Tonight after coffee hour, one of my old students was hanging around a lot. It surprised me, because she is a doctor and usually quite busy. We have wonderful conversations in class, and then she flies out of the building to return to work. She didn't approach me--other people were around talking to me--but when I left the building she was hanging out on the corner talking to Aaron.
I should back up and say this is a student I've been a little worried about. She was one of my most loyal students, always announcing to classes at the beginning of the term that she had come originally to learn English but how she came now because the discussions were so good and she liked to see me. She has had kind of a long courtship with Christianity as well...one that started in college and is still continuing. She told me sadly one class that she wished she could believe it was true, but she just couldn't believe. This started a letter exchange of two letters, and we spoke pretty personally. Then, this term, she didn't register for class. Another student told me she was very busy, and would only have time to come on Fridays, and as it turned out she only came to Coffee Hour, not Christianity Today. I was worried I had pushed her too far...even though I have yet to push someone too far for real even once I still worry about this quite a bit.
So, she was hanging out outside waiting, she joined me and the girl I was walking with, announced that she had forgotten her bicycle, and also that she had something to tell me, though she could write it down...
I walked back with her, and the following conversation occurred:
N.: I have to tell you something, but it's personal.
Pamela: (gearing up for N. to give me extremely personal news) What's up?
N.: Well...actually...I got married.
Pamela: !!!!! When? To who?
N.: To a man, of course!
Pamela: No, no, no...I mean, I know to a man, but...who?!
N.: Oh, I've known him for maybe 20 years. And there's one more thing...we adopted a baby a few months ago.
I'm so glad she finally decided to tell me...I understand a little bit why she is in a dilemma about telling people, though. Adoption is not at all common in Japan. She says she will have to decide whether or not to tell her friends, though she told me she will certainly tell her daughter. Also, since she is still a busy doctor, her husband has become a stay-at-home dad, the first I have heard of in this country. I hope I still have the chance to stay in touch with her!