Monday, March 15, 2010

Our blog is now located at:

Sunday, March 14, 2010

As of Sunday, March 14, 2010 this Party of 5 blog will no longer be continued. We have a new blog located at  --  This blog, called Five Free Spirits, is a "private" blog requiring logging in with a password. We brought over 400 of our "Party of 5" readers with us to our new blog... and we are happy to continue to give most people access to it if they'd like. If you are interested in being a reader of Five Free Spirits, head on over and register (click the link at the bottom below the login form). Please be sure to tell us a bit about yourself when you do!

Friday, March 05, 2010

Top 10: Reasons For Going Private

Top 10: Reasons For Going Private
  1. We are so very sick and tired of the hurtful, nasty comments. In truth, we get about 100 positive comments for every negative one.  But the negativity stings. Trying to stay honest, and allow ourselves to be vulnerable, while people (most of whom find ways to stay anonymous) slap us in the face... it has been very challenging. We've tried to keep our chins up. But we can't do it anymore. It came down to this: quit blogging altogether, or go private. We've decided to try going private.
  2. Comments, like this one, from a couple of months ago:  "I read your blog and enjoy your discussions. However your grammar makes me wince. It detracts from the great content. I believe that all writing should use appropriate grammar and syntax. You really need to take a writing course." Nice. Honestly, I am an academic, a published author (of "real" publications). I know how to write with formal prose and proper grammar. I choose not to on this blog. For a bunch of reasons. And I don't want to have to defend that.
  3. But the comments that really cut deep are the ones about more substantive aspects of our lives. Comments, like this one, from a couple of weeks ago: "Why is it that adoptive White parents feel the need to mess with Black childrens' hair! Your kids are NOT Jamaican, why the forced dreadlocks??!! It looks ridiculous! You aren't raising Bob Marley's!"  
  4. Or, comments, like this one, from a few days ago: "If it is so hard for you to leave your baby then why do you do it? Mothers who really care about their children prioritize their children over their own selfish desire to WORK. If a woman isn't willing to dedicate herself fully to raising her children then she shouldn't have children in the first place, let alone adopt them!!! Nothing is more important than your children. If you truly cared you would not leave them with a NANNY!!!!!!!!"
  5. Or, comments, like this one, from yesterday (comment made to a post I later removed which included photos of our baby Meera, not always fully clothed): "You people are sickos! Seriously! You're sick! You should be arrested and jailed for these photos of your daughter. This is classified as child porn. You are sick!!!!!!!" 
  6. If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen. Right? Right. Well, we've tried to stick it out, and maybe we're wimps, or weak, or too sensitive... I don't know. However you look at it, we're ready to get out of the kitchen. Or, alternatively, (as I like to think of it), we're kicking the haters out of our kitchen. Because in our kitchen we have rules. The same rules that apply to every room of our home. And right at the top of the 'House Rules List' is this one: If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all. At least with a private blog we can lay down the law-- if readers don't play by the rules they're not invited to our Party [of Five]. 
  7. There are lots of other benefits to going private too. Benefits we've been contemplating for a long time now. First and foremost is that we will feel more free to write about some of our more real issues, our more sensitive subjects, our more touchy topics. We want to write more, for example, about our trials, tribulations, and triumphs in regards to issues related to working women/dual-career-households/egalitarian relationships/gender-bending/etc. We have felt very constrained in this arena because we've been so fretful of the dreaded negative comments to anything we post on this subject. We look forward to being able to be less "careful" where these subjects are concerned.
  8. We'll feel more liberated to write without worrying about who might be reading. This has been especially problematic where our own professional lives are concerned. I have always worried about students of mine, colleagues of mine, or potential professional connections of whatever sort reading this blog. In many respects, this blog has kept me grounded and real and honest. It allows that gray fuzzy area between the public and the private to be more transparent. But in other ways I look forward to not worrying so much about the 'who might be reading?' question.
  9. Photos. With a private blog we'll be more comfortable continuing to post photos of our children on the internet. We are always cognizant of the fact that nothing on the web is truly "secure." But a private blog will help us feel a little less vulnerable.
  10. K & O are turning six in May. Meera is turning two in May. They are getting older. How will they feel about this old blog when they're teenagers and older? Going private will feel a little less 'exposed,' and, for their sakes especially, I think that is more and more important as they get older.
So, we're moving on. We're taking our party 'underground.' The good news is that it is still going to be a big ruckus party! (Based on all the emails I've been receiving since yesterday's announcement, it looks like we'll be taking a few hundred readers with us). It is really sad to end this blog as we've known it. The saddest part of all, for me, is knowing that we won't be out there -- loud and proud -- to support, in whatever tiny ways our blog has, those folks out there in the blogosphere looking for companionship on these crazy journeys so many of us are on.*  I am humbled beyond comprehension by the hundreds (thousands, actually) of people who have read our blog and told me of the very real and meaningful ways that it has made them think, or has helped them to feel less alone. Just in the past day I have read hundreds of notes from people all over the world telling me that they've been reading daily for 2 or 3 years. That is just mind-boggling to me. The things you all have said to me in these emails are beyond touching. They are moving, and inspiring, and so gratifying. Thank you so much for reading and following along with our story. We're telling it mainly for us and for our kids (hopefully they will look at the blog some day?), but it is amazing to know that it has meant so much to so many more out there.

*For this reason, we will be keeping this blog located here for at least a good long while. People will thus still be able to find us, and, if so inclined, can always request access to our new 'private' blog.

So, adios --for now-- amigos! And hello to a whole new era of our blogging!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Blog Going Private

On Sunday, March 14 this blog will be going private. If you are interested in continuing reading, please email me at hbj2 (at) lehigh (dot) edu
Thanks for reading all this time y'all!