Elsie: “Adoption is difficult, I won’t lie!”

Elsie Larson: a mother of Nova, wife of Jeremy, Instagrammer and a blogger. She describes her family as creative, optimistic and honest – and this is exactly what you can expect in today’s interview with her. Keep reading and enjoy Elsie’s thoughts on motherhood, adoption, family life and so much more.

You and your husband Jeremy adopted your daughter Nova from China. When did it happen and why did you decide to adopt a child from China?

We have been home with our daughter, Nova, for almost one year. We traveled to China to adopt there in late 2017, right before Christmas.

We were always curious and open to the idea of adoption, so after a few years of trying unsuccessfully to conceive, we started to talk seriously about the adoption. China had always been in the front of our minds since we had followed a beautiful adoption story when we were newlyweds that opened our hearts to special needs adoption.

Each country program is so different- and the same goes for domestic adoptions. I think a lot of families get really hung up on what is the “best” choice, when there are soooo many good options out there. There’s truly no “best” program, it’s just a matter of finding what feels right for your family.

How would you describe Nova? How old was she when she came to your life?

Nova was two and a half when we met her. In China’s adoptions you meet your child and take them back to your hotel with you, assuming full care, all in one day. It’s an emotional and traumatic experience for so many reasons. It was the best day of our lives, but it was also brutal and painful to take our daughter from everything she knew and everyone who made her feel safe.

A lot of couples decide to adopt a child but it may be harder than they think it would be. What would be your advice to them?

My advice is don’t assume.

Something really strange we have learned is that Americans tend to pretend to know more than they do about adoption and about other countries. No need to pretend!

There is so much to learn about adoption and the best places I have found to start is talking to families who have been through the process and local social workers who do home studies because they have typically seen a pretty big spectrum of different adoptions.

Adoption is difficult, I won’t lie. But a lot of the myths are just myths. If you are looking into adoption, take time to get educated and ask as many questions as you can – the answers may surprise you.

You are not afraid to write about adoption on your blog. When did you decide to share this more personal side of your life with your readers?

I’ve always loved to share personal stories and after we began adopting I began receiving many messages from other families who were considering adoption. The main reason we share so much of our story is to help normalize adoption since in the past (and still, sadly, in the present) negative stories tend to be spread around faster than positive ones.

Let’s talk about some of the series from your blog. We fell in love with Life at Home and Family Travels. Which series is your favourite?

I definitely love sharing our adoption story the most (we’re currently working on our second adoption!) and my other favorite thing is to share family traditions we are making with Nova.

While reading Family Travels we see that you travel a lot. How hard is it to travel with a child? And what travel destination is your favourite so far?

We’ve done a few big trips this year and yes, it’s much more work to travel with a child. But we love this season of our lives and are aware that it won’t last forever. So currently we prefer to travel as a family and we’ve made some really special memories so far.

Articles in Life at Home are more chilled. You don’t have any strict form of writing them. Have you ever thought about writing more specific series as fashion or beauty?

Not really, I blog professionally at ABeautifulMess.com and so this family site is my passion project and I don’t put too much pressure on myself. The purpose is solely to share our adoption story and document memories from our daughter’s childhood.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of writing without a strict form in your opinion?

I love the just-for-fun element of it. I try to blog once a week. Sometimes I blog a lot more, sometimes I skip several weeks. Ten years ago when I started my first blog, it was just for fun and it turned into a big business for us, which was amazing. But I love the feeling of blogging as a hobby, so I treasure my family site for that reason.

As almost every person on this planet, you also have an Instagram account. How do you take care of it – how often do you post, how do you edit the photos, etc.?

I try to post once a day. I edit all my photos with A Color Story app. My favorite pack is Golden, which I curated, and I love the effects in A Color Story – you can add light leaks and grain. You can use it on videos too!

You don’t use the word “influencer” in your Instagram BIO, but we think that you could consider yourself one. Have you ever thought about this word and what it means to you?

My personal Instagram is not monetized at all, so I truly do consider it my personal account. Though, I am happy to use my influence to promote things I am passionate about like adoption and A Color Story app.

When was the first time you realized that you have some sort of influence on social media?

I’ve always been aware that people who follow me online want to know a lot of details about me and that I can influence people from small choices like where to shop to larger choices like the decision to adopt. I take that influence very seriously, I always do my best to be honest and realistic. At the same time it’s been a process to create my own personal boundaries with what I want to share and how.

Thank you for your time, Elsie. Our last question is: What do you think about our project InfluencersRE?

Thanks so much for interviewing me! I think that spreading awareness of how to be a conscious and responsible influencer is very important and there are so many different (good!) ways to do it.

Source: Iva from InfluencersRE, Edited by: Lucc & Petra, Photos: Instagram @elsielarson

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