Friday, March 12, 2010

Little Birdie

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.)


Anonymous said...

Oh, isn't that the truth about the internet. It may suck the hours out of the day, but if we can balance our use of it it is fabulous.

Bobby said...

I totally get you! We met a couple from IAC at court who were finalizing the same day as us, and we felt like friends because of the internet. Ironically, the comment above "growfamilygrow" is someone that came to my blog from yours...I love that our growing family blogs have become a tight circle of friends.

Bobby said...

Oh one more thing...have you ever been approached in public by someone you don't know that reads your blog? That has happened to us twice...both times positive. But after I feel good that someone reads my stuff, I realize is can be a little (unintentionally) creepy! LOL

Anonymous said...

Well, it is only a matter of time before we get together for realsies :)

Very glad to have a cyber-buddy so close!

Lisa T. said...

ha! Thanks for the props. I so enjoy doing our blog and now that Henry is a year old it is fun to look at where we were a year ago. I get so many people asking me how long I'm going to keep it up. I don't know, I do it when I can and will for as long as I can. As you know I'm real life personal friends with Brook and I am glad you won the birdie! I didn't offer an incentive when I asked for delurkers...I envy the idea! I read Bobby's blog too and oddly enough the couple they finalized with in California the dad was my dad's student and his brother was mine here in Indiana. Small world really!
Take care, enjoy that boy!
Lisa T.

Leigh said...

I especially like your point about how the information we know about our e-buddies is so much more intimate than the surface stuff that many IRL relationships are based upon. When you first meet someone IRL, jobs come first "what do you do?" maybe where you live comes next...on our blogs it's about what's in our heads and hearts. That's why this blogging thing is so fulfilling!

Kristin said...

Leigh, I agree 100%.

Lisa and Bobby, it is indeed a small (adoption) world. I had the pleasure of meeting the same very nice family at the IAC's holiday party.

Bobby, I haven't yet encountered any e-buddies IRL...but TG Mom and I are gonna make it happen soon, I'm convinced.