I started blogging in this space back in 2006. Some days it seems like yesterday. Others, a lifetime ago. For most of my kids, it was a lifetime ago; I hit publish on this blog's very first post nearly a year before Oli was born. I was Momma then to Jo (9), Atticus (6), and Logan (4). Adoption wasn't yet on our radar.
When I started blogging, it was a (fairly) new thing, and the perfect outlet for a creatively stymied Momma to turn to when all of the thoughts and frustrations and dreams threatened to bubble over. Then there were the heartbreaking lost pregnancies, the anxiety of the adoption paper chase, the very real life that was lived day in and day out-- much of it chronicled here, in this place.
Relationships were born here. I met friends-- some of who I now count among my nearest and dearest, some of whom I have never even lad eyes on. I have prayed for others, been prayed for, shed tears, and rejoiced. All of it here.
BOOKS and BAIRNS. I named this blog after one of my great-grandfather's favorite sayings. His wife, my Papaw's Momma, was a shy wisp of an Irish girl who'd been transported to the US with four young'uns living and one kicking inside. That would be my Papaw. Stateside, she birthed five more babes. Her favorite things, her husband said, were "tha Bye-bul, tha books, and tha bairns." I never met my great-grandmother, but that sounded about right when I began thinking over what I had to say to an audience who didn't know me.
My next job was to decide how transparent I wanted to be. I knew from the beginning that I would be raw, real, and utterly open in this place. But that kind of policy comes at a price. Knowing that I'd be sharing intimate details, how much of me did I really want out there? In the end, I chose to keep the username I had been using on the Sonlight forums as my blogging identity. I tagged my family members with names that fit their personalities. And I began.
So much has changed in my life and my family since then. So many doors have opened and closed, so many changes have settled upon us, shaping us, and making us who we are here, today, now. Sometimes I go back over my older entries and wonder at the person who wrote them. I think I would like her if I met her. But I certainly can't say that she and I are now the same.
You see, with the passing years, I've grown more and more uncomfortable with the cloak of anonymity I spread upon myself here. The reality I so dearly wanted to share, the open door I wanted to have with those who visited this place-- it's incomplete. The truth is, I am not Mary Grace. And while those who have read here since the beginning (or who've befriended me via email or other means) know this, many others don't. They see me as something I'm not. Somehow set apart. Somehow special. Somehow an authority.
Somehow, Mary Grace.
I wrestled with how to resolve this, and, after much prayer and consultation with my husband, I have decided to open a new blog. Rather than go back over years of BOOKS and BAIRNS and edit, or issue a sticky post that spelled out the details, I am moving. BOOKS and BAIRNS will remain here, open, as long as blogger allows it to do so. My email here (blog name @ gmail) will also be accessible, should you want to contact me. But, from now on, I will be sharing-- with my husband, from time to time-- at our new site, To Sow a Seed. You'll notice a few migrated posts from this blog, but otherwise, the content will be entirely new. And open. And under my real name.
To those who choose to follow us on this new adventure, I welcome you and ask that you be patient as we get our sea legs under us. We'd love to know you're "there"-- leave a comment or two and say hi. To those for whom their season of needing, reading, or enjoying BOOKS and BAIRNS has passed, I thank you. This place has been home in large part because of the people who inhabited this space-- and by that, I most certainly don't mean myself. I am grateful to have been Mary Grace. And now I look forward to being ... just me. :-)