I reluctantly became sucked into the time warp that is known as Facebook about a year ago.
I swore I would never sign up because I have real friends and real relationships. I’d rather talk to a person than post something for the masses to digest. But then it happened.
One night I was just wondering what all the buzz was about and was instantly hooked. I reconnected with people from my past, recalled fun times from high school and college, got caught up on old flames and their lives and chatted with family members you only see at weddings and funerals. Oddly enough, my “friend” list grew like a weed. I received friend requests from people I barely knew, friends of friends who apparently were just trying to gather as many “friends” as possible (a numbers game if you will.) Things I posted were receiving comments within minutes from people in places as far away as Australia and Ireland.
I have 3 birth children, 6 children we adopted through our program and 1 beautiful foster son. Although smitten with each of my 10 children, the absolute love of my life is a curly-haired, sassy 3-year-old who most affectionately calls me “Granny.” My daughter blessed my husband and I with our first grandchild one cold November night and my life has never been the same. I have caught each and every moment of her on my cell phone camera nonetheless–the same cellphone I swore I would never have. I guess I should stop “swearing” I won’t get things. Once I learned how to post her pictures on Facebook, I began posting away. Anything and everything Karlee resulted in a picture on my page. If she fell asleep on my couch and woke up with messy hair, the world needed to see it. If she got into my makeup bag and looked like a clown–priceless. I took so many pictures of her; I am surprised her eyes haven’t been affected by the flash.
We may think social media outlets are harmless and the world needs to see how cute our little loves are. But, we have to be careful with what we post on Facebook about our foster children and ourselves. Recently, I had a discussion with a foster parent who posted many pictures of herself, her husband, their friends and pets, their new home and other things. One of the things I cautioned them about was the number of pictures they posted of various parties they have had or attended over the years. You want to share pictures of fun times and good friends. Nothing is wrong with it. But although it’s perfectly legal and not against any fostering policies, they may have given the impression that this fabulous young, loving married couple are “party animals.” It could create doubt about placing children in their home. While I am at it, remember we cannot post any pictures or information that could identify our foster children. Thanks for listening.
Paulette is a foster and adoptive parent. She works at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin as a foster parent liaison, providing support, offering encouragement and advocating for foster parents throughout all phases of fostering and adoption.