Goodbye to Blog Nicknames

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June marks my eighth anniversary of blogging. Eight years – there aren’t many things I’ve voluntarily and consistently done for eight years. Marriage, parenting, homeschooling come to mind, and of course there are others, but most of them are in the “need” category, not the “want” category. Blogging is nearly always a good part of my life.

Last November I wrote a post titled, Eight Ways to Help a Stuggling Family. Two adoption/fostering magazines contacted me about publishing it – which is evidence that the formula of using a number in the title of a post is strategic. If only I could remember that when I’m typing away at 5:30 am.

As I read the proof from one editor, my mind kept stumbling over the nicknames, Dimples, Sunshine, and the rest. While they are familiar and comfortable on my blog, the nicknames felt awkward and strange in the article. I’ve had the same experience speaking. In the midst of one 30 minute talk, I’ve unintentionally referred to my children by name and nickname interchangeably; it’s just a little confusing to those listening.

I called a very smart friend, Jodie, and asked for her thoughts. Her husband pastors a large church and has written a number of books. I read one recently and noticed that he used his children’s names, and I pondered it a little. Even very famous people don’t conceal their children’s names – it’s impossible. This made me wonder what it is I am afraid of.

Eight years ago the internet seemed like a big, scary place for a mom living in north Idaho. My world was so much smaller then; now it’s exploded. I want to balance privacy with reality, and fear with peace.

Russ and I discussed it, then I talked with the kids, and we decided it’s time to let go of the nicknames and become more of who we really are. I plan to begin using real names this week; the one exception being Dimples, whom I will call by her middle name. So much of my blog is about her journey and I want her to have the opportunity to really consider this before making a change.  The other children have all happily agreed to the change.

Later this week I’ll have the fun of introducing you, once again, to my kids. Maybe I’ll even share some stories of how we chose their names.

I’ll miss some of those sweet nicknames, and maybe you will too. Thanks for letting me grow and change, and for reading all of these years. You are a blessing to me.

Lisa

 

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

12 Comments

  1. Karen NumberTwo Hannaford
    May 26, 2014

    I get how that could feel weird at times. Haha I love he idea of going back and forward and confusing everyone. Must have seemed you have more kids than you really have!
    Hope it goes well with using real names. For the most part I don't think it will make any difference. The older ones may find that a few people try to friend them on facebook – they might need rules around that. Most of the people who follow your blog seem to be really nice though. It's just the odd one.
    I've always wondered if you ever use the nicknames in real life. They're cool names. Will look forward to reading how they came about.

    Reply
  2. Acceptance with Joy
    May 26, 2014

    Thank you for this!!

    I appreciate your blog. I appreciate your realness and at the same time I am actually trying to learn from you to be more delicate about my children's issues as I tend to vomit my stories…. I have been and I am really, really struggling with the balance that is needed when blogging. It has become such an internal struggle that I am at times writing little to nothing anymore, but I still feel the need to reach out with our family's stories to other people traveling this same journey – (and that desperately, I might add.) If we don't share our stories and learn from each other must we all have to learn by trial and error? If we never shared our heart – the pain, the fear, the problems, the praises and solutions given to us of God, we might never find those other people who by the nature of their experience of similar circumstance can unite with us in prayer and friendship and encouragement. How sad would that be?! BUT then I wonder if I am wrong in sharing my children's desperate struggles – the ones that threaten to destroy their very heart, soul and mind? Yet, no one would be praying for us if they had no idea. I gain no insight, no help, and no encouragement by the sugar-coated pretty adoption/foster blogs that glaze over life's trials and make me believe that God blesses them with only perfect children . . . Life appears so easy and idyllic for some parents of other people's children. Is it really? I can't lean anything from them. And for us it is so excruciatingly painful as we seek to salvage the small good bits of these children's lives that somehow we can put them together to make them whole. What if we were truly alone in this? Can you imagine!

    Reply
    1. DFNY
      May 27, 2014

      Beautifully said.

      Damaris

      Reply
  3. blesseday
    May 26, 2014

    Fun! I love names, so will enjoy hearing your kids' real names. I use nicknames too on my blog, and what's funny is that sometimes blog readers will refer to my family members by their blog nicknames when I am talking to them in real life. Mainly my parents, for some reason. ; )

    Reply
  4. DFNY
    May 26, 2014

    I, for one, am excited to learn the real names and how the nicknames were chosen (though you had once shared the background of Boo). That said, I can totally see why you would have hesitated to keep some things private when so much is shared with strangers. May you continue to be safe.

    On a separate note, I hope you and your family had a lovely holiday weekend. We got to watch the Blue Angels airshow over a local beach here on Long Island (NY) and it was exciting and joyous to shary such a beautiful day together in the sun.

    Damaris

    Reply
  5. Diane
    May 26, 2014

    I would love to know the names of your children. You have used one Ethiopian daughters name in the blog once and it is the same name and the same Ethiopian spelling as my Ethiopian born daughter. I have said to others when asked about my daughters name, it is one of the few things that she got to keep from her life before me and I don't want to take that away. Also when we returned to Ethiopia last year it would have been very hard for her to hear all her Ethiopian family use a name she didn't use or perhaps even remember. Perhaps you can comment on that when you talk about names.

    Reply
  6. Jennifer P
    May 26, 2014

    I love that you took the time to explain and carefully think through the effects of the change. Thank you.

    Reply
  7. Laine
    May 26, 2014

    You continue to inspire me. Thank you for your courage and "realness". (Is that a word. 😉 )

    Reply
  8. Luann Yarrow Doman
    May 26, 2014

    How exciting! I'm happy "real" writers have noticed your work and will soon share it with the world. Love to you and little (and not so little) ones.

    Reply
  9. Sandie Stirgess
    May 26, 2014

    I still miss "Boo" who was changed to Sunshine!!! Hehehe…..must learn to cope with change better. I love everything you write. I read everything you post. Thank you for continuing to share your story. XX

    Reply
  10. Laura
    May 26, 2014

    I am glad you are going to real names….as real Aunt Laura I always have to reread posts to remember the blog names when I comment so I didn't use real names!

    Reply
  11. Jen T.
    May 27, 2014

    I have always respected and understood the nicknames, but am excited to learn a little more about your family this way!

    Reply

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