Monday, January 21, 2008
I've been putting this off only because I wanted to give it adequate time, and we were waiting on additional pictures that we didn't have yet. Anyway, this experience was pretty emotional for Russ and I. During this whole process there were three moments that if I thought about them for 2 seconds, I would be full of tears. The first two were getting out of PGN and walking off the airplane into STL. The third was getting Eliot baptized.
The only reason we waited until now to do it was scheduling. It was important for us that both sides of our families were able to be there so we delayed it until we'd been home 5 months. So, on December 9th, Eliot was baptized in front of family and friends. Our dear friend and pastor, Mike Werk, was the officiant. That worked out very well since Eliot knows him and is so comfortable with him already. Most children baptized at our church are infants and sometimes the transfer from parents to pastor doesn't go that well, so we were excited that E knew Mike!
While Mike spoke of the connection between 'adoption as sons' and baptism, Eliot got pretty squirmy. Toddlers aren't super excited to be held for too long when there's room to roam! Then it occurred to him that there was a bowl of water next to us. Out came, "Agua, Agua, Agua" with his cute little finger pointing to it and lunging forward to go play in it. When the time came for Mike to take him, he was happy to be even closer to the bowl of water and when Mike baptized him with the three handfuls of water, Eliot just grinned. Everyone clapped and laughed, which distracted him from the bowl for a few minutes.
The tradition at our church, which I cherish, is that the pastor will then walk the baby down the aisle for people to see and touch and offer blessings. Eliot loved it. He seems quite comfortable being the center of attention, especially while people are blessing him! For Russ and I, this time was very special. Our family, both biological and church-related, was truly the body of Christ to us during this process. They were as much a part of this experience as anyone and it blessed us to the very core to see them standing and offering blessings to our son. There was even a small group that came in from Sunday School classes just to be apart of it! This was one of those moments where I'm reminded of Mary's "treasuring these things in her heart".
On the way back down the aisle, Eliot again saw the bowl of water and began his baby sign language "more, more, more" and coupled it with saying "Agua, Agua, Agua". What can you do with that? He kills me.
The Lord is good. He is faithful to complete what he has started. He has blessed us far beyond what we could have imagined. I pray that we are able to raise E in a way that truly honors the Lord.
E was allowed to play on the drum set before service...
Eliot playing peek-a-boo with Beth before church
Pastor Mike and Beth!
My boys in their Sunday Best!