself. You want to tell them that you love them so, so much. But as a birth mother, you don’t get to be around to say those things every day and sometimes, it’s really tough. I started my blog as a way to connect with my son – hopefully it will be a great thing for Liam to have and read someday but for now, it’s my way of communicating with him during the times I can’t actually be with him.

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

The title of my blog is Letters to Little Man, and it’s pretty self-descriptive: I use my blogs to write letters to Liam! Each blog is organized in a letter format, so it’s literally like I’m writing a letter from me to him. The “little man” portion is because that’s what my friends and family called him when I was pregnant. They would always pat my tummy and ask me how the “little man” was doing. Usually he was dancing…on my bladder.

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

I’m actually about to write a letter/blog post about that! The responses to my blog have been overwhelmingly positive. There is a huge adoption community out there and I feel very lucky to be a part of it. People have been so nice and complimentary to me, about my writing and about my decision. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it – compliments always make me blush! Mainly, it’s just nice to get support, even from total strangers. It means that you’re reaching out and touching other lives by spreading your own story. It means that somewhere out there is someone who knows exactly how you feel, and that’s always nice to know.

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?

Oh my, there’s so many! There is a lot of variety in the things I post – sometimes I post pictures of Liam or his family or our visits (okay, I post a lot of pictures) and sometimes I post videos. Sometimes I post funny things and sometimes I post about things that were really difficult for me. But I would have to say that my top 5 are…
-          Pain With a Purpose
-          The Best Five Percent
      These are my favorite because they really delve into what it’s like being a birth mom – the highlights and the sad parts. They’ve all got a touch of humor (I love to laugh and the sarcasm is hereditary) but they’re all very meaningful, by themselves and to me. As birth mothers, we all have such intense, extraordinary, unique stories and each one matters.

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

I’m going to quote Nike and say, “Just Do It.” I had no idea what I was doing when I started my blog – all I knew was that I wanted to connect with my son and I wanted to spread the word about open adoption and how wonderful it can be. I didn’t really “find my voice” until a few months in and there are days where I still feel like I’m learning about the blogging process (like, every day). But honestly, you just learn as you go so the only thing to do is start and see where it leads you. Write from the heart and you can’t go wrong!

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