I have asked Ali to let me use her blog for a moment. I know that we share many "internet friends" and most people that followed my blog also follow her blog. I have closed down my blog and I figure this is the best way to let people know the reason!
Closing my blog was a very difficult decision because I feel like Samuel "lives" through his story and taking it down feels like I am taking away one of the few ways he actually "lives". But, Samuel's identity was stolen recently. We tried to file our income tax, but someone had "claimed" him as their dependent and received the $1,000 tax credit that was attached to him as a minor. It's a common scheme apparently, because a person that is deceased has no confidentiality rights and his birth and death certificates are both public domain. We learned that, along with the disclosure of his vital records, our information also became public, as Samuel's parents, our names, dates of birth, address, and more are now for anyone to access... along with Samuel's social security number.
I did a quick Google search of Samuel and, of course, found my blog, which also posts pictures of my beautiful little girl and very intimate details of our life. I know that I have been the one to make these details public, but I did my best to always keep our location private. But, with a public death record, our location is no longer mine to protect.
So I have made my blog private to protect my daughter (and the rest of our family) from the criminals that hold our son's identity.
I doubt that I ever go back to the blogging world. It was so therapeutic to me over the last 4 years, but at this point, I am trying to redirect the time I spent on the internet to time spent with my family... maybe clean the house better or cook dinner more often! My plan is to publish a personal copy of the blog or find a way to save it for my own records and then delete the entire thing from the internet.
The wellbeing of my little girl is more important than anything else, and the blog could possibly bring on more heartache to our family at this point.
I am so thankful to the blogging world. I have made friends with people that I have never met! There have been people all over the world that have prayed for the healing of our son and strength for our family as we grieve his death. Thank you for standing beside our family, for the prayers, the thoughts, and the support. I will miss my blog, for sure!