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Popular blogger: "Life - It's Not So Simple"

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Adrian Wood aka "Life of an Educated Debutante" will speak at a Forest Park Church fundraiser on Jan. 19.

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By Cindy Beamon
Albemarle Life Editor

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

At last count, Adrian Wood of Edenton was nearing 40,000 followers on Facebook.

The mother of four and PTA president started her blog "Tales of an Educated Debutante" about two years ago, and it's gained plenty of attention since then.

Besides her followers, she's been featured on Today, Today Parenting, ABC News, Redbook and other media sites.

One of her posts that went viral was about the day in March 2017 when her yongest son was diagnosed with a genetic disorder that includes autism.

She was sad after meeting with the doctor, and the day got worse when her flight was delayed, leaving her stuck in a New York airport for hours with four restless children. Nearby, a happy couple was playing with what appeared to be their son. In her gloom, she admits feeling secretly annoyed at this "amazing fun mother."

What she didn't know was the child was the son of Grammy award-winning singer songwriter Alicia Keys, and he was at the airport with his nanny and bodyguard.

The children ended up playing together for hours, and only at the end did Wood discover the boy's connection to the star singer.

Wood conversation with the boy, named Egypt, was a turning point for her. When he asked about why her son Amos was not wearing "big boy pants," Wood explained he had autism. It was the first time she had allowed herself to speak the word.

Wood wrote a mother-to-mother post about how Egypt's "very self brightened our day" and sent it to Keys, who posted it on her Facebook page with a surge of hits. Wood called the chance meeting "a God wink."

Writer is just one of the roles the 42-year-old Wood has filled in her lifetime. She has a doctorate in educational research with experiences as preschool teacher, nanny, children's ski instructor, early interventionist, college professor, early childhood researcher, wife and full-time mother. She and her husband, a lawyer in Gatesville, have lived in Edenton for 14 years.

In an interview this week, Wood said she began writing as a way to deal with grief over her son's condition. She found out in the process that she also needed to deal with suppressed heartache over her teen-age brother's death decades before.

She did not expect that her blog would become so popular. People told her they liked her honesty and humor in dealing with hidden struggles that people do not usually talk about. She said she often gets private reponses from people who confide in her about things they've never told anybody else.

Wood said people's desire for transparency is one reason she named her blog "Tales of an Educated Debutante." Wood said as a real-life debutante growing up, she knew "debutantes don't tell their secrets."

Her blog opened up her first chance to speak in Raleigh last year, and since then, the invitations keep coming, said Wood.

She will be speaking about "Life - It's Not So Simple" at Forest Park Church on January 19 at 7 p.m. at a fundraiser for its 2018 student mission trip to Ecuador. Tickets are $15 and includes a show, question and answers, coffee and dessert.

Wood said she will talk about the daily trials of raising children and dealing with life when it doesn't work out as planned.

"I hope they will come and be ready to shed a few tears and to laugh a lot and to leave kind of feeling ready to embrace joy in their real, messy lives," she said.

Wood said her future plans include writing three books and attending a conference in California to learn how to transition from writing to speaking engagements. In the meantime, she is keeps writing her blog, which can be found on Facebook, Instagram and website: talesofaneducateddebutante.com

What's happening?

What: Fundraiser at Forest Park Church

Who: Speaker Adrian Wood "Tales of an Educated Debutante"

When: Jan. 19 at 7 p.m.

Where: Forest Park Church

Cost: $15 for show, Q & A session, coffee and dessert

Proceeds go to Ecuador student mission trip

Contact: ginger@fplive.org

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