I have plenty of friends that I made the regular way--at school, at work, in the neighborhood, through Hopper, through Boo--but I also have online friends, and I'm old enough that I find this a bit odd.
There are two kinds of online friends. I have a few--readers of this blog, even--whom I've never met in person. That's the strangest, I think--people to whom I feel very close, although I have no real proof that they are who they say they are. But it's not what I want to write about today.
Today I'm writing about my Adoption Friends.
When we were in process (waiting for Boo) I became very active on a popular adoption chat-room that I won't name here because nobody I know likes it anymore. At some point, someone on the Russian Adoption board noticed that almost everyone commenting there was from New Jersey. A meet-up was scheduled, and four brave souls met at a mall (of course) for lunch and became fast friends. I thought that was way too weird, so I didn't go, but then they reported having a great time, and invited us all to another meet-up at Skiboo's house.
So I went.
It was a revelation to meet people involved in the same stressful, life-altering process I was going through. It was so relaxing to be able to talk about adoption without having to explain myself first. These people knew all the terms, how the process worked, and what it was like to have your life's dreams in someone else's hands. Also, I liked them.
And so, I kept going to meet-ups, and the meet-ups became baby showers, and birthday parties, and eventually moms' nights out and First Communions and Bat Mitzvahs. Now, I can't imagine life without these women (and their families) in my life, and somehow these strangers from the internet have become old friends with whom I've shared many of life's ups and downs: adoptions, marriage, deaths, natural disasters, emergencies, joblessness, families growing and shrinking.
These days we don't get to see each other as often as we'd like, but we still keep in touch on the internet, and when we do get together, it's the way old friends do--we pick up where we left off, and catch each other up on the trivial things or personal things that don't make it to Facebook. And then we have fun.