Thursday, July 5, 2007

What is a friend?

What is a friend?

Webster defines "friend" as a favored companion.

Our adoption journey has been long and full of challenges. There have been periods of time during our journey where I felt more alone than at any other point in my life. The loneliest point was immediately following our failed placement in February. I felt like no one in my family nor any of my friends understood my mixed bag of emotions and honestly, how could they? I would never want ANYONE to understand my emotions because for them to truly get it, they would have had to experience it as well.

So, when I was feeling all alone I did something that I often do to make myself feel better. I turned to the internet searching for others who understood. I stumbled upon the Bethany Christian Services Adoption Forum one day. It was a blessing and curse simultaneously.

The blessings seemed to appear immediately. First, I found other people had experienced failed placements, so suddenly I was alone no longer. Second, I met some of the most incredible people ever on that forum (more on that in a minute). Third, I have learned a lot about the adoption process, even though I had already been waiting for a placement for nearly a year when I found the forum.

The curses sort of crept in quietly. First, my computer became attached to my hip. I couldn't go anywhere or do anything without first checking the BCS boards. It was like I was addicted to the people who actually could relate to some of my feelings. Second, the amount of arguing and bickering from other BCS posters has really weighed me down. I read it and leave the boards feeling exhausted sometimes, which has begun to outweigh the benefits I have received from the board.

Ok, back to the original intent of this post, which is discussing my friends. I have made many, many friends through the BCS boards. Some I chat with on occassion, others I have chatted with in depth. Some I have spoken to on the phone. Others I have met in person.

I am going to tell you about just a few of my friends I have met through BCS.

My friend, Beth, lives just about 45 minutes north of me. I have gone to her house and she has been here a few times. She is great. I have learned a lot from her. She is a birthmom/firstmom/natural mom (whatever the pc is these days). She helps me to see the other side of this whole adoption triad. She loves Lil Bug and Lil Bug loves her.

My friend, Sherri, is also a first mom. She has been a great person to share some of my deepest concerns and greatest joys with. She is so gentle with her teachings. Never does she shout something at you. I am hoping to meet her in August. She is trying to make arrangements to fly out to visit Lil Bug and I then. I am so excited about her possible visit.

My friend, Nusha, is fantastic! She doesn't use the BCS boards much any more, but we still talk through IM and on the phone. She lives about 2 1/2 hours north of me. The first time we spoke on the phone, we talked for nearly 3 hours! The time flew. It was like we had known each other for our entire lives. She feels like a long lost sister to me. We hope to meet face-to-face real soon.

My friend, Anita, is incredible! When I first met her on the board, she was going through a very difficult time. My heart hurt for her. I knew from the beginning we would be great friends. I couldn't believe it, but just a few days ago, she drove over 7 hours to come visit Lil Bug and I. Yep, she did! We had a GREAT visit. She is a beautiful person on the inside and out.

I have always believed that people come in and go out of our lives for various reasons. Some stay for a season, others stay for a few seasons, and still others stay for a lifetime. None of these women have experienced a failed placement, but they have all experienced loss and I have learned so much from each one of them. I thank God for these friends! I hope they are a part of my life for a lifetime, not just a season.


As I mentioned above, Anita came to visit me earlier this week. This wouldn't be a complete "friend" post without a recap and some pictures of our great time spent together.

I thought nothing of it when Anita and I first discussed meeting in person. I have developed a great relationship with her and it seemed like the next natural thing to do. We made the plans and within a couple of weeks, it was executed. She arrived on a Sunday night and left on the following Tuesday at noon, so her visit was short, but it was worth it.

She arrived bearing gifts. She crocheted beautiful blankets. Yep, that is right, plural...she made two blankets. One was for Lil Bug. It was the cutest thing watching her open it. She was so excited and shouted, "COOL!" She LOVES her blanket. She sleeps with it every night. The other is for our future daughter. It was so thoughtful of her!!!

On Monday we went to Grand Haven, which is the town I grew up in. It is a beautiful touristy town right on Lake Michigan. There is a wonderful boardwalk there. We walked along theboardwalk and down the pier. We played on the beach and we talked. The weather was great (sorry about the sun burn, Anita!). We were tired out at the end of the day.

On Tuesday we just visited. I had to take Lil Bug to the hospital for some scheduled tests at 7:15am, so Anita stayed home. We were back before 9 and we just visited until about noon when she left for home.

The Designer thought the whole idea of having a stranger come to our house was a little insane, but he never asked me to cancel the plans. He doesn't understand how I could meet someone online and establish a relationship with them intimate enough to invite them to our house. To me, my internet friends are just as "real" as my face-to-face friends. I have exchanged very personal information with them. I trust them. I value their opinions, quirks, personalities and so much more. I don't see any reason why online friends can't cross the threshhold and become face-to-face friends.

My definition of friend is the same as Webster's....a favored companion. The ladies discussed above and so many others I have met are just favored companions! Thanks for being there for me ladies!!!!


mommabear said...

Great post. I totally agree with you about Sherri!! I am glad you and Anita had a great time!!


Anonymous said...

Very sweet post Angie..

Anita said...

(hugs) I love you, friend. Thanks for opening your home to me.

nush said...

much love right back atcha sister! I miss talking with you! I too treasure our friendship and I hope we can meet sometime in the near future! I never anticipated making such great friends via the internet. Who knew!!

SJ said...

You really are a great friend to me :) So many times you have helped me understand S and C's hearts and I am forever grateful for that.

Thank you for being there and letting me be there for you :)

Renee & Paul said...

That is so very nice! Great friends are one in a million.