March 12, 2012
For me one of the very cool outcomes of adopting has been the incredible community of adoptive parents I have met along the way. We "meet" most often online through blogs, Facebook, message boards and Yahoo groups. Social media is in full force connecting adoptive parents in all stages of the process. Thank goodness.
Because without this community of BTDT's and "feel-your-pain" compatriots this road to adoption would have had a whole lot more potholes and been pretty darned lonely. I mean who outside the adoption community could possibly relate (or understand) the emotions of being DTC, LID, PA, LOA, A5, Cabled and TA?
With this adoption the community I relied upon most was found in the Special Needs Adoption Forum at China Adopt Talk. In particular the parents there have maintained a data base showing the timing of every critical step of the process. Instead of the broad cover-their-ass rages my agency would give me I could check these charts and know with near precision when each step would/should occur. Somehow that knowledge was empowering. It gave me a sense of control which let me tell ya is hard to come by in anything to with adoption.
Using these charts I was able to accurately predict we would travel in March which then made it possible to join a thread of of other parents predicting March travel dates. Most of us made itand of coure we are traveling in March.
The first wave of March travelers left about two weeks ago and will be heading home over the next few days. The second wave started to leave this weekend and the rest of us leave this week.
And so we now have the opportunity finally to meet some online friends in real life.
To make sure we don't miss each in Guangzhou where we will all eventually arrive we are using green and purple ribbons (green for march and purple for "rumor queen") to announce ourselves.
Having met lots of people online and then IRL I know it will be hit or miss on an actual friend connection but odds are there will be some. Over the past several years many of the people I first met online have become real life friends-some of them among the most important friendships of my life.
I consider those precious friendships to be one of the most wonderful (and unexpected) by-products of adoption.
(fights back emo pre adoption tears just thinking about it, sniff, sniff)
I'm looking forward to meeting other green and purple clad travelers. I'm sure it won't matter if it's 5 minutes of awkward conversation or a new BFF while in China...there's something strangely reassuring about being part of this ribbon wearing community.