Thursday, January 20, 2011

I Believe in Blogging

I used to be anti-blog.  I could not understand the appeal to posting pictures of your children on the internet for random strangers to see instead of calling a friend for a chat.  In my little world it did create a greater feel of community--for those that blogged.  It made me, who didn't blog, feel excluded and out of it.  "I didn't know you went to Disneyland recently?"  "It was on my blog."  People who didn't see each other any more often than I saw them knew more about each other's lives and to me appeared closer because of it.  One of my friends even announced her pregnancy on her blog (yes, you did).  After that I started reading their blogs each week just so I wouldn't be the last to know everything.  Then almost all of them stopped blogging.  They got too far behind on their pictures.  Almost every post started with "sorry I haven't posted anything for over a month."  Staying in the loop didn't require reading blogs anymore so I stopped reading (except for a few people whom I read because I love them.)

Fast forward three years and I discover adoption forums.  Too terrified to give my opinion at China Adopt Talk, I found We Are Grafted In.  I became interested in the ladies I am "talking" to and follow their links to their (or their husband's) blogs.  My husband and I spent a pleasant evening catching up on and laughing with The Forever Family Blog deciding that if they lived in our country or at least on the same coast as us we would have them over for dinner.  I realized I cannot put all the blogs I love on my tool bar and began my blog. (I feel remiss if I don't mention here that the lame title of my blog came from my screen name at WAGI--Joyful Mama--and the fact that I was finally giving in and starting a blog). And I loved it.  

I didn't tell anyone at first because I didn't want them to say, "I told you you would love blogging."  If only they had told me the real fun in blogging isn't about keeping track of your family activities.  Yes, my blog includes those Mamarazzi posts and I am glad to have records, but if that was the only reason I blogged I would have already given up.  Since no one was reading my blog initially, I could say whatever I wanted.  It gave me a place to be me and not worry about being a better listener or boring people.  I started recording my responses on adoption books to have for my SW.  After a particularly brutal few days of reading Rumor Queen and books which made me doubt our decision to adopt at all, I wrote a post that helped me find peace again.  I was feeling very unsettled when I sat down to write, but by forcing myself to articulate my feelings I was able to resolve my doubts, focus back on God, and move forward.  Many of my posts have come out of my desire to resolve my own internal conflict.  For this reason alone I will continue blogging even if no one reads it.

There are so many other reasons I love blogging, too.  Sometimes I am able to make someone laugh.  I love "teaching" what I have learned about God.  I love getting comments as it fills some deep longing in my soul for words of affirmation.  I am enjoying documenting our adoption story.  It also gives me a place to "dump" my thoughts which is one of the reasons for this post.  I am hoping that writing about why I love to blog I will stop feeling the need to talk about it every time I see my friends.  I don't want to become someone that says, "Oh, you are wondering how our adoption is going?  Well, it's on my blog."  I know how excluded those words can make one feel.

Mostly I think blogging gives me access to a community that I need.  I cannot be a good adoptive parent without talking to others who have been adopted or have adopted.  The diversity of ideas, opinions, and advice is much broader than anything I can find in my current circle of friends.  Finding people going through the same things as you is much easier when you have the whole blogging world from which to pull.  Negotiating the rules of on-line friendships is simultaneously easier and harder than real life friendships--did I offend someone?  How do I respond to comments?  Am I suppose to?  Do you respond to an e-mail even if there is no question to answer?  When I was still new at this I e-mailed a reader to ask if I had offended her because she hadn't read my blog in 3 days--yes! 3 days!  How crazy is that?  Even my best friend doesn't read every day.  Luckily she didn't decide I was insane and write me off because I get to benefit from her compassion, wisdom, and authenticity.  Cyber friends cannot replace real friends, but they can certainly be important, and someday, before you know it the wooden boy becomes a real boy because of shared experiences, kind fellowship, and human love even if you have never met in the flesh.

The biggest down side I see to blogging is that as much I enjoy writing and feeling like you are seeing the "real me" there are some things I cannot share.  Sometimes the thought I need to process and work through is not adoption/race/church/parenting related--okay, not often because that covers a huge portion of my life--but occasionally.  Then I post a Mamarazzi post so no one misses me and spend hours on the phone with my sister, or my friend, or keep my husband up late talking in circles about it and I wish I can blog about it, because when I blog, the circles stop spinning.  



The Raudenbush Family said...

As a blog junkie, I'm glad you have joined the blogosphere wholeheartedly. :) It is a great way to process and work through things. And, you will be so glad you can go back and see what you were thinking and feeling on particular dates--especially when you learn about your new child. It's not a replacement for friendship, for sure, but I do think it's a great tool for friendship.

Adrian Roberta said...

Now I personally am not a blogger, I leave that to Adrian, but I love love love following a few selected Bloggers like your sweet self, and I do feel conected to these amazing families! The CWI group I started is even planning on a huge joint camping trip where we can all meet up! Real Friendship this new world is!

And we would have come for dinner ya know!


No Greater Love said...

Okay....I just read it. In fact, I purposely came to your blog tonight, to read "this" post. I love it. (Have I read a post of yours I haven't loved?) But I especially love the line about "cyber friends can't replace real friends, but they can certainly be important, and someday, before you know it the wooden becomes a real boy because of shared experiences, kind fellowship, and human love even if you have never met in flesh."

Cedar...I love that line. And every day you become more and more flesh for me. :)

Mer :)