Nora's baptism was such a beautiful event. We were able to spend time with C and J an hour before Nora's baptism. We showed up in the room that had been reserved for us a minute late and C and J weren't there. We didn't have definitive confirmation that they'd be there beforehand but we assumed that if they were coming for the baptism they'd certainly come early to see Nora. My heart sank a bit when we didn't see any sign of them.
They had entered a side door of the church and went into the basement. They ran into the deacon of the church and he recognized C as he was her high school teacher (small world). They made some small talk and he told them that he was there for a baptism that day and that it was going to be very special because the baby was adopted and the birthparents were going to be there. C, J and family then commented they were too and they were the birth family. He finally put it all together and we connected.
I was nervous about the meeting and it was a funny feeling of deja vu because the room we were in was the same one I was in before my wedding. That room is full of anxiety for me. We saw C's dad and the rest were following behind. It was so nice to see everyone again. They do feel like family to me and it was nice to reconnect. C and her mom were holding Nora and she was a little fussy so I gave her a bottle. (I've stopped letting other people feed her because they tend to give her gas somehow). We then opened many gifts that they had brought for Nora and caught up. Everyone seemed to be doing great and I know they loved seeing Nora.
Of course, the time flew and it was time to leave the room for mass. I had Nora in the sling because she was tired and fussy and had just fallen asleep. I asked C if she wanted her on during mass and she was excited to "wear" her so C wore her throughout the mass.
Sunday was the celebration of the Holy Family and the sermon was focused exclusively on families. It felt like each word said was so poignant and appropriate for our occasion and the language was so inclusive as family as community rather than necessarily family in the nuclear family sense. I had a moment where I felt so incredibly grateful for our circumstance that I had to try very hard not to start crying. The talk of the love of family and sitting with J and watching C stroke Nora's cheeks and watching her in the sling was very overwhelming in a positive way. I felt so grateful that Nora is surrounded by so much love and I was also so grateful about the love that my family has shown to C and J. Each person in our family made a point during the sign of peace to hug each of them and show them how much they care and how grateful they are. I was especially glad that my sister got to sit next to C so that they could spend some time together.
After the service we had the baptism. It was a very beautiful baptism as Nora was surrounded by those who care about her. Each person made the sign of the cross on her forehead (I think I went a little rogue here). The most touching part of the service, for me, was the blessing of the parents. C came over with me to bless the mothers and I had all of my friends and family laying hands on me when the deacon began reading the rite. I don't remember the exact language but I do remember a portion about the miracle of motherhood and what a gift it is. I really had to try my hardest not to burst into tears hearing these words while holding my daughter with the hands of all of my loved ones upon me including C. I'm so grateful for such a beautiful baptism and for all of the support that was shown during the event.
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