a most unusual club

This is the story of how I met a friend by googling my own name.

Once upon a time, I googled my name. Stop it. You do it too. It can’t come as a surprise to you that I am a narcissist. This is not news. I have a blog. Only narcissists have blogs.

So anyway, I googled my name. And this popped up. And, since I am a narcissist, I was particularly pleased with these paragraphs:

“I attended an adoption conference last summer, which was a mandatory step to get qualified through our agency. I was skeptical about the title of one class I attended, called “The Joy of Infertility.” But so much of what was shared has lodged permanently in my soul.

“I needed that class more than I knew. The instructor was named Laurieann Thorpe, and as soon as she started speaking, sharing quotes from author Anna Quindlen and poems that I found unbearably beautiful, I wished she lived next door to me. This is someone I would be friends with for sure.”

I did not find this blog or the post until about two years after said presentation. But I simply had to reach out to the blog’s author. I wasn’t convinced we would need to be neighbors to be friends. She had me at “skeptical.” And, as it turns out, we are friends now! The very best of friends.

We have always marveled at how Google brought us together, though we agree Anna Quindlen’s use of the word “cognoscenti” contributed. Cognoscenti (which, believe you me, I practiced the pronunciation of over and over prior to that presentation) is a noun meaning “people who are considered to be especially well informed about a particular subject.”

Angie and I, we are especially well informed about infertility. It’s a tribe thing. A club thing. The other three hundred people in the room were also our cognoscenti. But none of them popped up when I goggled my name.


A couple of weeks ago, I reached out to a fellow foster mom blogger who blogged about her little ones, with details that matched the circumstances of my littles’ case. Too many coincidences made me reach out in an email. It was only the second time in my life I have ever done such a thing.

Her response? “I know you! I went to a presentation you once gave about infertility, in fact, I blogged about it here.”

Come on! How is this possible? Once is borderline miraculous. Twice?

Anyone else a cognoscenti of mine? Possibly sit in that conference room and laugh at the video below? I’ll waive the “blogged about it” portion of the membership if you’d like to join our most unusual club.

P.S. Some context about the video: I don’t really believe in “getting over” grief or things that rock your world. To the unaquainted with grief, there is an impression you can just stop feeling sad about something. The video is tongue-in-cheek about that. I believe more in the Daniel Tiger state of mind, “It’s okay to feel sad sometimes. Little by little, you’ll feel better again!” With infertility as with any grief, the sad ebbs and flows. Flows and ebbs. It doesn’t stop. Ever. And that is okay.

(I just dated my kids with that Daniel Tiger reference.  It is a very short window where Daniel [the animated version of Mr. Rogers – oh boy, now, I’ve just dated myself] enters your life. But his little ditties stay long after your kids leave his world.  Universal truths in those ditties of his.)


2 thoughts on “a most unusual club

  1. It’s the best and worst club ever. Worst because, well, obviously, but the best because of the amazing people you meet. And no, you’re not dating yourself with Daniel Tiger references. It’s currently available on Netflix, so I daresay a high percentage of toddlers today are singing along to Daniel’s ditties. 🙂

    And I want to say that I’m sure glad we were both brave enough to 1) use real names in blog posts, 2) email one another blindly, 3) keep on emailing, and 4) meet one Friday at a Barnes and Noble.

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