July 15th is our family day. The day we met our son. He is 18-years-old now and I really would go back and live those years again. He is an amazing human being, a wise soul with a compassionate heart and an intuitive way of knowing the world.
Every July 15th we celebrate, we remember, in small gestures – red, white and blue clothes, looking at photos, telling him the story.
Six months after his arrival home he was welcomed into our church as he was baptized.
I wrote these words to tell him the story. Happy Family Day, Alex. All my love – through eternity into forever…Mom
“I stand on the top step of the altar wearing a soft, white satin gown that swirls around my feet. Your dad in his tuxedo tails stares into my eyes and takes my hand. Facing the priest and community of believers, we vow to love each other through eternity into forever. We seal our promise with circles of gold and a kiss…We live our promise through adventurous years and challenging moments. Then one day we think about you – a child, our child. But our passionate longing is not enough: our broken bodies cannot make you.
We grieve, we pray, we question, we wonder. Slowly we listen to parents who know a road less traveled where home studies and social workers create families; where God’s grace brings children and grown-ups together and breathes into them the gift of family. So, we move through the maze of questions and documents – dragging our faith behind us. Then we wait. We wait. We wait. We wait. One Thursday early, early, the telephone rings and words deliver you into our hearts. A baby boy, born in Paraguay, our son. We imagine your face, your spirit. We wonder whose arms will rock you, until we hold you. I chatter to you in my mind and ache because your little life is only waiting, waiting.
We pack diapers and documents and formula and tiny clothing and all our dreams into suitcases. An airplane, like a magic carpet carries us 7000 miles into the night over rain forests and prairies and deserts and ocean waters.
Finally, you are placed in our arms – like a puzzle piece. Your tiny hands scrunch my sleeves, your brown eyes look knowingly into my face, then close in comfortable sleep.
Our hearts beat in perfect rhythm.
And now…we dress you in white satin and carry you to the steps of the altar, where we initiate you into our community of believers. We gather around the sacred pool. The priest reaches deep into the pool lifting holy water to your tiny head, baptizing you:
'In the name of the Father, God the Creator,' who paints promises in rainbows and plays cosmic matchmaker…'In the name of the Son,' God’s Word made flesh; the human phoenix who beckons us to follow. 'In the name of the Holy Spirit,' God’s laughter and passion, the gentle muse who nudges and prods.
Alexander, you are our blessing not earned, but bestowed. You are God’s whispered answer to all our questions. Today we honor the miracle of our triune family. And we promise: we shall love you through eternity into forever. Welcome Home…"