The Power of We

Today is Blog Action Day, a time for bloggers from around the globe to unite and join a global discussion about one important topic.

“The purpose of Blog Action Day is to create a positive discussion that enables social good about an important topic. We ask bloggers to take a single day out of their schedule and focus it on an important issue.

By blogging about the same issue, on the same day, from their own perspectives, the blogging community focuses discussion and give their audiences the opportunities to take part in a global conversation, raise awareness or even funds for not-for-profits.”

The topic for today is The Power of We.  I love this topic so much and was really excited to write about it.

the reason I started blogging in the first place…..Little Man and I meeting at the orphanage in Vietnam for the first time

I started blogging in 2007 as a way to chronicle our adoption journey.  At the time, it was just a way for us to keep family and friends updated on the long, complicated journey.  Over time, my blog changed a lot.  I wasn’t sure what to write about or how to use my online presence.  But then slowly, after the adoption of our second child (a special needs, older child adoption) I knew what purpose I wanted my blog to serve.

My blog, you see, became my voice.  A voice to raise awareness on the issues that had affected my life personally: autism, special needs adoption, older child adoption, HIV adoption and the HIV/AIDS orphan crisis and non-profits providing aid to orphanages and children around the world.  I  even found my voice in encouraging others that adventure and the outdooors are for everyone–especially for children and those with special needs.

In 2009, through the power of blogging, I was able to team up with some other adoptive mama’s to start a series of campaigns to raise funds for children and families in Vietnam.  We had never even met in real life, but we had forged a connection through our sons’ shared heritages and our online voices.  We took a small idea and using he Power of We, were able to give life-saving surgeries, meals and other resources to people in need.

In 2012, again through blogging, I was able to connect and meet with the moms involved in the World Moms Blog and was able to spread my voice even further by becoming a contributor to their social good column.

And again in 2012, I was able to join a coalition of moms called the Global Team of 200 in an effort to spread my message of social good far and wide.

I am just beginning to harness the Power of We.  I don’t know where I’m heading, but I know it’s right where I’m supposed to be.  Blogging has not only let me find my voice, but has let me truly discover the amazing Power of We. I am so excited to see where this journey takes me.

Together, our voices united, we can bring about the changes we seek.  I have seen it happen before and I am honored to be a part of the Power of We.

Won’t you join me?

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. ~Margaret Mead 

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Peace Begins at Home

Remember me? I used to blog here.

Let’s face it, I have neglected my blog over the course of the past few weeks. It wasn’t intentional and I have truly missed sharing my thoughts and photos with all of you each day. Life, it seems, has swept me away into a dizzying whirlwind of to do’s and obligations. I’m actually blogging from my phone while sitting in my office, if that gives you any indication of the state of my blogging goals. But I’m readjusting the sails, so to speak, and I’m going to try harder to spend time nurturing my precious and worthy outlet–my blog.

A single moment out of my crazy and hectic morning stopped me in my tracks, reminding me to start looking at the big picture.

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I always put notes in the boys’ lunch boxes each day. This morning I found that Little Man had also decided to write a note for his brother, and he placed it next to mine. Looks like Big Brother will get a double greeting today.

Such a small act of kindness that speaks more profoundly than words ever could.

I mused to myself that I must be at least doing something right in this crazy and chaotic season of my life. And then it struck me that today is the International Day of Peace. And you know what? I had a thought.

Peace begins at home.

It’s not something you teach, but something you live. It’s not something you have, it’s something you are. So live it and pass it on.

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peace

Blogging: why, what and who

We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection.
-Anais Nin

Over the years I’ve often asked myself “why do I blog?” In the beginning, the answer was quite simple; I wanted to document our adoption journey to Little Man. Over the years, and several blogs later, I find that the reasons I blog are indeed very complex. About two years ago I had decided to only blog about our outdoor adventures and the joys of exploring nature as a family. It wasn’t long, however, before I felt complelled to write beyond just our outdoor escapades. I felt like I had something that was clawing, trying to find its way out of me. Then another adoption journey came and went and I found myself blogging about the highs and lows of adoption once more while still documenting our hiking/canoeing/camping fun. And then I realized the profound impact parenting children of trauma had on my life. And then I became a mother to a special needs child.

I found that I had a lot to say.

In fact, I sometimes think I have enough to fill a book or two….or three.

At first I blogged soley for me. It was my way to vent, my way to document the progress and regression for later reflection. It was even a way to store precious childhood memories for my children. My family, who all live in other towns and states, could also follow along in our daily lives.

But along my blogging journey something quite unexpected happened. I found friendship and community. I have been inspired by others and maybe even inspired a few bloggers along the way. I have learned things I wouldn’t have, seen things I wouldn’t have and been taken places I could only dream about through tales of travel and photographs.

And in return I have been supported, lifted up and validated. I have been shown that although our family has chosen a difficult path to travel, we are not alone. There are some who “get it”…the hard stuff that one can only know from parenting in the trenches. There are others who hear it and although they may not have had the same experiences, are supportive and reflective. There are others who are learning about trauma, adoption and autism who maybe wouldn’t have otherwise. Then there are the ones who just stop by because they truly care about what I–what we– have to say.

And to that, I say thank you. Thank you all for reading. Today I am going to share a blog award I received and I also want to do something else. I want to start a new blog roll filled with all the amazing and inspiring blogs that have been rocking my world lately. So, here it goes.

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First, the awards…

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I was recently nominated for a 3-in-1 blog award by Kristen at Let Life in Practices. Her blog is very inspiring and you should check it out when you get a chance. I am humbled that she finds my blog interesting enough to read each day! Kristen’s words are not only soothing to read, but her life lessons will make you stop and reflect on the choices and attitudes you choose each day. I thank you so much, Kristen, for offering this award to me!

As part of the award, I will list seven facts about me and then pass the award onto seven others.

Seven things about me:

1. I have two sons and they are seven months apart in age. The youngest one was adopted almost 4 years ago (!!) at the age of one. The oldest one was adopted last year right before his fourth birthday. They are considered virtual twins. Most people think they are biological brothers. Even though they are not, they are indeed REAL brothers. Did I confuse you? There will be a quiz on this topic tomorrow, so I hope you’re keeping up.

2. I’m addicted to caffiene. In our house, everyone knows that mama needs her coffee first thing in the morning. In fact, don’t even bother trying to talk to me unless you’re shoving a mug full of hot, glorious joe into my hands. Little Man often helps me make it in the morning. He’s a good boy.

3. Within the first hour of being a first-time mommy, I stood in a tiny, sweltering market in Vietnam trying to figure out what type of formula to buy. None of the labels were in English. No one spoke English. I stood staring at all the canisters for a good 10 minutes, trying not to cry before I finally just grabbed one. Little Man was strapped to me the entire time, wondering what in the world he had gotten himself into. Welcome to motherhood.

4. I have an advanced degree in Biochemistry. I have an unofficial PhD in ballon tieing 🙂 Guess which one gets more use.

5. I don’t like to wash dirty dishes. If I can, I pawn it off onto the hubby.

6. I teach college chemistry part-time and I really enjoy it.

7. My favorite time of each day is the early morning when the sun begins to rise, the birds begin to sing and the world still seems quiet and asleep. I am so grateful that I live in the woods and I am able to take full advantage of the early morning stillness…it truly recharges my soul.

Now to pass the award on…

1. Another Ordinary Miracle Join my dear in-real-life friend as she blogs about her four children, three who were adopted and one who was a miraculous micropremie who is now thriving and growing strong. You will be amazed by her grace and gratitude as she navigates being a mommy to four little ones!

2. A Different Normal Another dear friend who blogs about life with her amazing daughter with special needs. Rachel is an amazing, sweet mother with a beautiful family.

3. Thirdeye Mom Thirdeye mom will take you all around the world with her on her spectacular travels, this is a don’t miss blog!

4. Mama’s Got Wanderlust Another great blog about a traveling mama who is currently living abroud while raising her daughter.

5. It’s a Wunderful Life Come see a dad’s perspective on raising twin boys with autism. A wonderful, uplifting blog to read.

6. Crazy Wonderful Life Jodean blogs about her cute kiddos and is an excellent photographer. You will be inspired by her photos and artful creations.

7. Tales of a Mountain Mama You will be inspired to go outdoors with the family and create your own adventures after reading Mountain Mama’s blog. Definitely check it out to channel your own inner adventurer.

If your blog is listed above and you would like to accept your award, please link back to this blog and then pass the award on to seven others. Don’t forget to tell us seven things about yourself as well.

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But wait, there’s more! I am making a new blog directory. Check out these awesome blogs below that I’ve been reading lately. I will be adding more and more each day to a new tab at the top of my blog. Read and be inspired! Have a blog you would like me to check out? Leave a comment and let me know!

Outdoor/Nature Blogs

Family Wilds

Outside Mom

Go Explore Nature

Adventure Parents

The Kid Project

Cliff Mama

Special Needs Blogs

Diary of a Mom

Autism in a Word

Love that Max

Other great blogs

World Moms Blog

Mom Bloggers for Social Good