I have to say that one of the most wonderful, unanticipated blessings of this adoption journey is the amazing friends I have found online! I don't know, there's just something different about the bond that we have through this wonderful journey.
Whether it's a person working on their paperchase, waiting for ministry approval, a LID or the eternal wait for referral - encouragement, support and friendship abounds! Once a family has their referral then entire bloggy community wipes away tears of joy and excitement as they gaze at that beautiful face (faces!) for the very first time and gets excited as the new parents prepare to travel. Forever family day in China is celebrated by friends around the world. Not only living, breathing friends who have walked each and every step of the journey with them but cyber friends who probably have never shared an audible word between them.
When a family returns home the support doesn't stop. Questions about jetlag, feeding, napping and pooping are answered from those who've gone before us and are willing to share of their experiences. That sharing doesn't stop and those who have children who are old enough to be in school and even middle school are still there cheering, helping and encouraging that new family just beginning their paperchase. And the circle continues one more time.
This week I've been in awe over and over about the wonderful friendships I share with many of you here. We've probably never spoken but we've shared from our hearts, our hurts and our excitement and because of this - we're friends! (I talk about you as if I know you that's for sure. Often I'll find myself saying, 'My friend Dawn in BC....' - even though Dawn and I have never actually spoken to one another!) I'm guessing you may do this too!
Last weekend's meeting with Doris was wonderful and I've now come to find out just the beginning of an unbelievable week. After meeting she and Dan on Sunday, I arrived home on Monday night to a message from a friend in the states whom I'd corresponded with via emails and blog comments on numerous occasions. I couldn't call her back quickly enough and we were on the phone for over an hour and a half! Are we just people who read one another's blogs? No! We're true friends that were formed in a really neat way! Thanks again for the great conversation Monday night! Can't wait until we do it again!
Another opportunity to deepen online friendships came today when I found out that I'll be in Vancouver in January. I emailed Dawn to let her know. She lives in BC and she's trying to find a way to fly in and visit! Can you believe it? Too cool! I emailed Bernice from our Canadian's adopting yahoo group and she's in too! Anyone else in the Vancouver area wanna join us? Not sure of any details yet but I can say with confidence...the more the merrier!
Julie and I are planning a vacation to PEI together (2010 maybe?) when we have our girls home.
Mary-Mia and others of the infamous 'Bloggy Summit I' - can't wait to meet you someday!
Kathy and I found out that we lived in buildings right next to each other a couple of years ago and now live only 20 mins. apart so we're going to do coffee. (BIG CONGRATS on getting your LID today Kathy!!! Woohoo!!!!!)
While Cindy and I don't live close, we're not too far apart when I'm visiting family. Here's hoping that one of those family visits will allow for us to get together!
Julie and I are getting together in a couple of weeks and I'm really excited about meeting she and her family!
I've mentioned only a few here and there are many, many others. My intention was not to leave anyone out but to celebrate a snippet of the amazing people who make up this wonderful family of International Adoption!
I have friends who are adopting and have chosen not to get involved with online groups or blogs. I can't imagine that! You guys rock and I'm so thankful for each of you!!!
So here's to you my wonderful online friends! You're the best! I love following your adoption journeys online. Crying with you, waiting with you and most importantly, Celebrating with you!!!
OK - Everybody gather round...it's time for a Bloggy Group Hug!