My Naivete

I received the following message from a stranger. It was sent to my personal email.  I am sharing the text of the message here to serve as a warning to others.

Apparently I was wrong. As much as I tried to preserve my daughters identity (outside of those situations I already admitted wherein I wrongly shared her details with people I trusted who proved not to be trustworthy) it appears (if one is to believe this blog reader) that if you really take the time to piece together the random bits of info in my ten years of blog postings, you could find my daughter. Some of the information the person states here is totally wrong (e.g, there was never an adoption conference at my daughters school) but that fact does not negate the rest of the message.

I have no idea who this reader is. She has never commented here. I don’t recognize her name or email (both of which appear to be legit). I have no idea why someone would feel compelled to do this.  I have no idea what they would gain personally.

This experience should serve as a warning to others.  My story is written. My mistakes made. If you are just starting to blog, considering sharing your adoption experience online, be mindful that there are strangers who for reasons completely unknown to you will feel the need to dig deeper and find out more about you than you ever intended to share.

I’m not a troll, but I wanted to let you know that based on some guesses and some Googling, I’m pretty sure I was able to find your daughter’s blog a while back. I’ve been reading your blog for a number of years and at some point, I started to wonder if you have given enough information that it would be possible to figure out who she is. I don’t really remember which technique actually resulted in me finding her, but some of the Google searches I did involved guessing at her first name based on popular M names for her year of birth, and at her school and graduation date based on your posts about her graduation and about an adoption conference at her school. I’m pretty sure there have also been posts where you have quoted either her formspring or her blog. The times that come to mind are when she was being harassed and possibly when she came out. Once you find her formspring account name, you can find easily find her blog (or vice-versa, but I think I found the formspring first). If I had bothered to look while you were still following her on Twitter, I imagine it also would have been trivial to track her down. Honestly, I don’t even remember what her blog/formspring name is at this point. I vaguely remember it having something to do with the night or the moon or something like that.

I don’t have any sort of connection to adoption. I have been a long-time reader because I found your blog to be interesting. I have no reason to harass anyone or lie about anything. I just felt compelled to email and let you know because I feel like you are very sure that no one could possibly track her down without some sort of inside information. I know if I was in the same position, I would want someone to do the same for me.



7 Thoughts.

  1. Wow. That someone had the time to find snippets of things you have written over a long period of time to track down your daughter?? Who does that?

    They also must have a much better memory than I do! I’m always getting bits of info from different bloggers mixed up, would need a spreadsheet to keep the info straight enough to even attempt to “find” one of their family members. However, I have a life and don’t have near enough time (nor the desire) to do that.

    • I don’t know their intent, the person, etc. But given the topic, the sensitive nature of the material, and my apparent delusion, I felt it important to share with others. The internet is a vast wonderful place however like everything big and wonderful there is a darker shadow to it. There is a creepy and scary side to it. My point as always is “proceed with caution”. This persons intent may be pure (even if only they understand it) or it may be something else.

  2. Seriously? I’ve been reading you for MANY years, and I can’t recall a single detail about your daughter other than brief snippets that revealed zero personal information. This is a person who has WAY too much free time. Sorry, but that’s what I think.

    A wise warning, Suz. And I would say upsetting, for you. Hugs.

  3. Just freakin’ weird. Agreed that for someone who has no connection to adoption why would she spend on much time on figuring out who your daughter is? Sounds to me like a sicko baiting you. I recommend deleting, definitely not commenting. That give the person titillation and power.

    • It is very odd. I have no idea why this person is so concerned or curious but the bigger point as mentioned was to share with others what can happen.

      I will note I did respond to the stranger and inquired about their activities. They responded by stating if they were going to be emotionally invested in my reading my blog they needed to fact check me. Even odder. Whatevs. Moving on.

  4. Suz, I agree that this situation is highly unusual. Perhaps this person is making it up for some reason? It’s all so very strange that someone would go to such extreme lengths to find your daughter and then tell you about her search. It is weird beyond words.

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