I was looking back at the blog and realized it was a year ago this month that I began to document our adoption journey for Kenny. I remember sitting down at the desk, messing around, trying to figure out how to create one...and then wondering who in the heck would ever read it other than our families. I really was trying to create an online, real time "lifebook" for Kenny in addition to coming up with a way our moms could keep track of us when we eventually traveled.
Here we are, one year later, Kenny is home and the blog has had over 17,500 hits...and the amazing thing is that we are still averaging over 40 hits a day with 70+ hits on some days. Incredible! I assumed that the few people who might stumble upon it would drop right off after we returned home with Kenny, and yet here we are 5 months later getting so many hits every day from folks who have now become familiar, even if only by seeing their city and state on the blog counter.
Writing the blog has been a real "heart thing" for me, a way of exploring my own deeper thoughts about adoption and parenting. It has been an unexpected pleasure to discover how much I actually enjoy blogging, and to make new virtual friends who have taken the time to write private emails and comments directly on the blog.
There are times when I wonder how much longer I will continue to share our family with the world, when the time will come that I have nothing more to say (Mom...stop laughing at that one!!! I was nicknamed "motor mouth" as a kid!) or when there is no one else who wants to read what is written. For the moment though, there are still many more firsts for Kenny that might help others as they consider adopting an older child, so until I feel "done" I guess I will continue.
I also wonder if there is another adventure around the corner, one that we don't anticipate but might surprise us...and all of you...when it surfaces. My life may be less than thrilling to most, but it has never been boring and there has always been something interesting just over the horizon waiting for us. Le's see, in the past 10 years we have left long term jobs behind and moved to Colorado, bought our first home, started not one, not two, but three businesses, and adopted three children internationally. I have NO IDEA what might come next! I know we have often considered hosting a foreign exchange student and will almost surely do it in the next year or two, which would offer up it's own unique and interesting observations, no doubt.
But overall, this is blog is personal, it is about my family and how adoption has shaped it, what experiences we have been through, and how we have managed the different circumstances that arise. I hope that the effort to be honest and forthright has proven valuable to some as they carefully consider walking in our path. I am certain too, that there are those who read and sit back in judgment, thinking of how they would handle something better than I...and if so then that means that in another way the blog has been instructional and helpful.
Surely there are those who also say "I enjoy reading the blog, but I would never put my children on display in such a way for the entire world to read about and see...". To that I would only say that I know of at least 2 children who have been adopted as a direct result of this blog (Not Turat and Askar...that was due strictly to prayer). Perhaps some other family has been encouraged to consider adoption or had fears quelled by reading that indeed, things can come up and they are hard...but it is worth it and workable. If so, then that means that other children just like mine have a chance to have what every child deserves, the deep and abiding love and comfort that comes only from being part of a loving family. Knowing that makes it infinitely worthwhile to open up our home and hearts to the world, because in some small way we might just be making a difference. I know in those months prior to comitting to adopt we searched and searched to learn more, grasping at all we could find that might slay the demons that haunted us...demons with names like Reactive Attachment Disorder, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Unethical Coordinators, etc. So much to fear, and so much courage to muster up. Having safely reached the other shore 3 times now, I feel a sense of responsiblity to do what I can to help those who were in our shoes a few years ago.
Last night, as I watched a very short video of "my girls" taken by a friend about a month ago, I had my heart in my throat as I realized all of this, the world of adoption and how our children find us, is so much larger than ourselves. There are SO MANY children who need us...you and I... and so many who will remain left behind, and yet so much we can do if we will only step up and say "Here I am Lord, use me in whatever way you want...". For some that may be adoption, for others it is mission trips, for yet others it is sponsoring a child and making a difference in that way, and believe me from first hand experience even sponsorship can truly change a life.
So here's to one year of blogging! Thanks for faithfully following along, for throwing in your 2 cents worth, for offering encouragement when you sensed I needed it, for the tears so many of you have said you have shed while reading, and for your prayers for our family this past year. Together, we will see what this next year brings!