In the many years, I have been a blogger, I have often paused to consider what I am doing. I have often been asked why I share so much, put so much of myself online. The questions have made me reevaluate what I do, how I write and how much I share.
The breaks have been short-lived and the lure of writing and being read has brought me back every single time. Recently, a conversation with a newish friend made me realize why I do this. By this I mean share my story (infertility, parenting, adoption). One of the things that struck me when I dealt with grief was how alone I felt. I haunted message boards because it was there that I found people who had walked in my shoes. People who knew the pain, people who listened instead of judging. Obviously, people haunt echo chambers for a reason.
While that was sufficient when I was grieving, there were times when I wanted to ask someone in a transracial adoption questions and found most people online struggled with similar issues but not quite the same.
Once I realized people were seeking me out from some obscure post in a forum on adoption dot com, I knew this need I felt for connection was not unique to me. If by sharing my story, another couple could feel the burst of hope I felt when I realized that there was a way forward, that would be my reward. What started as a small group is over 50 families now. Families like mine.
In December last year when I published a post on Adoptive Families, I was heartened by the response. Obviously, the magazine was niche and targeted exactly those who were looking for content they served. Then this June when the same content went viral, I saw an uptick in the number of people reaching out. One thing led to another and a short film documentary was in the works. Just as we wrapped that up, I had an email from an influencer in the adoption community at large that intrigued me. Next thing I know, I am off to be part of an adoption retreat end of this month.
It will be an opportunity to meet with people from different walks of life, all touched by adoption in some form or the other coming together to brainstorm on how to become a community that gives back. It will be an opportunity to band together to find out how to make this process better, how better to support people going through the process to build their families through adoption from foster care.
I have no clue where I will go from there. All I know now is that a word here forges connections long past its time. Words have a real, tangible effect. Words cause ripple effects. The words that pull at the core of my being have a purpose.
And suddenly all of this makes sense.