It was a brief phone call; one I (truthfully) did not expect to receive. Noticing that her Chinese daughter had the same Chinese name as the daughter we were waiting to adopt, I commented on her blog asking about the pronunciation. She responded saying that since it was hard to describe in an email, she’d give me a call once they returned from their adoption trip.
A call? Once they are home from China they are going to be exhausted and jetlagged and busy adjusting to life with a new family member. There is no way she’ll be in any shape to call me about something as minor as a pronunciation.
But call, she did, this mom-whose-blog-I-followed-because-they-were-a-few-steps-ahead-of-us-in-the-process. Sure, I related to what she shared of her heart and her faith on her blog, but she was still a stranger. Yet here we were, two excited mommas chattering away because of a connection made via a blog. Although it was brief, it was a connection that God would soon use.
A few months after that first phone call, my husband and I finally left on our own adoption trip, a trip that held unexpected struggles and heartache. While our family and friends back home offered loads of prayers and support, it was “that mom I talked to on the phone about a name pronunciation” who intentionally reached out to me through my blog to offer the kind of support only another adoptive momma could offer. God used her to speak His words to me. And the connection grew.
That was 2010.
Fast forward to today and that connection remains. It grew stronger through emails and blog comments. It grew through shared faith and shared passions. It grew during times of actual meeting-each-other-in-person visits. And it eventually grew to include partnering in some of God’s work with adoptive families through this We Are Grafted In blog. A small connection through a blog because of a minor similarity in our adoption stories grew into a beautiful friendship.
As crazy as my husband may sometimes think it is, I’ve been blessed with connections of many different kinds through the bloggy world. A fellow cleft-momma in the South, a sweet adoptive momma who flies by the seat of her pants just like me, a momma from our travel group who was the hands and feet of Jesus on our difficult trip. For all its craziness, the Internet has made it possible to find connections in spite of distance. And these connections have meant the world to me as I navigate what it means to mother these beautiful children God has grafted into our family.
The theme of connection is a familiar one in adoption circles. We mainly think of it in regards to our children who crave a connectedness they often can’t verbalize. As parents, we strive to find ways to meaningfully connect with our newly – and often not-so-newly – adopted children. There’s also the new connections we make in our faith once we understand more fully our own spiritual adoption.
Connection is at the very heart of relationship as evidenced in its definition:
- The condition or fact of being related; connection or association.
- Connection by blood or marriage; kinship.
- A particular type of connection existing between people related to or having dealings with each other.
And being connected is at the heart of what we strive to do through this blog, We Are Grafted In. Grafting joins (or connects) what might otherwise not be connected. God has grafted us into His family. He has grafted our children into our families. We strive to feature posts that will encourage you in your family’s journey of grafting new members in through adoption. We strive to help you become more connected to your Father.
At the beginning of last season, we stressed the importance of community and our desire for We Are Grafted In to be a place where you could find community or belonging. This year we want to take it a step further. Our prayer is that you begin to perhaps find a more personal connection with some of the bloggers who share in this space or with followers of our Facebook page. We invite you to reach out through commenting or blog visiting or emailing and be intentional about connecting with others in this little piece of the bloggy world. You never know the connections God has waiting for you!
That former internet-stranger-now-friend recently sent me a postcard. On it she penned a hand-written note. And while it was written from her to me, it is also what we at We Are Grafted In would like to say to each of you, our readers and contributors…
18 years in the classroom as a teacher was easy compared to parenting three little ones at home full-time. Through their three daughters, God has revealed Himself most clearly to Stephanie and her husband Matthew. He not only worked a miracle in giving them their biological daughter, He continued to show Himself in mighty ways throughout adoption journeys in China and Bhutan that were anything but normal. Nowadays she enjoys encouraging and connecting with other adoptive families through speaking and her work on the leadership team of “We Are Grafted In”. You can read more about their family on their personal blog We Are Family.