New Old Friends

I’m pretty sure she was too mature to participate in the countless hours I spent with my other friends making prank phone calls on my double-sided Swatch phone, but I know for a fact we logged lots of time laying across my bed talking about our future husbands. I knew at sixteen that Beth would be a friend-for-life. I never dreamed, however, that Ethiopia and adoption would bring us back together after a 15-year lapse in friendship.

We had our differences. She was grounded and mature-beyond-her-years but found my behavior, driven mostly by typical high school social cravings, amusing enough not to drop me. I kept her laughing and she kept me praying. While I was still sneaking out (yes, even after a life-changing decision to follow God. Is that not part of the program?), Beth was at home helping her mom raise two children she was fostering that she later adopted. Beth endured me.

Fast forward 15 years to last Spring.

I don’t trust myself to be on Facebook. I know myself well enough to know that I could get thoroughly engaged in the life-and-times of my kindergarten friend’s cousin I met at the bus stop one day, so I don’t even dabble. BUT, one night my curiosity was piqued about more relevant relationships, so I had Nate friend-request a few of my old high school friends. Beth was one of them. Forty-eight hours later and I found this in my inbox: “Sara, this is Beth. Nate gave me your email address … we’re adopting two children from Ethiopia too…”

We picked up like no time was lost, except now we had a whole new set of life experiences to compare. I felt like I was living The Parent Trap, because over weeks and months, we discovered that in the 15 years which had passed, we lived semi-parallel lives. From the struggles we’d faced in having biological children, to the gifts we gave our bridesmaids for our wedding (LL Bean monogrammed totes :)), every conversation exposed another set of similarities.

“Sara, my husband’s a geek … he’s in Mensa.”

“Well, I just got Nate’s brochure for their annual conference. Maybe that’s when we can finally meet each other again,” I responded.

She shared stories about her marriage that were like a page taken out of my book. How it was possible to not only have found a friend with so much in common, but with the history that I shared with Beth (now, Elizabeth)–I don’t know. God?

And this weekend, a year and a half after we re-united and almost a year (to-the-day) after Nate and I met her (then) recently-referred daughter while we were in Ethiopia, she and her family are coming to town!

When we reconnected last spring, Beth was a mother to one biological daughter while Nate and I were foot-loose and fancy free. Tomorrow, she’ll arrive in a mini-van with a four year-old, a two year-old and a (surprise!) 8 month old. Eden has already decided that “Miss Clara” (who is one month older than she is) is one of her very best friends. And although they only had that brief meeting in an orphanage in Ethiopia, Eden and Caleb speak fondly of Moriah, who has been in Beth’s home just over 2 months now. Tessa’s along for the ride.

Our husbands will talk politics and play chess :), while we lay across my bed upstairs and discuss everything from parenting strategies and adoption to the J-Crew sample sale on Saturday and our acquisition strategies.

To this day, my dear sweet friend puts up with my antics … and pushes me closer to God (not to mention she remembers when I could do a kickin’ toe-touch). A tough combination to find.