Tuesday, February 5, 2008

(Bump) The Purpose Of This Blog

(I thought this need a friendly bump)

(I'm just warning you that you may be tempted to be offended by the following post...I'm posting this, not because
I have been concerned about the present situation of this blog, but because I'm concerned about the future of this blog)

When I set out "way back" on September 5, 2007 to journal this adventure, I was hoping that I'd have an audience of more than my parents and sister-in-laws...it's been amazing watching God use our story through this blog to do so many amazing things. To help keep this blog going in the right direction, let me share a few thoughts. When I began, I had four primary purposes for this blog:

1) To have an outlet to "journal" my thoughts and feelings related to being a caregiver of a CF (and future transplant) patient.

2) To give our families and friends an easy way to keep informed about Tricia's journey with CF/Lung Transplantation.

3) To raise awareness for CF and Organ Donation/Transplantation (and now Premature Birth).

4) To give present/future CF/Transplant caregivers and patients (and now preemie families) one more resource to turn to.

I had know idea that the blog would grow to be so big. I remember just several weeks ago when I was excited when I had more than 50 hits in one day... And, with the growth has come a greater opportunity (and in my opinion, responsibility) to fulfill those purposes.

So, when I read questions about these topics, whether personal or general, I realize that this blog is fulfilling it's purpose, and I am more than happy to answer and/or point in the right direction. As I've mentioned a few times, Tricia and I feel that it would be incredibly selfish for us to have gone through this journey, no matter the final outcome, without, at least, offering to share our experiences with others.

In comparison, here are a few things that do not fit the primary purpose of this blog:

1) This blog is not a place for debate. You can like what I have to say or not, but either way, I won't let you debate or criticize me or any other person who comments about any issue. I've deleted several posts (mostly from those who think they're agreeing with me) that I've found to be offensive to either me or others who might be reading. I do my best to simply convey our story through my eyes and heart and mind without preaching about anything, and I expect the same from those who wish to comment. I welcome constructive conversations, but ultimately, I'm the one who gets to choose what that looks and reads like.

2) This blog is not a place for soliciting personal financial support. The only time I have ever posted about how anyone can help us (with gifts, donations, etc.) is when I've been bombarded with requests to do so. We are blown away by the love of both close friends and total strangers, and we can't begin to express our appreciation, but it is not something that we have ever expected or felt entitled to. You will read me asking you to help us support CFF, UNOS and The March Of Dimes, but those requests are just as much about the millions of others like us as they are about us.

3) This blog is not a place for unsolicited advice. I say this with lots of love. While I appreciate the care and concern that I have felt from people as I read the comments (and some of those comments have been very helpful), I also realize that, as you become more familiar and comfortable with us and our story, you'll also begin to feel more comfortable with advising us on how you think we should be doing things. Again, I appreciate the suggestions, especially when they come from experience, but, please, think carefully first and realize that we're only sharing with you a small portion of what's going on. When I really want some input on something, especially related to care-giving, I promise to ask you.

4) This blog is not reality TV. This blog is an exact (although not nearly thorough) account of what is really happening with our lives, sans scripts, props or writers strikes. Again, I can't tell you how encouraged Tricia and I and our families and friends have been by watching how people have embraced what God is doing in our lives. The comments and emails and cards and gifts and other blogs (linking to ours) are all the highlight of my day, and I will forever be grateful. But, with as much as we have been willing and able to be open and transparent over the past few months, we also expect to have the same amount of privacy and respect that you would expect for your family. Please, think twice before you ask an incredibly personal question, before you demand the next update, before you beg to see the latest pictures, or before you...

Finally, this post is not meant to:

1) Scare you from commenting.

2) Scare you from praying and thinking about us.

3) Scare you from caring about us and the things we care about.

4) Scare you from encouraging us and others who are reading.

5) Scare you from being "addicted" to our story.

7) Scare you from telling us your stories.

8) Scare you from emailing me.

9) Scare you from offering to come and visit (PLEASE, call or email FIRST, and DON'T be offended if we say no).

10) Scare you from praying for poop.



PS. I've posted this with a smile on my face and love in my heart (I know, it sounds cheesy). But, I'm disabling comments under this post because I know that many of you will either be tempted to empathize with me, be tempted to apologize for some perceived offense, be tempted to defend yourself from some perceived offense, or be tempted to tell me I'm an idiot and that you're never coming back, none of which needs to be said (or emailed!!!).