In this third Open Adoption Bloggers interview we meet Rebekah and Rebekah, the birth mom and adoptive mom with matching names of Tyrus, who was born in June of 2009.
I wanted to interview them because they are semi-unusual in that both are active adoption bloggers who freely share their blogs with one another. The two Rebekahs write about their experiences as an adoptive parent and first parent, respectively, at Heart Cries and Sailing My Way Through.
Why don’t we start by letting you introduce yourselves.
(Rebekah @ Sailing My Way Through) Hello!! My name is Rebekah. I’m a single mom to five wonderful kids, four that I parent, and one that I do not parent. I’m 35 years old and I’ve lived a very full life…but it’s been bumpy. I’m looking forward to the next twenty years….I’m hoping they are not so bumpy. (grin)
(Rebekah @ Heart Cries) My name is also Rebekah. When I was a young teen I went to an early-day, Acquire the Fire youth rally that lit a fire in my belly to be a world-changer. At the time, my vision didn’t have any real teeth into it, I just knew I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to do something that went against the flow of traffic – something that would require me to be out of my mind for the sake of God (2 Cor. 5:13). It wasn’t until my husband, Ben, and I experienced the devastation of infertility that I realized God was handing me an opportunity to embrace humanity through his eyes, so that I could start changing the world one little life at a time. When we opened the door to adoption, we had no idea it would lead to an open-expression and new definition of family. I was under-prepared for how much my life would change by cultivating a relationship with my son’s mother. Rebekah has given depth to my vision and, to-date, stands as one of our loudest cheerleaders as we begin to head toward foster adoption. Ty’s adoption, truly, is an example of what God can do when all parties are willing to love His way.
Blogging played a unique role in bringing the two of you together. Tell us about that.
(Rebekah @ Sailing My Way Through) I started blogging when I became pregnant again with sweet Tyrus. I didn’t feel like I had any outlets. I was angry at the situation I was in and blogging gave me a place to explore that anger and find out what I wanted by just talking it through. When I finally decided on adoption I announced it on my blog. An old time blogger friend of mine suggested I look at Rebekah’s blog as they were looking to adopt. I did NOT think it would interest me but decided to jump over to Rebekah’s blog anyway. Surprisingly, the moment I set eyes on this beautiful couple… I knew I wanted them to be the parents of my baby. After nearly reading her entire blog it only confirmed that I HAD to meet them. It was the beginning of something wonderful!!
(Rebekah @ Heart Cries) My only intention in starting Heart Cries was to pound out my emotions in an accountable way. I had never been good at keeping a journal, but I knew if people were reading, I wouldn’t be so quick to give-up. It was really important to me that our future children know how I ached for them. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that God would bring our child’s mother to my blog. I will never forget the first slew of exchanged emails from Rebekah. In part, I felt widely exposed and vulnerable, but then, quickly, realized that Rebekah had such a clear view of the genuine me…the side that an expectant mom, simply, reading our agency profile would never see. The fact that she read through many of my darkest days and still chose me to mother her son, reassured me that she not only knew my heart, but understood the kind of parents that Ben and I would be.
You both read and comment at the other’s blog. Has that ongoing online connection influenced your offline relationship?
(Rebekah @ Sailing My Way Through) It has most certainly influenced our relationship. We both lead very busy lives and our blogs are a wonderful tool for us to keep in touch. Yes, hundreds of other people are reading too so it’s not like its a personal message from Rebekah to me, but when I read her blog and look at the pictures of her wonderful family, it’s like reading a personal letter. Sometimes, I think she does write for me…nobody else might notice that…but I do and it makes me love her more.
(Rebekah @ Heart Cries) Blogging, especially in those early days, helped us experience what the other mother was going through…in a way that emails and phone conversations never could. Both of our blogs are real reflections of what we’re celebrating and battling. Our blogging relationship helped thread together a bond of loyalty, faith, and trust. Although we’ve had some naysayers try to come between us, we always have been and always will be a united front. The friendship you see online is only a glimpse of what exists offline.
Have you ever been surprised by something the other one wrote? Has knowing the other Rebekah is reading changed your own writing?
(Rebekah @ Sailing My Way Through) Rebekah and I talk a lot more then we blog, so lots of times when we blog it’s about a conversation we had together and so there are no surprises. The uniqueness of our relationship is so cool that I rarely have to watch what I say. In the very beginning after Ty was born I was careful how much of my sadness I put on my blog. I didnt want to take away from her and Ben’s joy and I felt like if I poured my sorrow out on my blog (the blog she read) that it would squelch that for her and I didn’t want that. Now, I don’t have to worry so much. I blog openly and without worry.
(Rebekah @ Heart Cries) No…we usually have the background to most things that are written publicly. If I’ve ever been surprised by something that Rebekah wrote it was in a good way. A lot of times I won’t know how much something means to her until I see her write about it. For example, we’ve recently started to Skype so that Rebekah and Tyrus can interact more regularly. It was so touching for me to watch them talk to each other through the computer, for the first time, but because the conversation was Ty-focused, I didn’t know how much it meant to her until I read her blog about it. I love that! It’s an extra dimension to friendship that I wish I could have in all my relationships.
My post-adoption writing has changed because of Rebekah, but not because she’s reading. Because of the sister-bond that Rebekah and I share, there’s no way to separate the joy of Ty’s life from the pain it was birthed in. The reality of adoption hit pretty hard and ugly in the hours after we left the hospital. From phone sobbing conversations with Rebekah to holding a son that looked around the room for a mother that wasn’t me, this experience changed me…and my writing.
What advice would you give to other folks wanting to write about their adoption experience online?
(Rebekah @ Sailing My Way Through) Before I decided to give my baby up for adoption I didn’t really have many thoughts on the subject. In fact when I was given the option for adoption I pushed the idea aside. I thought that I would be a horrible mom and person if I even considered giving my baby “away.” I was so so wrong. After reading the blogs of several different women, both on the birth mom side and the adoptive mom side, I realized that it was a beautiful solution to my complex life. Blogging opened the doors for so much support for me. I am so thankful for my blog and the friends I have made because of it.
(Rebekah @ Heart Cries) My best adoption advice is to set aside everything you think to be true and right and let God direct your steps. He, alone, holds the power to make all things new. When writing, it’s important to remember that our words are forever and not everyone will agree with them…and that’s okay! I make a habit of dismissing non-Truths, reflecting on part-Truths, and embracing God’s Truths. If you roll with that model, the world of blogging will connect you to the most extraordinary people and your life will be better for it.
Thank you to both Rebekahs for taking the time to answer my questions!