Thursday, October 29, 2015

Along Came Facebook...

When we first started this blog, blogging and advocating for the orphan was in vogue. Everyone blogged.  It was a sea of blogs and honestly, it was fun. Blog sharing was common. If I advocated for an orphan on my blog it was almost guaranteed that others would read my blog and share about that same orphan on their blogs. It wasn't a simple one-two click for them to share. They had to create a post to share.  It took time. It involved thought. It was an investment in that orphan's life.
To those blogging our hearts out for the orphan, It was a HUGE encouragement. Since I was a blog reader as well as a blog writer I was always encouraged whenever my posts were shared by other bloggers. 
I loved reading blogs. I loved reading the blogs of the advocates who were yelling alongside of me. So many times when I read a blog by a fellow blogger about an orphan, It compelled me to write - to share - to add my voice alongside theirs.
I loved reading the blogs of the families as they felt the Holy Spirit moving in their hearts for an orphan across the ocean. I loved following their stories. I loved when they crossed the ocean. I grieved when they grieved and rejoiced when they rejoiced. I loved following as the children came home. I prayed alongside them for their children. 
 I still read blogs. Call it old-fashioned but I still follow along with the families.  I still enjoy watching children growing into families. I don't read every day - I don't have that luxury, but I consider it an honor to come alongside other families as they respond to the promptings in their hearts. I take delight in watching the children we advocate for becoming part of families.  I love seeing the pictures of the children. I love watching them grow. I still grieve with families who are going through heartache and rejoice with those who are rejoicing.
I still read the blogs of the advocates.  The ones yelling alongside of me.  There are fewer. Not as many. The auditorium used to be filled with voices - every seat packed with advocates. Now the empty seats sadden me.
Blogging has changed.
Facebook hit the scene.
Twitter. Instagram. Tumblr. Etc.
It has become much easier and less time-consuming to take a post and click a few buttons to share that post across social media in a matter of seconds. It doesn't require new words. It doesn't take as much time. It is so much easier!
Posts can go viral fast. This is good. 
They can also die fast.
Really fast.
Carefully crafted words become lost in the cacophony of clicks and shares out there in cyber-space.
A good post on social media may get one day in the sun.  A really good post might get two days.  Most posts get a few hours at most. Some barely anything.
Since there aren't bloggers blogging about the same orphan - they get less exposure. Even though a post may get a lot of Facebook and Twitter clicks... in reality that orphan gets less exposure. It is just one post going out instead of many. One voice instead of an auditorium full.
It honestly is less exciting to blog nowadays. The empty auditorium is disheartening. Facebook is so much easier. Clicks and share are extremely appealing - especially when life never seems to stop and taking the time to blog takes .... time.
I miss those who used to blog beside me. I truly do. I miss their voices raised. I miss working together with so many of them. I miss seeing the faces of the orphans on my blog shared on theirs. I miss sharing their orphans on mine. I miss their passion.
Despite the change, I can't quit.
I have wanted to a million times.
But every single solitary time I try to quit I remember the first day we walked into Aaron's institute.  I remember the despair we felt for those boys. I remember the burning inside of us as we visited day after day, week after week.  I firmly believe that the Lord left us in that place for so long to burn their faces into the marrow of our bones.
Every single I time I think it is my time to ease out of this advocating thing those boys - those faces - they cry out to me. 
Visiting Kim's institute in May was a reminder again of why we haven't packed up this blog and moved on with our lives.
Plus, adopting John and seeing another version of institute life just added another whole layer of passion for us.  Those children are no less needy of families just because they are in a nice facility.  All I have to do is remember the look in Toby's eyes when I came back for John.  (About a Lost Boy) The despair in his eyes as once again he was watching hope walk out the door. 
 Thankfully, Toby's family was just submitted and in a matter of weeks that little guy is  going to be dancing for joy and you better believe I will be dancing and crying from Virginia!! But there are so many more like him. Little boys and little girls despairing. Lost and lonely.
I'm not quitting the blogging world. I may not be able to blog every day. I may not be able to blog like I used to blog. But I'm not going away. I recognize that very often my words will be lost in the crazy of social media.  I understand that they will often just be a tiny flicker amidst the rest of what can be seen on Facebook.
I don't care.
Toby's family found him through the words on this blog. 
Just that reality alone keeps me plugging away.
There are three children who age out in a matter of weeks.  They are desperate. I am desperate for them.
Micah. Alex. Isolde.
Every single donation matters to them. 
Every share matter even more.
And every prayer - that is priceless.
To those who gave and shared and prayed this week - you lifted my spirits. 
 You made blogging worth it.
We are trying to raise 5,000.00 for 6 boys.

We have raised $1697.40 so far!! We have $3,302.60 left to raise!

Check out Micah and Alex..... Please help met get their grants matched!! They are both so close!!


MICAH - 500.00 matching grant - AGING OUT IN NOVEMBER Grant account needs to read 5,932.00
Raised $486.00 ONLY $14.00 TO GO!!!
ALEX - 500.00 matching grant - AGING OUT IN DECEMBER Grant account needs to read 1067.00
Raised $418.50 ONLY 81.50 TO GO!!
STEPHAN - 1,000.00 matching grant. Grant account needs to read 1054.00
Raised $369.00
AARON - 1,000.00 matching grant. Grant account needs to read 1045.00
Raised $63.00
BEN - 1,000.00 matching grant.  Grant account needs to read 4,363.36
Raised $157.50
ISAIAHU - 1,000.00 matching grant. Grant account needs to read 1018.00
Raised $149.40
 P.S. To all those former bloggers who had to stop blogging because trolls were slamming you. I get it. I totally understand why you had to leave. It has been the saddest part of the change. I've seen so many get hurt by nasty words from those whose only goal in life is to cause harm. I miss you but I understand!! 


  1. Oh Julia!! Don't stop blogging! Your blog is so precious to us! Not just because it brought us to Toby, but also because it has broken our hearts wide open to the plight of other lost boys. We will never be the same! We never had Facebook before this adoption...and we plan to go back to a life without Facebook after Toby is home. We need your words to keep opening our eyes and hearts...showing us how to pray and act! I have been sharing your words on our blog and will continue to do so! We love your heart and the huge role you have played in getting us to our lost son!!!! Thank you!

  2. Thank you for the encouragement to continue. With Brooke's passing, it has been even harder to open up our lives for everyone's opinions and judgement. But we were encouraged to move forward in special needs adoption because another family opened their lives up through a magazine article...

    I think that it is also discouraging to see the number of children being adopted dwindle each year - but that should instead be the battle cry that rallies us onward, God has not lost His power to call His people - that is the only reason we do what we do...all by His grace and power. Amy J

  3. Have you thought of doing both facebook and blogging? With a facebook soundbite you can add a link to a more in depth blog post. It's true, the reality is heading to more rapid short exchanges on social media but... we also know that once these brief posts and images capture attention, people are MUCH more likely to click for more information. You can also use a hashtag for more media exposure. This is what marketing writers have explained to me and it makes sense to me as a psychologist. It might feel distasteful to think of it this way (marketing- oy!), but the bottom line is the importance to reach as many people as possible about the children who are suffering and forgotten.

  4. Thank you for not quitting! I really miss how strong the blogging community was a few years ago. Families that I fought for, sent what I could to their fundraisers, and prayed and followed their journey's from YEARS ago, have slowly all disappeared. I wonder how their littles are doing. I wonder if their heart for the orphan has changed. Only a few remain, and I pray all the time they stay. Not because I am nosy (although I do love following "my" babies as they come home, grow, become healthy, and are nurtured to become the amazing little people they are!)
    I dont do facebook, at all. For the reasons you mentioned. Too much "noise" things POP and make a loud noise but then are forgotten just as quickly and the remnants are swept up and arent seen again.

    Sometimes I hope the original bloggers come back. The trolls never stay long. They're trolls!! They move on, or find some other nasty thing to dedicate their time to. When you persevere they lose!

    I would not know about so many things if it weren't for the blogs. I wouldn't have grown my heart even larger for the special needs child without the blogs. I wouldn't have been prepared for the journey that my own niece had to take when fighting brain cancer, and subsequently now being on long term palliative care with a traumatic brain injury... without some of these blogs.

    I mourn every time a blog "ends" or goes flat. All the babies who no longer have anyone fighting for them. A viral post feels good. It feels productive, but it really isn't, as you pointed out. People like! People comment. People share.... but people don't leave the app! They don't go learn more. They don't go fight. They don't go shouting.

    I hope you continue to stick it out, and perhaps some of the originals start to trickle back when the fun of the FAST AND EASY social media becomes too rote and menial.

    Thank you for continuing to shout! I've been following since before Aaron came home! xoxo

  5. Thanks for blogging, Julie!! I read often and catch-up whenever I can't be online for a time and miss a segment or two... Just reading this the night before John's surgery as I play "catch-up." You and yours...and those who don't know their families yet, are on my heart with you. May He provide!!


Loving words from kind people make our hearts glad!