I've written before about how grateful I am for the internet. Barely a day goes by when I don't wonder in appreciation at the information available at my fingertips. The web has been incredibly helpful in researching our options for parenthood. Since I'm one of those people who likes to gather a lot of info before taking action, you can imagine the many hours I've spent over the last five years - first about "normal" conception and pregnancy, then about infertility and treatments, followed by all of the adoption options. And now, of course, I am loving learning about parenting!
But what is most amazing to me is the personal connections I've made thanks to the World Wide Web. There have been many times on our path to parenthood when I felt alone, freakish, or misunderstood, and all I had to do was hop online and Go*gle a bit, or read someone else's blog, or participate in a couple of the discussion boards I've discovered.
What a modern phenomenon to find solace in the experiences of someone I've never met - and probably never will meet, writing from across the country or even around the world! I've often been struck that I know so very intimate details about some couples' relationships, some families' histories, some peoples' medical makeups, but I have no idea what they look like, where they live, how they make a living, or other typical details we know early in our relationships "in real life."
Like in other personal relationships, there have been a few (well, more and more) people I've "met" online that I feel a real connection with. Perhaps I relate closely with their experience, or perhaps their writings bring me new insights or move me in special ways, or perhaps I just get the sense that they are really cool people. These are my "e-buddies," as I call them to M. In many cases, I don't think they even know who they are (that I stalk their blogs, for example, rarely or never commenting) or who I am. Weird, huh?
So, I'm especially tickled when my internet life intersects with my real life. I've been known to exclaim out loud when I learn that one of my favorite e-buddies lives nearby and haunts many of the same places I did when I lived in her city, or that someone I "followed" from our agency's waiting families profile is finalizing his daughter's adoption not far away. (Congrats, Bobby!)
I think I originally discovered Brook's blog, Babbles by Brook, through Lisa of Welcome to Babyville, who I found through her very thoughtful and articulate posts on our agency's discussion board. I took special interest in Brook's adoption progress because I realized that she and her husband became eligible to adopt about the same time M. and I did. When they matched and brought their adorable daughter Lily home during a very dry and depressing period of no contacts for us, I was both envious and encouraged.
Back in January, when Brook expressed an interest in learning more about who is following her blog and threw in incentives, I jumped at the chance to enter her contest. She said that any "lurkers" who responded would be entered into a random drawing to receive a cutie little birdie she'd made by hand. (So crafty!)
Truth be told, I'm not a big fan of birds (but that's a story for another post). I probably would've responded anyway, but when I continued reading and learned that she'd sweeten the deal by forwarding chocolates made by her husband, I quickly posted a comment telling her a bit more about myself and how much I appreciate her blog.
It was so fun to return home several weeks ago and discover a little package. Out popped a little birdie who flew all the way from Indiana. She now sits on the rail of Dylan's crib, and once in awhile, she makes her way into his nest.
I look forward to sharing with Dylan the special way his birdie came to him, and I imagine that it will be a childhood treasure he hangs onto for years and years. (The chocolates? No so much. They were delicious and disappeared almost instantly.)