The Devil is in the Details - Grant Application Detail VS. Details Shared Online

By Cherri Walrod – Founder and Director of Resources4adoption © 2014

I don’t know about you, but I love technology! Well, at least most of the time and only when it works. What did we do before the Internet? Oh, that’s right! We either didn't know the answers to our questions or we had to go look it up in a library. Those days seem long gone. With a simple touch on a smart device our “magical genies” deliver a world of information to us in an instant. We have become so accustomed to our lives in a virtual world that sometimes we forget the far reaching and long lasting consequences our actions can be. Just think of all the stuff we've seen over this last year that has gone viral, both good and bad.

All parents, but especially adoptive parents should be particularly cautious and guarded about what we post in the Internet or even in emails. I call it, "being mindful." It just means to really think about what plan to post before you actually post it. I recommend parents keep a journal. You know, the old-fashioned paper kind? You can write down whatever you want in your journal! The good, the bad, the ugly, the irritation you have with your child’s birth country, the frustration you have regarding the whole process, the birthmother who jilted you, everything. However, when it comes to posting online, whether it is in a "private" blog or any type of social media, please proceed with caution. Write what you would like to share in your journal first, then wait at least 24 hours before posting it online. Give yourself sometime to ponder your own words. If your emotions are running high, you may even have your spouse, trusted friend or social worker review before posting.

I receive questions from adoptive families all of the time about how much detail and what type of information to include in adoption grant applications. There is a big difference about what you should include in a grant application and what you post online. Information about your child going online should be very limited, providing very little detail. However, information you include in your grant application should contain as much detail as possible to help convey your message.

Most if not all grant organizations keep your personal and private information secure. They need as much information as possible to help them determine whether or not a family is eligible for financial assistance.

It is my belief that the more detail you can share with the grant committees about your situation and circumstance the better. Keep in mind they do not know you or your child. They do not understand your life or what you deal with on a daily basis. They most likely do not keep a medical dictionary handy to look up all the medical terms or diagnosis about your child which you provide. You need to lay it all out in an easy to understand format. You need to paint a complete picture of what you are doing, why you are doing it, why you need their help and why you need their help right now. Of course use your best judgment and only share with the grant committees whatever you are comfortable with. If something just doesn't "feel right" to you, then listen to your intuition.


Five reasons to filter what you post online:

  1. It is forever – It is like a "digital tattoo". Once information is out "there," it is out there FOREVER!
  2. Country/agency regulations – Many countries and adoption agencies have strict regulations and guidelines about what can be shared publically about a child. Remember the Internet is global and whatever you post in the U.S. can be seen by anyone, anywhere at any time.
  3. How would you feel if it were you? This goes back to the “forever” point above. Put yourself in your child’s shoes as a teenager or young adult. How would you feel if you were seeing the personal details of your story which had been shared with the world?
  4. Unknown viewers – We really and truly DO NOT know nor can we really trust all of our “friends” on social media or subscribers/readers to our blog. There are weirdos and predators everywhere, so let’s just not even go there.
  5. Misunderstandings/misinterpretations – This one really sums up the other four. You may write something totally innocent that you intend to be read one way, but it could be completely misinterpreted and construed as something totally different.


In short:

How much detail should you share on the Internet, social media/blogs? = Very little detail.

How much detail should you include in your grant applications? = A LOT of detail.

Cherri Walrod is mom to six children and the Founder and Director of is the #1 educational resource for adoptive families seeking financial assistance. From help in writing compelling grant and loan applications to providing tips for fundraisers, Resources4Adoption offers personalized support for each family.

Questions? Don't hesitate to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.