Today we celebrated the end to our adoption journey and the beginning of our newest parenting journey. My sisters helped throw Sofie a Welcome Home party! Around 40-50 of our closest family and friends were able to join us. It meant so much to us that everyone made such an effort to come out and meet Sofie. Sofie did really well with all the people there. She started getting fussy about 2 hours in but calmed right down when I took her inside for a break.
During the party we took a little time to incorporate Sofie’s Blessing in. If you were reading my old blog when Livi was a baby you’ll already know what this is. If not, I’ll recap for you….
We have decided to do Blessings for our children instead of the typical Evangelical child dedications or the Orthodox baptisms. For Jon and I, being raised Evangelical, we both never really liked dedications. I couldn’t wrap my mind around how I could dedicate a child to God who was already so completely and obviously of God and from God already. It didn’t sit well with me. I also don’t love the idea of having a dedication in a large church setting with people there who are not in your close community. In Evangelical dedication services that I’ve been too, they always have a part where the church affirms they will support the parents and hold them accountable to rear their child in a Godly manner. I’m sorry, that is just opening up a whole can of worms that I have issues with. Most of the church goers, in my experience, are not going to actually support the parents, so why vow to? If anyone who is not in my close community comes and tells me I am not raising my kids right or in accordance with their ideas of Godly rearing, there is going to be some very pointed and harsh words spoken. It is not their place. As for a baptism, this was more my issue. I just can’t get totally on board with the theology behind an infant baptism, though I have no problem with other people choosing this.
A Blessing, for us, is a much better choice. We invite our friends and family, who we know are in our community who do and will support us. Because we have not really had any special bond with our church pastors, we have our closest friends do the blessings. This is also in part because when we did the Blessing for Livi as a baby, Jon’s dad had just died and he would have done it for us. So, we needed our close friends involved to help fill that void. We chose to have the blessings in three parts. Blessing the Child, Blessing the Parents, and the Pastoral Blessing for the whole family. It is such a special and unique experience for us that seems to be catching on with our friends too!
Geoff was Jon’s room mate all through college, best men at each others weddings, and have remained ‘hetero-life mates’. He is also our most “pastoral/religious” friend so he was the obvious choice for the Pastoral Blessing. He opened up the ceremony and closed it with some words of affirmation and a prayer.
Brent was also one of Jon’s room mates in college and we have remained good friends through out the years. Jon and Brent both met their wives in their college years and Mary and I have become good friends too! They are so good to us and help push us out of our comfort zones, which Jon and I need every once in a while. We asked them to do the Blessing for the Child. Mary made a beautiful quilt for Sofie as part of the blessing that will be treasured. Brent also read a poem to go with it.
Ben was another roommate of Jon’s in college and the same as Brent, met his wife in his college years. All 6 of us have remained quite close through these last 10 years. Ben and Danielle became parents just a few months before we did, both times! So, they were the obvious choice to do the Blessing for the Parents 🙂 Ben gave some words of wisdom and Danielle read a poem as well as gave some rocks with significant words of blessing written on them. The words were Space, Rest, Breathe, Release, and Gentleness. I’ve needed each of these things in the past few weeks and I’m sure in the coming years!
All in all it was a fun party! My sister made a super amazing ladybug cake. She’s been taking some cake decorating lessons and getting really good at it! The weather was amazing and we had the kid’s pool out. I don’t know what we would have done if it had rained. We felt so blessed by all the love and support we received from people. We truly are one lucky family. My only regret was that I didn’t get to talk with everyone. I said goodbye to some people before I said hello to them. It is very different visiting when I have to attend to two little ones who need my constant attention and get in to everything!
Life is definitely full right now. Exciting, challenging, adventurous, difficult, joyful, fun, and frustrating all wrapped up together. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I love my life, my husband, my girls, my family, and my friends 🙂