"So, I have this friend...well, it's someone I blog with, an adoption friend I found online...I have never actually met or spoken with her...but what else would I call her??" Over the past year or so, I have repeated similar phrases when referring to my virtual blogging friends, while talking about adoption with family, friends, co-workers and others. At first, people looked at me a bit sideways as I referred to (what may seem like) 'virtual strangers' as 'virtual friends' - but I am confident that many of my blogging buddies can relate.
As time has passed, it is interesting that many people in my life are now expecting updates from me on all my 'virtual friends' asking "have you heard anything more about so-and-so?", "What is happening with their adoption?", "Did they get their referral yet?", “Are they home?” – The irony is that I know as much information as the people asking – following along online, blog by blog and post by post. However, the difference for me is the bond I share with my fellow bloggers - our adoption journeys - only those who have experienced any part of the journey can truly understand its meaning, depth, and emotions.
Regardless of whether I simply 'stalk' a blog, comment on a post or take the leap to send a personal email, it is still amazing how invested I have become in the lives of people I have never met. And at this point, I have almost become dependent on the support, words of encouragement, understanding, and the occasional (((((hug)))))...all the things friends do for us - virtual or otherwise.
I believe that everyone is brought into our life for a reason and that every encounter we have with someone is an opportunity to share, learn, and grow.
Who knew you could meet so many amazing people from coast to coast and beyond without ever having to leave your home?