Sunday, December 2, 2012

Cheers and Tears.

I woke up last night in a panic as it hit me, the way things do in the middle of the night for naturally anxious people like me, that I have made the decision to say goodbye to this blog.  It's a done deal.  A new blog has been started.  There is no turning back for me now.

I did not want to let this blog simply fizzle out the way it's done in the last few months.  I knew the end was coming, and I wanted to end it right.  It just hit me last night that it might be a more emotional goodbye than I'd expected.

So here it is.

I started this blog in 2007 (!) for two reasons: I needed a creative outlet for myself, and I wanted to help others as we journeyed through adoption.  This was always the purpose for the blog, and I tried pretty hard to stick to that.  I think it's good for a blog to have a 'theme' if you will, and this one seemed like a good one.  The problem came when we started settling in as a family with two kids with no new adoptions on the horizon.  While I have learned so much from families who continue their blogs once their kids get home, I have not figured out for myself how to write about our family and our real-life struggles in a way that protects the privacy of our kids.  Others are so much better at this than I am.  Because I couldn't figure it out, I just stopped writing.  

The adjustment our family has gone through with the addition of our sparkling girl has not been completely smooth and easy for anyone.  There have been plenty of ugly moments from all of us, and I just could never figure out how to write about this.  This always made me feel guilty because I felt like I was being dishonest.  Part of me hoped that my stretches of silence would be enough to convey to faithful followers of this blog that I wasn't being dishonest by just posting the happy stuff.  I always hoped they (you!) would understand that I just couldn't figure out how to write about the hard stuff.

We are now a relatively solid family of four with no concrete plans in the works to adopt another, and so the goal of this blog has pretty much been accomplished.  It certainly came in handy for me as I sought a creative outlet, and I hope it helped others as you graciously followed our family.

...which leads me to the part that I get emotional about.  I've written about this plenty of times, but I'll say it again: the biggest surprise for me with our adoptions is the lifelong friends I made through this blog.  I mean, real-life, honest-to-God, in-the-flesh friends who come visit me and vice versa, who have sent me numerous care packages in the mail during down times, who organized a blessingway for me, who call and text me regularly to check in or recommend a new book or give me celebrity gossip.  It blows my mind.

The day we got word that our adoption of our son was finalized in Ethiopia in 2008, I spent that afternoon sitting in a coffee shop in L.A. with the laptop reading the dozens of supportive comments that came in via this blog.  Each comment that came (over a hundred in all by the end of the day!) made my stomach do a little flip of gratitude and joy.  How amazing that people cared enough about us to reach out!  Again, it blew my mind.  

Thank you.

A lot has been brewing in me for the last several months, and loquacious Lori will always need an outlet for her many words, so this weekend I created a new space in the same spirit I started this blog in five years ago.  I hope the new space will be an outlet for me and a help for anyone who feels like following along.  

It is called Moments I Got Back.  You can read the concept behind it by clicking here, but the short version is that it is the attempt of a middle-aged woman to slow time down a little bit by being more present each day.  It will take discipline for me to write it, and I truly hope it won't take discipline for you to read it.   It was birthed out of the experience I had in 2009 of writing the series of posts from the month our family spent in New York City (in this blog's archives).  These posts were a joy to write, and I hope my new blog will be a similar joy, even though I'm currently in a much less interesting city.

This is where I say goodbye.  I will be honored if any of you follow me to the new space and become a part of a potential community over there.  In eternity, please save me a seat beside you so we can meet in person and reminisce about this funny little life here.  For now,  I raise my hard apple cider to you in gratitude, in humility, in sincere thanks for being such a huge part of my becoming a mother.  This is where I begin to cry.

(If, on the off chance, we ever do adopt again, this blog will be back up and running.)

Many tears right now, silly old middle-aged me.

Love, love, love, all is love.

Thank you.