A Very Special Day

Yesterday was a very special day. Two things happened. We got to enjoy some of our dear friends for lunch and see Sofie meet Aiden! Both have DS and both were adopted from Bulgaria! Then we had lots of family and friends come over for Evie’s Blessing! Such a special day!

I’ll start with the Keno’s visit since that happened first…

You may have heard me mention them before. They were quite instrumental in Jon’s journey to being so passionate for people with special needs. Jon fell in love with their first son who has DS many years ago when he was very young… he is now 18! Jon introduced me to Brent 10 years ago as his little buddy. When Jon was 19, Jon went with the Keno’s to help out at a special needs camp where he learned a lot about people with DS and many other different abilities! It was because of their little boy that Jon became open to this new community of differently abled people. If it weren’t for them all and the role they have played Jon and I probably would not have gotten married because one of the main things that attracted me to him was how comfortable he was and how normal he treated my sister Maggy. We probably wouldn’t have ended up adopting Sofie and he definitely wouldn’t have landed his job at CLBC!

Keno girls with Sofie and Brent.

The Keno’s have three bio daughters and have adopted five more kids, three of which have DS and one of those boys with DS came from Bulgaria! It was a forwarded email from Mama Keno that turned the ignition key for our own adoption. We had just finished closely following their journey in bringing Aiden home from Bulgaria that October when we started our own journey in January!

The Keno’s and Aiden has followed Sofie’s adoption and development closely and today the two oldest girls and Brent and Aiden came for lunch. Sofie and Aiden finally met! I’m surprised I didn’t cry 🙂 They were both adopted from Bulgaria. I loved listening to Aiden’s accent. He was 9 when he came home so it is quite heavy. I have always been aware and thoughtful of speech delays with people with DS but it never crossed my mind about how that would sound with an accent. Awesome by the way 🙂

Aiden and Sofie!

He played with Livi in the toy room and worked in the “food factory” cooking us pancakes I think. We got a few precious pictures of him with Sofie that I will cherish!

Then it was time for Evie’s Blessing. We had about 40 people (I think) come out to be a part of our Blessing ceremony. Instead of an infant Baptism or Dedication we have our five best friends preform a Blessing. One couple does the Blessing on us as parents, one for the newest member and children, and one kind of hosts pastoral-y and does a family blessing. We leave complete creative control to our friends and they have always done an amazing touching job. It is really special to us and we love that we have been able to do this more intimate ceremony with our friends.

The blessing we got as parents was this by Brene Brown…

The Wholehearted Parenting Manifesto

Above all else, I want you to know that you are loved and lovable. You will learn this from my words and actions–the lessons on love are in how I treat you and how I treat myself.
I want you to engage with the world from a place of worthiness. You will learn that you are worthy of love, belonging, and joy every time you see me practice self-compassion and embrace my own imperfections.
We will practice courage in our family by showing up, letting ourselves be seen, and honoring vulnerability. We will share our stories of struggle and strength. There will always be room in our home for both.
We will teach you compassion by practicing compassion with ourselves first; then with each other. We will set and respect boundaries; we will honor hard work, hope, and perseverance. Rest and play will be family values, as well as family practices.
You will learn accountability and respect by watching me make mistakes and make amends, and by watching how I ask for what I need and talk about how I feel.
I want you to know joy, so together we will practice gratitude.
I want you to feel joy, so together we will learn how to be vulnerable.
When uncertainty and scarcity visit, you will be able to draw from the spirit that is a part of our everyday life.
Together we will cry and face fear and grief. I will want to take away your pain, but instead I will sit with you and teach you how to feel it.
We will laugh and sing and dance and create. We will always have permission to be ourselves with each other. No matter what, you will always belong here.
As you begin your Wholehearted journey, the greatest gift that I can give to you is to live and love with my whole heart and to dare greatly.
I will not teach or love or show you anything perfectly, but I will let you see me, and I will always hold sacred the gift of seeing you. Truly, deeply, seeing you.

The girls were blessed with books and Evie received a book that we will use as a scrap book of pictures from her birth and today where guests had written their own blessings/words in it for her. The one that Brent and Mary (our blessing friends) gave was …

May the sun bring you new wnergy by day.
May the moon softly restore you by night.
May the rain wash away your worries.
And the breeze blow new strength in to you being.
And all of the days of your life may you walk 
gently through the world and know its beauty.

Geoff did a little talk on what this blessing meant to us and prayed for Evie and our family. It was all so beautiful 🙂

 Jon’s Grandparents.

 My Grandma

 Auntie Sessa

 Uncle Jeremy first meeting Evie
 Auntie Liz

Thank you to everyone who came out and made it such an amazing day. We are truly blessed to have you all in our lives.


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