Friday, April 10, 2015

Why I regret sharing my photo with Ellen DeGeneres

Dear Ellen,

I like you a lot. I really do.

But I have to be super honest with you. I kinda regret sending you a photo recently.

 Maybe you saw it, but chances are -- you never will. (Chances are you'll never read this blog either. But maybe I just really need to write it for me.)

When I posted my Easter photo flop on Facebook, all my friends and family thought it was funny. And it is funny. Especially when you know the backstory to my girls.

And in good humor and fun they suggested I share my photo with you. And in good humor and fun, I shared it on your wall.

And as soon as I posted it . . . I noticed something. Honestly, something that disturbed me a little.

It turns out that everyone under the moon wanted to share something with you.

Now obviously, that they want to share with YOU is not bad. You've built a reputation and career on being completely personable. You are as comfortable with celebrities as you are with the every day mom as you are in your own skin. You draw people in. And that's an amazing gift.

But as I scrolled through the posts on your wall, I got a feeling that many were sharing not because they just wanted to share with you -- but because they wanted something from you.

And that's when I got this icky feeling inside after posting.

You see, people began liking my post on your wall. And for a few minutes, I went there. I day dreamed about meeting you. About sharing the story of my two miracle girls. About having the opportunity to share on national TV why foster care is so important.

In truth -- for a few minutes, I did want something from you.

I wanted your platform.

I wanted to use something that you, YOU (not me), have invested countless years, emotions and dollars into. You laid all the groundwork. And like all the other posters on your wall, I started the think that maybe I was special. That maybe a silly picture of two (adorable yet silly) girls might be enough to earn me a spot in YOUR limelight.

And you know what? I'm not OK with that.

Not only am I not OK with feeling like I wanted to use you . . . I'm also not OK at the quick greed I felt in my heart.

I became greedy for likes. I become greedy for validation that, yes, my girls are cute. I became greedy for attention.

Why do I feel that I need the universe to like what I like?

Does 100, or 1,000, or 10,000 likes change the fact that I had a really horrible photo shoot for Easter that resulted in both massive meltdowns for all my kids -- and an epic photo that I'll treasure forever?


You see, Ellen, whether you see my picture or don't -- I'm still the lucky one. I'm still the one that gets to carry my story that God gave me. I still get to create more pictures and memories with my two girls and with my little boy for as long as we get him. The road we've been on and continue to travel has not been easy -- but it's my road. And I'm honestly blessed I get to be on it.

So Ellen, if you saw my picture -- I'm glad. If it gave you a little chuckle or brightened your day just a bit -- I'm super happy for you.

But I just want to be clear. I don't need anything from you in return. And I hope you'll forgive me for thinking, even just for a just a moment, that maybe I did need something from you.

[And for all of you non-Ellen readers (which I have a feeling is all of you), I want you to know that I'm using MY platform -- the one I've invested countless years and tears into -- to tell you that foster kids are important. Not everyone can be a foster parent -- but I challenge you to really pray about it, and do due diligence to see if maybe, just maybe, you can take in a needy child. I can't promise you anything -- but I can tell you that there are two children so far that have brought a whole lot of love and healing into my heart.]




  1. Rachel, you so often share thoughts that have gone through my own head. It so often amazes me. Believe it or not, I too once used Ellen's platform to try and share #SpreadHappinessForPreston and Preston's story. I had and continue to have a need to share his smile, his story, and his message.

    I like you struggled with using someone else's platform. I don't want charity, I don't want fame. I just want to share my story and hopefully help others through their journey, most notably their baby loss story. While the chances were low, I feared gaining any of those things because I don't and never want to profit from the loss of my little boy. I'm so often reminded by Blogger that I can make money through ads. I thrive to write a book (one day) about Preston, and I struggle with what to do with the profits (if any). It's crossed my mind several times to simply give all proceeds to charity.

    And while I agree with your whole thought process and beliefs, I will say this. Some people create these platforms to help others. Help them through a rough time, help share their story. I believe Ellen's one of those people. She truly wants to help others. Her platform, that now extends to Twitter and Facebook is there for others to share. And hers fans have a big heart, they want to help too. They are caring.

    So, if you had to pick anyone else's platform (aside from your own), you picked the right one.

    I hope you know that through your thoughts, through your blog entries and through your personal words to me, you've helped me and continue to help me. Whatever your platform, you make a difference <3

  2. That picture is amazing! And I love the gift God has given you to see things as they really are - I don't think this perspective would have even crossed my mind! And Ellen deserves to be appreciated for who she is, and not what she has to offer, just as much as either you or I!