Sunday, November 9, 2008

Evie's Baptism

It's been a week since Evie's baptism, but I've had the pictures since mid-week. I have kept putting off posting about it because there is so much to say about that morning and how wonderful it was to have R, G and G's mother and teenage son there, along with all four of Evie's grandparents. It's been a busy weekend, though, and I find myself at 10:30 PM needing to get this posted quickly in order to meet my nablopomo quota! Hopefully Evie will stay asleep, so that I can finish. Here's a pic of the three of us, after the service:We knew that G would be there, and he had said he would be bringing members of his family (we knew his mom would be there), but we weren't sure about R. When we got to the church, I took Evie back to the nursery to change her out of her romper outfit (her christening gown wouldn't work with the car seat!) and into her gown. As J's mom and I walked back down the hallway toward the sanctuary, we saw G and R and G's family coming in the door at the other end. We were all smiles and after saying hello I immediately offered Evie to R and she beamed with joy as she took Evie in her arms and snuggled with her. Evie was drifting in and out of consciousness the whole morning, and I don't remember whether or not she was awake at that point, but she was a little angel in both behavior and appearance. As R held Evie, I introduced our parents and friends to R and G and his family and we talked about Evie and all of her skills and developments. The time flew by and we had to get into the sanctuary for the start of the service. J and I sat front and center because of our role, and I held Evie through the hour. R and G and G's family sat nearby but behind my field of vision, so I didn't see them a lot during the service. My family tells me that they seemed to enjoy the service. Evie slept through most of it, including the parts where J and I promised to raise her as a Christ-follower. She woke up, however, as I passed her to our pastor and she kept her eyes open as he scooped up water with a seashell and carefully poured it over her head three times. She just gazed at him and the congregation serenely and then went back to sleep as soon as she was returned to my arms. It was adorable. We have video, so I'll try to figure out how to upload that eventually. It was going to write something about why we had Evie baptized as an infant, but Payton was baptized on the same day and Diana put it so well that I'm just going to link to her and say: "Ditto."After the service, we asked them to stick around for cupcakes and conversation. We enjoyed chatting, mostly about Evie of course, and sent G home with almost a dozen cupcakes. It was adorable to see R and G cuddling Evie and discussing how she has G's cheeks and R's nose and might have R's blue eyes. We also took some wonderful pictures of R and G with Evie and J and I and Evie with R and G, as well as the whole family, including adoptive and birth grandparents. I'm not comfortable sharing them online, but they will be treasures for Evie's scrapbooks. Here's a picture of us with Evie's grandparents. It is difficult to get them all together at once, so photos like this are going to be almost as rare as photos with R and G! At various points during the morning, both G and R and G's mother teared up as they looked at Evie, held her and talked about her. They all expressed how wonderful it was to be there and thanked us for inviting them. I had first broached a general invite to G while we were still at the hospital on Evie's birth day, so I imagine this day was something they were looking forward to for weeks. It must have been difficult for them to leave the church that day, knowing that our next scheduled get-together isn't until summer, when our agency has an open adoption reunion BBQ. We're keeping them updated with photos, but of course it's nothing like holding her.

I'm/we're so happy that both R and G were able to be there. It was beautiful to see our parents chatting with them and to see more of R, since we didn't interact with her much in the hospital. The baptism gave me hope that we'll be able to stay in contact with R through the years and be open with her, as long as she stays OK with that. She said some very sweet things, like "I couldn't have asked for a better couple to be Evie's parents" and "I love that her hair color is the same as Karen's; it was meant to be!" (of course who knows what Evie's hair color will be once she's out of the baby phase...). It is nice to hear those things for myself, of course, but I wasn't feeling insecure about the adoption since it was final at that point. More than being reassuring to me, those statements gave me hope that R is finding a place of healing for herself, enough that she'll be able to have some openness with Evie.

R and G are special people and I was proud to introduce them to our parents and friends. Because of what happened with Lucy in particular, and because of the mythology surrounding adoption in general, it is easy for people to stereotype or judge birth families, either unconsciously or consciously. Researching and reading about open adoption is a partial cure, but nothing breaks down those misconceptions like a face-to-face meeting and conversation with someone. I'm grateful that now our friends and family can tell Evie "oh, your birth parents are wonderful people!" and mean it, not as a platitude but as a heart-felt certainty. It was a beautiful day.


  1. What a beautiful post!

    Did you get my e-mail about the photo blog? In case you are not recognizing it my email address is (- the stars) bir*kbab*

  2. +Miss X, no, I didn't get it, which e-mail did it go to? :) I looked in all 3 and didn't see it :)

  3. Hey,
    Weird. I sent it to this one karen*, minus the star. Is that wrong? Let me know and I'll re-send. :)

  4. I love this post---love, love it. There is such a feeling of wholeness between everyone who loves Evie---something that I'm sure she will sense as she grows.

  5. +Miss X, that should have been right, I don't know why it didn't work! Try another of my e-mails: lyra* (again with the star) :) Thanks!!!

  6. What a special day! So glad R and G could be there, meet your family, and have that connection. Evie will love that years from now!


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