First of all, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to all of those who have offered their words of comfort and support to me and my family over the past couple of weeks. To everyone who reached out - and to each one of you who listened in return when I called out to you - and offered their help, love, prayers and good thoughts - I thank you. Your words and presence have meant a great deal to me and continue to provide much encouragement and support.
When I started blogging almost two years ago, I had no idea where this path would lead. I have met such incredible people throughout this experience - many of whom have become true, real-life friends who have touched my life in such significant and meaningful ways. Yes, there have been some who probably have as much desire to communicate with me again as I do with them, but even in the majority of those instances, I feel that I have been challenged in different ways - and that can be a very good thing. Though it hasn't always been easy, I can honestly say that with each comment and every email that I have received that I have given genuine pause to reflect on what the author is trying to convey to me and have done my best to understand where they are coming from, even if - especially if - we happen to strongly disagree.
But this comment, which prompted an immediate call to the police and has resulted in an investigation by both law enforcement and other professionals investigating on-line on my behalf, left me speechless:
Love your blog, Paula.We share the same name.Heck, we even live in the same state. xxx (state named). It's only a matter of time until I find out your address. And your son's school. And ___'s (husband's first name used) work.Then we'll be best friends. I'll stay close to you and your family.And teach you a lesson.Love ya,
But that hasn't stopped me from asking a host of questions - both to myself and others. Everything from how the veil of anonymity of the internet has emboldened people to do and say things they might not otherwise do, to the real life ramifications of writing in such a public forum. The right to privacy (and if there is even such a thing now given the way technology is) and the right to have a voice without fear of repercussions. The how's and why's and what's, and of course the who's, behind this threat. Was I targeted because I am an adoptee with an opinion? Because I am person of color who sometimes talks about race? Because I am adoptive parent who asks tough questions of fellow adoptive parents?