Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
I find myself blessed to have some wonderful women in my life. The crazy thing is I will never meet most of them in person. Not in this world. And yet they have become part of my story, part of my everyday survival.
I "met" Janet on our adoption agency forums, and was thrilled to travel to China with her. We were even on the same flight from Chicago to Beijing! Since returning home we have shared with each other the honest and difficult details of life with four kids, one newly adopted, and the nitty gritty of multiple doctor visits, all while trying to home school. I can be real with her, and I trust her. I think she trusts me too.
I "met" Lynne when I read a very transparent post she wrote about learning to love her adopted daughter. I linked to her post on my own blog, and we are now bloggy friends. Her comments and emails to me have given me hope, and the courage to reveal that adoption is more than lovely sepia-toned photographs, realizing that people actually benefit from hearing the rest of the story. She was one of the first to reach out to me and help me to believe I'm not alone.
I know Heather in real life. She is in the process of fostering-with-the-intent-to-adopt an older boy she met at a Royal Family Kids' Camp. She got ahold of God's heart for this child, and brought him into her heart and family. We have supported each other through the respective red tape of our processes, and I love knowing that she's in my corner.
And there are countless others with whom I have swapped stories and prayers and questions and humor, who have brightened my day with a kind word here or there...offered a cyber-hug, so to speak. Some are not even adoptive parents, but we speak a common language. They affirm that adoption is sometimes painful and messy but also rewarding, like childbirth, that my feelings are acceptable, that my experiences are not entirely unique, that though we are miles apart, we are in this together. I've received an unexpected gift as I've openly (and with some trepidation) shared my own heart here in these posts--the friendship and trust of these other women. Strong and beautiful, they are.
We receive comfort. We offer comfort. It's just the way God intended.