Friday, August 31, 2007

to blog an adoption trip

My friend's husband's sister (got that?) recently returned from Ethiopia with their new daughter. She's made the comment on her own blog that she is having a hard time organizing thoughts and starting to blog about their trip. For a variety of reasons, I know where she's coming from. I don't think I blogged much about Russia when we returned... the impact of a new kid in the house superceded for a long our impressions of our journey.
Plus, we had the benefit of computer access (for a price, as everything in Russia) so we emailed our loved ones the pertinent information. We verbalized a lot with our pictures to those who were looking at them, but blogging... not so much.

On the other hand I think, for people who are emotionally invested, although far away, from the new arrival probably want to hear about an adoption trip. People who are adopting soon, too, want details. It's hard... when pregnant, everyone close can share in the bulging belly, the monthly updates or stories, and "relate" to it. When it's time for the baby to be born, most people "know" what the story is - rush to the hospital, hours of labor, with the production of a kid. Adoption is so different. Traveling to a foreign country, especially one like Russia or Ethiopia, is something most people won't do. So I can understand why people would want stories and pictures.

Again, to swing to the other side, there are some things that can never be explained properly. I can never talk to anyone adequately, except Doug, about the Infectious Disease ward where we first saw Roman. The inexplicable fear that gripped us knowing he was so sick, even though we'd never met him. There are sights and smells that are so imprinted in us, that are so much a part of the experience that can't be conveyed. The pine trees. The mountains that are piles of rocks. The swamps probably full of dead bodies from Stalin's time. The smell of the water. Washboard snow covered roads. The absolute silence at the monastery in the woods. The dirt road that meant we were almost at the Baby Home.

So we explain as best as we can... by now, 3 years later, we have "pat" answers and explanations we tell people, so they can know a generalized version of our trip. SO my thought to my Ethiopian-traveling friends is to blog the generalities for those who want to share in the celebration, and leave some to yourself.

1 comment:

wmw said...

Thank you. I think you are right. And yet I feel we are already slipping into generalities as others forget about our trip...but I'm not ready to forget yet. People know enough generalities about adoption, about Africa, about Ethiopia--I want them to know the real thing...

Or maybe it's that I'm afraid I'll forget too.