Thursday, July 19, 2007

In Praise of Technology

The past twenty-four hours reminds me of how much the adoption journey has changed for me over the past eleven years. While I had email eleven years ago and before that (thanks to my wife who is an early adapter when it comes to technological change), there were no blogs and the connections via email were vague and typically not personal nor helpful. Few of us in those nascent days would email details that were personal or involved, preferring telephone or face-to-face contact.

And while I see the all-too-apparent problems that come with technological advance, in at least this arena I am full of praise. Each day through the medium of blogging I can reflect upon my life and experience, sharing as little or as much as I prefer, and others can log in to check things out whenever they wish, whether it's early morning or late night. I don't have to worry about well-meaning friends calling me at a time when it's inconvenient, nor do those who wish to express their concern of prayerful support need to wonder when the best time to do that is. Blogging creates a new sense of space and community that is helpful. I wouldn't want all of my connections with people -- and especially not my primary connections -- to be via blogging or email or the internet, but for purposes of supportiveness it serves us well.

Eleven years ago had our son been missing for any period of time (and we did, in fact, have a foster son at about that time period who had a habit of running as well), our only resort would have been to call law enforcement directly or to begin calling people in the community. Instead, I simply blogged my concerns, and within less than a day's time a blog reader was able to point me in the right direction.

Not only that, but I know that there are people across the world, literally (check the site meter), who are reading and joining our familiy in the journey of adoption. Some will leave comments from time to time, but others will mostly read and move on, which is all right, too.

I'm hopeful that this blogging space provides the opportunity for other adoptive parents of difficult children to find a sense of community and commonality, knowing that they are not alone in the challenges they face. That's a noble goal, and a sincere one, but I am especially grateful for the sense of support I feel via this medium.

Who would have thought eleven years ago that a blogging site would provide a more direct, efficient and helpful mode of support than traditional face-to-face, in real time, support groups? In a real-time support group there is the hassle of clearing the schedule to get there when everyone else does ... the frustration of listening through everyone else's concerns (especially if you happen to be an introvert like I am) without the opportunity to really share your own heart.

I could go on and on, but today I am in praise of technology and the sense of support and community I experience through it!

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