Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sharing is Caring, Right?

It happens to everyone. For me, it was my recent trip to Belgium, when I met several people from places I'd never been to who--it turns out--know all of the same people I know. In one instance, a teacher in The Netherlands had gone to college with the person who, twenty years later, gave me my first job as a pianist. You already know that I believe we are all connected to each other. But, it's experiences like this, the ones that happen half a world away from home, that leave you either wanting to hum It's A Small World After All, or the theme to The Twilight Zone.
Landry art? 

But, our interconnectedness makes me wonder about the nature of information sharing, and specifically blogging. Last night, I was spending time on Facebook. One of my college friends who is now pregnant was asking for advice on strollers. So, I sent her the link to our stroller. A little while later, I went and checked to see what other people had said. I was amazed to find there were 27 different comments. Some comments offered diverging viewpoints, some agreed. By the end of the whole thing, I am pretty sure that my poor friend was even more confused about her situation than she was before she asked her question. Situations like this beg the question: shouldn't we just sit down and shut up?

In the age of interconnectivity and way too much information, why contribute to a greater cloud of noise? Well, for me, and for this blog, our contribution to cyberspace's cacophony is to shed light on a path that might be misunderstood. Our journey with surrogacy has been our chosen path to get to the goal of a family of our own. Everyone takes a path, and everyone has a journey. And even if you are the typical opposite-sex couple, and you have the wedding, then the house in the burbs with the white picket fence, and perfectly-behaved labrador, and you are exactly like so many other couples in the world (or at least in North America), even then,  your journey to grow a family will be your own. It will not be the same as anyone else. There are many, many ways to make a family. Surrogacy is one way that people grow their families.

Here's my point: our surrogacy experience is our path. In blogging about it, we demystify the smaller curves and corners, and we shed light  on how all of our paths are similar and different. I know that when I've read the blogs of others who have walked their paths before me, I saw new possibilities for myself and my family. I learned that everyone has choices; that everyone makes decisions about families; that our decisions are our own; that the judgements of others are not important; that there were supportive communities for families of all types; that all families are different; that all families are the same.

Through blogging, I also hope to make connections with people who are on a similar path because I think it will be important for our kids so, they can know other kids who have similar backgrounds. In doing this, they can feel a sense of belonging. I believe that everyone has a need to belong, just like everyone has a need to be independent, free and different!

I'm not sure what will happen to this blog after our twins are born. Already, I've noticed that not many parents of multiples maintain blogs (ha!). And, although I think it'd be very interesting to write about parenting, I've already noticed that even in talking with close friends about parenting, everyone has opinions, and it's hard to remove judgement from conversations. It's possibly worse than discussing religion, sex, or politics. Maybe, this blog will turn into a place for family and friends who live far away to check out how our kids are doing and how much they've grown. Who knows? The future is full of possibilities. Meanwhile, stay tuned, because the next few weeks are bound to be very interesting!


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