We had such a beautiful day for H and Baby T's Baptism and it has taken me forever to get pictures gathered up to load and share. The Baptism that day was scheduled for immediately following the 11am Mass, which means that the Baptisms usually begin around noon or so. We had all gone to Mass earlier and took separate cars (mainly because we didn't all fit in our Suburban) but also because we had a few errands to do on the way. Figuring that it was easier to pick up the catering without the three youngest ark riders, I left with everyone over 8 and left Daddy home to wrangle the threesome with the help of the Boy. The plan was to meet in the church hall, where we were holding the reception and to leave all of our things there before heading up to the church for the ceremony. It is important to mention that this was the day of the Bears game to decide if they would play in the Superbowl playoff game. So, when two of the godmothers, myself, both sets of grandparents and an assortment of school aged children (including H and B) were still in the hall at 11:55, I thought nothing of it...until someone came in saying, "You'd better get upstairs. The priest is calling for H and Baby T and says he's ready to start!" Quickly looking around, noticing that the Baby T of that pair was conspicuously missing (as was his Dad and big brother-aka-godfather) we decided we'd better head upstairs.
What an unbelievable sight as I walked through the glass doors in the back of the church: faces, more smiling, wonderful faces of friends and family than I have ever had the honor to see in one place waiting (and at this point, I really mean waiting) for our children's Baptism. Slightly panicking, I told the priest that the Baby, along with his Dad and siblings, were still en route to the church. But, coming to my rescue, was H's Uncle Chickendance (aptly named for well, nevermind) who was already calling his brother to find out how far he was from the church. (ed. note: I'd like to think he was concerned about his missing brother, nieces and nephews, but I also know he had a date with a television set and the aforementioned football game) Needless to say, my husband arrived in the nick of time and the Baptism went off without a hitch.
H getting baptized. We really could have used that stool!
There was the normal sacrament of Baptism with a special blessing on the mothers and fathers. But then, in an already emotional moment, a man from our church who heads up our parish's K of C council made a special presentation to the families (ours and one other) who were having children baptised. He spoke of the Knights pro-life efforts and the importance of the life of each and every child born. He presented gifts to the mothers and fathers and congratulated us on our new children. Then he turned, specifically to our family and said, as his voice broke from emotion, "This is an especially powerful testament to the value of life. What your family has done in being open to life through adoption, but even more how their birth mother made a choice for her children to be open to life." Presentation by K of CThere have been a few very bittersweet moments for me during our adjustment period and this was definitely one of them. To know, to really truly know that despite her imperfect physical, social and financial circumstances our children's birth mother chose life for her children gives me just a glimpse into the life our children left behind. Was it a perfect life? No. Will their life with us be perfect? Most assuredly not. But the knowledge of the sacrifice that was made on their behalf raises the bar for us as parents to keep striving for the perfection that God calls us to give--our very best, in His name, each day that we're given.