To Facebook or not to Facebook? That is the question.
Of course, this post is probably only relative to those considering open adoption. I’m not talking about whether or not it’s a good idea to get your name out there via Facebook or not. It’s a great idea. If you’re going with the type of agency that has you waiting for a birth mother to contact you, then you should do everything you can think of to “market” yourself, and that should probably include Facebook.
What I’m talking about is whether or not to be friends with your child’s birth mother, or birth father, or other people on Facebook.
When my wife and I adopted the first time, we tried to keep our identity a secret from the young lady that contacted us. That only lasted a couple of hours since we accidentally left our identifying information on the bottom of an email, and before we knew it she had requested to be our friend on Facebook. We accepted the invitation.
Being friends with our first child’s birth mom actually did us a lot of good. She was a teenager and was on Facebook a lot. We did a lot of our correspondence through the Facebook chat room. Chatting is more personal than emails are, so we felt like we were better able to get to know her.
Even though we were glad we got to get to know our first child’s birth mom better through Facebook, when we adopted for a second time, we purposely didn’t do Facebook with her. First of all, she lives only 20 miles away, so we were able to have some face-to-face time to get to know her. The main reason, though, was that we needed a place that we could call our own- a place where we could talk freely with our friends about what was going on. We didn’t do that with our first adoption. We knew that placing a child was going to be really tough on the birth mom, so we didn’t talk about it very much in our statuses or other places on Facebook. We didn’t want to rub it in her face since we knew that she would probably read every single word we put on our pages.
With our second adoption, not having become Facebook contacts with the new birth mom, we were able to write about anything we wanted. We talked freely about where we were at in the adoption process, and our friends were able to follow along. Most importantly to us, though, was that we got to CELEBRATE the process with our friends. Since we didn’t have to worry about rubbing it in, I guess you could say we threw a little Facebook adoption party that lasted for a few weeks. We celebrated all the wonderful things that come with adoption, and our friends celebrated with us.