Yesterday afternoon, while waiting for Matthew's music class to end, I had a short conversation with another waiting mom, whom I know has been in the process of trying to adopt internationally (not from Ethiopia) for about as long as we've had our file in Ethiopia. She asked how things were going on the adoption front. I hesitated briefly before answering her because, for the past two weeks, when I've been asked by other acquaintances how things are going with our adoption, I've simply said that we're still waiting. I haven't felt all that comfortable getting into the intricacies of what we've gone through in the last while...at least with people I don't know well. In this case, however, I hesitated because I knew that this woman and her husband have also been through a lot in their quest to adopt. In my moment of hesitation she graciously jumped in, perhaps sensing my indecision. She said that she and her husband had just declined a referral of a two-year-old boy, for medical reasons. My heart skipped a beat and I told her with no further pause that we'd also just declined a referral, for the same reason.
I don't know if she saw my eyes fill, but through my clouded vision, I saw the tears in hers. We had only a minute more to talk, maybe less, but that was such a grace-filled minute for me. What are the odds of being able to share a moment like that with someone who's gone through the same thing at about the same time? It meant so much: an almost-wordless understanding; a sharing of the burden; a lifting of guilt; a profound relief that we're not the only ones to have to make this decision. I'm struck by how much it helped, and how it met a need that I didn't even know I had.