Three years ago today I started this blog. I did it mainly as a quick way to keep out of town relatives updated on the girls. 509 posts later, it has obviously become much more. The relatives do keep up on the girls, but some of my most loyal followers live here in town. Through the blog I am able to form long distance friendships with other adoptive moms and I am always amazed when people I have never met contact me about something I have written.
I have always felt a deep need to document my children's lives. I think part of this is because I have almost no information about their early months. There are no sonogram pictures or newborn footprints on a hospital birth certificate or the ages of when they reached early milestones or even a clear idea of who was caring for them. So part of me wants, needs, to have detailed evidence of their lives with me. (Part of the desire for marking their lives may also be genetic - my mom jokes that every third moment of my sister's and my childhood was captured on film.) I have kept birthday cards and art projects and Christmas concert programs. I've taken thousands of photos (and printed them and put them in albums). I have made, and loved making, scrapbooks with pictures and captions for all of the big events of their lives. But this blog has brought a new and somehow more initmate way to bear witness to my daughters' lives. I've written posts on the Big Things - Christmas and birthdays, school programs and vacations. But I've also written about little things - loose teeth and funny conversations, riding bikes and playing in the leaves. And I think these everyday posts are my favorites. This is who we really are.
Looking back at my earliest posts, I realize how much I have learned. The blog brings out the photograher in me. I have learned how to tell a story in pictures. Sometimes I plan the picture series out ahead of time and other times I just see the action and start shooting. I love taking pictures, especially of my kids. This is such a good way to share them.
I have also remembered how much I love to write. I was 15 when I discovered the power of writing and realized that written word was how I best expressed myself. I wrote constantly through high school and college, but then just... stopped. When I was really upset or confused I still picked up a pen and wrote myself calm, but otherwise I didn't write. Once the girls arrived, I occasionally put some of my thoughts on paper, but not as often as I wished. And then I started the blog and the words have come pouring out again. I still express myself best through writing and writing is still how I process life's events. I often think out my blog posts on my way to and from work and then look forward to getting home to type. I am so glad that I have re-learned just how much I enjoy writing.
When I started the blog, I promised myself that I would update it at least once a week. And I've kept that promise. Sometimes I have so many things to post that I have to ration them out. But other times I have to work at it, to actually plan something to write about. And this has been the biggest gift of blogging. Because to get a post ready, I have to stop what I am doing, pull out my camera, and really pay attention to my children. I have to forget cooking dinner or making lesson plans or cleaning the bathroom and just be with my kids. And I've learned that when I slow down and look through the camera lens and just watch, I remember how much I love my girls and how much I like being around them. I forget the whining and bickering and endless nagging and see what amazing people they are and feel that endless awe of how they came to be mine. This blog is how I remember to "carpe diem", to slow down and savor the moments, because they go by so fast.