Last November, right before Thanksgiving I was out doing "the grocery thing". I really don't enjoy grocery shopping. It has always seemed more like a hassle to me. I do, however, like the small town atmosphere that my grocery store has. As I piled my groceries on the belt, the cashier began to chat with me. She started, of course, with the simple, "Hi, how are you?" and continued with more questions until she said, "So, what are you thankful for this year?" My mind started reeling and voices started arguing in my head...
"Should I really lay it all out there for this complete stranger? Does she really care?"
"Are you kidding, she could care less. She asks everybody questions but doesn't really want an answer."
"Well, it would be a great opportunity to talk about my faith by sharing about our adoptions."
"Ummm, nooo. Definitely not."
Then the wrestling match stopped with, "Ummm, yes. I think I should...."
So, I began to explain to the cashier that I was thankful for the opportunity to be adopting two children internationally. I explained how we felt God had specifically called us to step out in faith and just trust Him. I wondered if my answer would be "too much" for this woman here in the grocery store--it was a far cry from the small talk one normally entertains in situations like this. To my surprise though, she became really excited and began asking more questions. It led me to explaining how we had began the process for foster care, which we feel is good, but had we gone that road we knew we would be disobeying God--God was calling us to international adoption. Pretty heavy stuff for the grocery store check out line.
Since I was in deep conversation with the cashier, I was completely unaware of the person unloading their groceries on the belt after me. As the cashier rung my coupons, I turned to see a young woman behind me. I was about to apologize for the added time she had to wait while I was talking but before I could speak she so sweetly said, "I'm sorry. I was listening to your conversation and I just want to say 'thank you' for deciding to adopt two children. I, myself, was adopted out of the foster care program and if it were not for that, I'm not sure where I would be today. You are saving two lives. Thank you for loving them." I began to tear up and quickly told her that I so appreciated her words of encouragement.
I was pretty moved by the whole situation. Both of the women's words were powerful and I felt like God had spoken directly through them to affirm, encourage and love me. After the groceries were loaded in the trunk, I climbed in the car and sat quietly for a few minutes. I reflected on the incredible experience of sharing my faith and the encouragement that came through complete strangers...and then I realized one more thing. I realized that in those conversations--for the first time--I said "OUR" children rather than "the children we were adopting". Oh, the power of words!