My own contribution to the privacy roundtable (insert usual disclaimer that these are boundaries I've set for myself personally and not commentary on choices anyone else has made)...
As far as I know, no one I talk to face-to-face--save Todd and online friends I've met in person--knows about this blog. (If you do, please tell me.) I told Kelly and Beth about it a long time ago, without specifics, and both more or less shrugged. One is barely online at all, much less reading blogs. The other is part of a social group that regularly spills its secrets all over the internet, so she didn't really care. I've nicknamed some people and stayed vague about our location to keep away anyone Google-ing our family.
Even though I hide my blog away, I've always written with the assumption that everyone I know will one day read it. Realistically, I know it's highly improbable that everyone will read it. But the fact is that one day someone--probably one of the people I most hope won't--will stumble across it somehow. So I choose to write as if everyone will.
That influences my writing pretty significantly. I've had the experience of discovering blog posts written about me. It stung, and it changed my relationship with the author. To me, there is no sort of public writing worth harming relationships. Especially not relationships with the children's families of origin. I can't quite imagine explaining to them one day that we're estranged from their first family because of a blog.
First, I try not to write about any issue, disappointment or frustration unless the other person is already aware of it. I don't want someone to be completely blindsided.
Second, I try to portray people as generously as I can. I'm keenly aware that I've got a monopoly on this space. It's important to me to write about my children's first families, because I want them to be real people to all of you. So I give folks the benefit of the doubt and then some. Sometimes when I know I've got a lot of emotion surrounding a particular person or interaction, I'll ask Todd to read a post before I publish it, to make sure I'm not being unfair.
Third, I do my best to speak about my kids and their first families, not for them. I try not to make assumptions about what they're thinking, and qualify my words when I do. I use the kids' own words when I'm writing about them processing their adoptions. I don't get into quicksand areas like why Puppy and Firefly were placed. And if I can make my point without using a detail from their lives, then I leave out that bit of information. No one reading here needs to know, for example, the play-by-play of Puppy or Firefly's births. I can write about what those days were like for me without including those things.
Finally, I keep many adoption-related moments, both big and small, happy and difficult, to myself. The kids are still too little to remember much of this time of their lives. The first time I tell them certain stories, I don't want to know that I shared them with the internet first. Nor do I want them to feel, years from now, that I put the entirety of their adoption stories out for public consumption.
All this means that there are many things I don't share, both good and bad. Right now there is more that you don't know about our open adoptions than you do, simply because I haven't found ways to write about them that feel fair. There are gaping holes on this blog from this past year, especially. Things that have been happening with Firefly's birth father. The effects of Puppy's sister's birth and everything that led up to it. Changes in our relationship with Kelly.
This semi-private space gives me an outlet and means of emotional support in our adoptions that I wouldn't have otherwise. That has been so, so important to me. But assuming it will not always be private means it has not been as catharic or helpful (or interesting) as it possibly could be. That's often deeply frustrating. So many times I've wanted to come here and shake my fist, work through a sadness, or seek advice. I envy people with the guts to write openly and honestly about their lives, with full knowledge of family and friends. But, for now, that is not me. I can always become more open. It is hard to go the opposite way.