As part of my push to get in touch with the primary audience for my manuscript on adoption, and meet other online readers and writers, I have recently joined several massive on-line adoption and birthmother support groups—as well as Twitter.
As I have (slowly, oh so slowly) grown accustomed to tweeting and twittering, I have found what an amazing resource Twitter actually is. I have met more writers, birthmothers and adoptive parents in the last week than I have over the last decade of birthmotherhood and writing. And what I’ve found in the online adoption communities is astounding.
Why did it take me so long to tap this virtual wellspring of adoption networks? I don’t know. Perhaps I felt that I was coping just fine on my own, or that I was feeling so good about my adoption that I didn’t need community. Did I feel that I had nothing to offer anyone else? What I have begun to find, in the online communities that have been formed around the adoption triad, is pure beauty. Some women are in pain because of their placements, some are totally delighted with theirs but are present to support others as they heal, forgive or maybe forget. Some just want to tell their story.
I can see that I have missed out on something big by not joining these communities sooner. I am, for the first time, in contact with other adults who write—as a career. Yes, they exist. And by meeting them I am strengthened in my enduring belief that I too can make writing a career. In my adoption groups my eyes have been opened to the diversity of experience of the thousands of women nationwide who—for a wide variety of different reasons—make the decision to place their babies. And with their permission, I will be sharing some of their stories here on my blog.
As I posited a few weeks ago, there is inherent beauty in adoption. But it takes many forms. Sometimes the beauty is in the pure perfection of the match and placement, the respect and gratitude held by all parties of an open adoption relationship, the generosity offered from one mother to the other. But sometimes the beauty is deeper, more difficult to find.
I have begun to see beauty in the way struggling birthmothers work for healing, recovery. There is beauty in the pain. And there is beauty in the support that they offer each other. Though the rise of technology, at times, threatens to suck time away at an alarming rate (as we ask ourselves: where did the time go?) there is beauty in technology too. How many birthmothers who would otherwise be isolated in their hometowns, or neighborhoods, now have real community and friendship with women who share their struggle?
How many writers who feel at times that writing is a hopeless endeavor, going the way of the palm pilot, the word processor or the VCR, find in their online communities, support, encouragement and reminders that writing is a legitimate and thriving craft? And in that way, technology is irreplaceably valuable.