Today was Baby Dedication Sunday at church. Wow. It's been a long road to get here. Last year, on this Sunday, we played hooky and stayed in bed. I knew I wouldn't be strong enough to sit through the service, looking at all the beautiful, healthy, alive babies that had been born in 2008. The weight of Gabe's absence would have been overwhelming.
But this morning, this morning, God finally gave us our day.
Mike (Elder and Sunday School Teacher Extraordinaire) said a little more about Jonah than the typical "name, parents, grandparents" info. He had asked me to email him earlier in the week to let him know what we'd like shared. I knew there would be many folks in the audience who either didn't know about Jonah or were guests, so it was important to me that things be explained a little. Anyway, he explained about Gabe dying and then Jonah being born with EB. And when he gave the stat about the mortality rate being 87% in the first year of life and that Jonah would be celebrating his first birthday on February 27th, the place broke out in (what seemed to be, to my mommy heart, thunderous) applause.
And it was beautiful.
(And I cried.)
Peyton took some video for me, but I can't post it because a) I don't know how to post video recorded to a DVD, b) it is long and I would have to use Vimeo, and I haven't had time to figure that out yet, and c) I have a new video camera and haven't figured out how to finalize videos etc. (It sure used to be easier with those huge video cameras and VHS tapes. I really wish I was tech savvy.)
Anyway, it was a great day, and I can't really put into words what it meant to us to finally be up there, with our baby, committing ourselves to raise him up to know and love Jesus. Preacher Bill kept calling us, the parents, "custodians," explaining that our children belong to God, and we are just the temporary caregivers. Part of the commitment we repeated was that we understood that our kids were only ours for a "short while" and ultimately they are God's.
I think we're just a "show the love" filter - loving our babies the best we can so they'll know what a relationship with God can offer, which is infinitely more than the love we can show them. And I want Jonah to always think, "Can anyone possibly love me more than my mom and dad? That's some kind of love."
I love you, sweet Jonah. I'll never forget today for as long as I live. You did great, and your Mommy held it together pretty well too, ya know, considering.