My post this week will continue our mini-series on gratitude and grants me an opportunity to give an extra special ‘thank you’ to a fabulous group of women.

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Now comes my confession: I have internet friends. A lot of them.  Some of them live in my town and I run into them at Starbucks and dance class, while others live in different states, or halfway around the world. And if it weren’t for this amazing tribe of women, my parenting journey would be a lot lonelier, scarier, and significantly less informed.  In fact, I might not be a mom at all, because it was thanks to this group of online friends, that I was matched with my children in the first place (get the full story on that here). 

Many years ago, we all were browsing Theknot.com for wedding planning ideas when we stumbled into each other and formed fast friendships.  Little did I know that this gaggle of girls chatting in a message board about napkin colors and guest list drama would become one of my greatest sources of strength and support in the tough years to come.

It seems strange to say that I met some of my best friends on the internet, but in this day and age when we work online, shop online, and even meet our spouses online…why not??  These women have seen me through some of the biggest milestones in my life and even though I haven’t even met them all IRL (‘in real life’ – yes, we have our own language), I know they have my back.  I know it because they were my biggest cheerleaders through the darkest days I’ve ever faced.  Their hearts broke along with mine when we found out month after month that we were still not pregnant.  They got tears in their eyes when they looked at the pictures of our adoption day.  They set their DVRs with great excitement when we had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go on national television and share our story.  I can not thank them enough for riding beside me in the insane rollercoaster that was my life – and I’m honored that they trust me with the stories of their lives, as well. Thank you for being amazing friends.

Thank you to J for sharing the name of your wedding photographer.  We took your recommendation and I will cherish those pictures for the rest of my life!

Speaking of pictures, thank you to M, B, D, and T for sharing your talent and photographing my family.  Your beautiful images mean so much to us.

Thank you for being there with commiseration, and a virtual glass of wine, when my 2-year-old was up past 11pm for the 6th night in a row and I was on the verge of losing my brain.

Thank you for assuring me that, no, I am not too fat to wear leggings. (and being trustworthy enough that I know you aren’t lying!)

Thank you for being a soft place to land with lots of complaints, and whines, and tears.  Thank you for all the supportive PMs (private messages) – I reread them many times.

Thank you, J, for showing up on my doorstep on very short notice and letting us borrow your DVD player for our first plane trip. We seriously would not have survived that trip without it.  Moreover, thank you for being the type of person who just does that stuff.  Thank you for teaching me about being a great friend.

Thank you for always being an awesome sounding board for party planning, new recipes, restaurant choosing, outfit selecting, sick-kid-medicating, education decisions, fun family activities, and so SO much more.  Seriously, who needs google with a group like you?

Thank you to L, and all those who contributed, for the gifts of clothes and toys when we were surprised with the placement of our 2 oldest just days before Christmas.  That Christmas was unbelievably magical and you were a big part of it.

And again, thanks to S and the contributors, for delivering wine and gift certificates for take out at the shocking placement of baby #3.  Ya’ll know how to make a new mom feel supported!

Thank you for believing in me as a mom.  Sometimes I think you all think I’m a better mom than I really am.  And that is exactly what inspires me to be better.

Thank you to E for sharing with me how your perspective on gay marriage changed after getting to know me and my family.  Powerful, grateful, and humbling.

Thank you for always being willing to pass along the awesome deals you find!

Thank you for being willing to talk openly about the tough stuff.  Money troubles, sex, marriage, dirty houses, and a finite amount of patience for our children…it makes me feel normal, and helps me judge myself less harshly.

Thank you for supporting my blogging.  There are a few of you who have read every single post over the past 5 years and I can’t tell you how much that means to me…especially since some of those posts were terrible!

Thank you to those of you who have shared your personal stories of life-threatening illness, infidelity, and loss. Through you I have learned about grace, forgiveness, perseverance, resilience, and the infinite strength women hold inside of themselves.  You have opened my eyes and deepened my heart.

Thank you to J, B, M, S, A, A, M, J, M, and J for always being there, and holding anything I come to you with gently.

Clearly I could go on all day, and I will think of 1,000 other things I will wish I had added, but suffice it to say that I am thankful to know each and every one of these women.  I am so grateful to be a parent today – in an age when I can be surrounded by the strength, support, and wisdom of so many women – even if only virtually. 

 

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