A "good enough" mom muses about alpha moms, adoption, computers, the State Of The World, Internet quirkiness, and the Kosmik All
Truth and consequences
By now all the blogging world knows the phrase "to be dooced". It means "being canned by your boss because of what you wrote on your blog". Many bloggers keep mum about details of their workplaces or their personal lives. Oh, you get the story and the first name, or an alias, but the link to reality is at least hazy. If you care, and you follow a particular blog, you can get some ideas as to the where, and sometimes the who, but it seems to be general netiquette to keep it on the down-low and not be too nosy. I have my alias, OmegaMom. I cloak my whereabouts in at least a desultory fashion, striving to be sure I don't use placenames. I don't use the dotter's name, nor OmegaDad's, and various relatives are just mentioned by first name and relationship. Even so, many of my readers know what town I live in--mainly because I visit their blogs and leave comments and they, too, have Sitemeter or a similar tracking service. Check a comment by a person against a tracking hit, and, unless they are with AOHell you've got a fairly good idea of their locale. (AOHell's IP addresses all are linked to some mysterious spot smack dab in the middle of the United States, quite useless for pinning someone down.) I'm not too worried about it. Pretty much what you see here is what you get: a staid plumpish middle-aged mom who is kinda gooey about her dotter and husband. Not much there to get anyone riled up (except when I start yammering on about religion and agnosticism). I rarely write about my work, and, since I generally like most of my cohorts there, I don't have any pithy things to say about them, which keeps the boss booting me because of the blog low on my list of worries. Which is not to say that I let it all hang out. There are a few items I don't like to write about on a public venue because I'm paranoid about some numbskull deciding to get all judgmental about our suitability as adoptive parents and adoptive parents-to-be, which seems to happen with dismal regularity. This kind of puts a damper on things on occasion--for instance, a very recent rumor about a possible change in China's requirements means the Omega Parental Units will be sunk, lost, totally screwed vis-a-vis adopting from China again. For which reason, I will admit, OmegaDad and I are distinctly thinking about Vietnam as a possibility for adoption. Long waits we can deal with--it took 2 years and some change for us to go from signing the adoption contract to actually meeting the dotter. Sudden changes in adoption qualifications after having a dossier actually sent to China--which seems to be happening these days--that's another matter. We could lie; this is always an option. But, for whatever reason, I personally find it ethically dubious to shove something under the rug for selfish gain; I would hate to be confronted by an angry adolescent who scornfully waves The Evidence under the parents' noses and says, "How could you?!" And, besides, as OmegaDad will tell you, I am almost pathologically honest and find lying incredibly difficult. My face gets red. I get tangled up in the details. My palms sweat. I get stomachaches. It just doesn't work out well. But letting it all hang out here--nope. Not going to do it. Maybe some day, after the fact, when everything's all legal and we have Dotter Secunda in our greedy adoptive parent grasps. Back to the judgmental commenters. Typically, the judgmental ones like to leave their comments as "anonymous" or using cutesy aliases, which just gravels me. If you're going to say something like, "I'm terrified for any child you adopt", have the guts to sign your name. I'm lucky in that I have a couple of venues that I consider safe, with people who I've hung with for years now, to gripe, to kvetch, complain, bitch, moan. I had them when I was going through the worst of the oh-my-god-I'm-never-going-to-get-pregnant- why-do-those-preggos-do-that-smug-rubbing-of-their-bellies-in-my-face angst. So, while I vented, it was private, and among a bunch of folks who had been there all along with me, and no-one felt like I was dissing them or psychotic or a danger to any child I wanted to adopt. All of which, frankly, a lot of women in that stage of the IF-to-adoption road could be accused of. Some bloggers don't have that safe venue; they use their blogs as a place to vent. Some do it with humor and style, some with raw emotion, some with both approaches. And sometimes that venting hits the wrong people the wrong way. Goodness knows why anyone who was rubbed the wrong way would want to pursue the sandpaper--for instance, my one recent visit to a White Supremacist forum where people were spouting vile rubbish about transracial adoptions was a one-time thing; I ain't goin' back there again. I guess, though, there are people out there who can't resist rubbernecking, who like being made to feel uncomfortable. But for cryin' out loud, to follow someone's blog for a long, long time, secretly knowing that you're working with this person, leaving anonymous comments, and then coming out a mere few weeks before that person is about to receive her referral and posting a rantish comment all about how her blog makes you feel nasty...And to do it all anonymously...but then say, "Oh, by the way, I work with you!"... Folks, that is low. Just low. Oh, I know, it's a risk bloggers take. But it's still damned low. Be a mensch if you've got a gripe with a fellow blogger. Comment using your own name, or at least with your blogging nom de plume. If you know the blogger, let them know you know, early on. Be strong in yourself and your convictions. Don't hide behind the mask. (For those who are wondering, no, I don't think she was "dooced". [I certainly hope not!] But I do think that her safety net was yanked at a time when she really needs it, and I do think someone posting snarky comments to a blogger then saying they work with said blogger could do a real head job on anyone.)
posted by Kate @ 5/30/2006 10:35:00 PM  
  • At 5/31/2006 05:37:00 AM, Blogger Miss Cellania said…

    Yeah, she was blindsided over something that really didn't amount to much, not even a dis.

    I have wondered whether my job loss had anything to do with my site. I never identified my workplace (although someone who really wanted to could figure it out), and the site isn't even a personal blog! But still... I will never find out.

  • At 5/31/2006 06:10:00 AM, Blogger Johnny said…

    One day I saw a visitor from the Mega-lo-corp on my sitemeter and my heart lept to my throat. Then, they went away because what I had showing that day was kinda boring.

    I wish, you-know-who comes back, at least in a password protected site.

  • At 5/31/2006 08:23:00 AM, Blogger PAgent said…

    I'm terrified for any child you adopt.

    But then, I'm terrified for any child anyone adopts. Or gives birth to. For the life of me, I can't figure out how so many of them reach adulthood.

    Right now I spend my evenings watching the toddler across the street fall off the curb and stick things in her mouth, desperately fighting the urge to run out there and wrap her in bubble wrap.

    How did any of us survive?

  • At 5/31/2006 08:59:00 AM, Blogger Space Mom said…

    I have paswd protected my site and anyone COULD find me if they tried (except there are 3-4 women with my name on my project)

    I am pissed at what happened to HER. I am so angry. She has every right to write what she needs in her blog....sigh...

    Thanks for writing this. Someone had to

  • At 5/31/2006 12:32:00 PM, Blogger MomEtc. said…

    I have the exact same fears about being judged online as an aparent.

    We, too, are turning to either Vietnam or Ethiopia because of the changes associated with who China will accept. We may well be sunk, too, regarding China.

    I had something similar happen to me as TNO. My family (mother and sister)were secretly following my blog and hating me for it. I mentioned NOTI on my blog, my sister followed me there and was reading my posts for months. She came across something I wrote about her that she didn't like. Now I've lost my mother and sister....and three nephews. To lose a job is devastating too. I was so upset about what I learned about TNO.

  • At 5/31/2006 03:52:00 PM, Blogger owlhaven said…

    Wow, how stinky! As far as I know, only one family member reads my blog, which surprises me (I'd like to think I'm endlessly fascinating). But I have wondered if some might read and not mention it...

    Mary, mom to many

  • At 5/31/2006 05:26:00 PM, Blogger Sara said…

    SO glad you wrote about this. I am disgusted that someone would do such a thing, especially waiting until such a pivotal point in the journey to reveal his/herself. Ugh.

    You-know-who, if you're reading this, know I'm thinking of you.

  • At 6/03/2006 02:17:00 PM, Anonymous Anocat said…

    I don't know this story but I agree about the need for honesty in comment names. I think you should always use the name by which you are known to the blogger - that's what I always do. If I can't use my name then the comment isn't worth leaving.

  • At 6/06/2006 08:29:00 AM, Blogger Django Sexton said…

    We've adopted three children from Vietnam, and we're exceptionally pleased. We adopted our boys not long before Vietnam closed, and that was an extreme blessing! Now that it's open again, our wish meters are running high, but our funds are running low. We may have to resign ourselves to being a three-child family (all from Vietnam).


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About Me
Name: OmegaMom
Home: Southwest
About Me: Middle-aged mom of a 4-year-old adopted from China. Love science, debate, good SF and fantasy, hiking, music of almost every style. Lousy housekeeper. "Good enough" mom.
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