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Congratulations to Doug and Jennifer, Amanda and Stacey, on the dedication of little Delaney at their church today. Bringing our children into the family of God is such an important part of parenting, and one that far too many seem to overlook. (Where is that Bible passage about all of us having been adopted into the household of faith?)

How about it? Anybody out there have special details to share from their childrens' christening/baptism/dedication stories?

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Mandi, I can only speak for myself here (I realize there are many different faiths/religious ideals represented on the forum!). I don't see myself as good or able to "earn" any religious favor with Go

Clearly I have been on Pinterest wayyyy too much with this rainy, cold weather... but I liked this!

Mandi, Sounds like you are on the right track, and Hannah and Karen have both shared some wonderful insight. I have found for me that admitting my weakness to God and asking Him to strengthen me and

We have special memories from all our girls' baptisms!  (And Elizabeth, you may be thinking of Ephesians 1:5!)

Anyway, our first daughter came to live with us as an infant, so she was baptized in the same christening gown that was worn by my husband's grandfather, father, and my husband himself!  Interestingly enough, she was the only grandchild to wear the gown, even though all of my husband's siblings had been baptized in it and had children who could have been baptized in it!  Because the circumstances surrounding her placement were so special and touched so many of the people who knew us, we also had her dedicated at a little country church we regularly attend where our lake cabin is located.  For that service, she wore my dedication dress, which was almost 40 years old!

For our second daughter, who came to live with us at the age of 31 months, we had a special ceremony that included her big sister (who was not quite 4 by then).  It was a great service because both girls were old enough to know that this was a special day, and we invited several friends to join us for lunch afterward.  To this day, our two oldest daughters still talk about H's baptism, probably because she blurted out a big "AMEN!" after the minister's prayer!

Our third daughter (the bio-sister to our first two daughters) came to live with us at the age of 7 months after a lengthy legal battle against state social workers who didn't want to place her with us (ostensibly because we lived out-of-state).  We constantly prayed for God's will in the outcome of the legal battle to keep these three sisters together, and we also  prayed for the strength to accept whatever God's plans might entail for her life.  Because the circumstances of her placement truly involved a testing of our faith, her baptism service was especially meaningful. We picked special scripture to be read, which included 1 Samuel 1:27-28 (Hannah's dedication of Samuel).   It symbolized for us and for our families and friends that "our" children are never really ours but instead are precious gifts from God given to us through His grace and mercy.

Thanks be to God!

"He settles the barren woman in her home as a happy mother of children.  Praise the Lord."  (Psalm 113:9)

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This whole weekend was especially terriffic!  

First was finalization.  And knowing how special this event was to my APs, made it even more super for me.

I had to work in the office all week, and I had been looking forward to the weekend!  On Friday, we had a great lunch, and then I came back to work.

On Sunday, me and my best friend drove up to Katy for Delaney's Dedication.  She looked soo cute!

During the service, she was an angel!  Grandma put her to sleep, and she was passed to Aunt J and then she looked at me and said-"my arm is numb!"

So, I had to oblige and take Laney from her.  It was so nice holding her while she was sleeping.  She doesn't wiggle when she is sleeping.  She is soo beautiful!!

She woke up just a few minutes before the dedication, and for the first time that I have seen, she just laid there, comfortable with her eyes open.  Looking up at me-like-good morning-I know you!

Watching her interact with her older bro was real cool.  Jen has told me about it, but it just doesn't compare to watching!

She is also at the age where she responds when you interact with her.  It was so fantastic making her smile.  And she was smiling at me!!  All weekend!!!

Spending time with my daughter's adoptive family this weekend was the biggest blessing-in so many ways.

Real conversation between us was there, and it was so great.

I told Jen that I feel like, when we first met; we had this idea of what we wanted.  Though it was slightly clouded with fear and uncertainty; it was this wonderful flood of possibilities and happiness.  I truly feel that we are now on the way to that simple destination.  We aren't there yet.  But we will be.  And it doesn't seem out of reach anymore.

Thank you God!

And!  The road trip was killer!  It was raining as we left San Antonio.  But about an hour out of the city, the sun started coming out of the pink sky.  WOW!  It was bound to be a great day!


A :D

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Our son was dedicated to the Lord at our church two years ago today, October 14, 2001. It was a very special time with most of our family and many of our friends attending. What made it even more special is that it was/is also the date of his birthmother's birthday. Although she was not there, we thought of her (as we do all the time, especially on today--her birthday) and knew that it was only because of her sacrificial love for her son that we are able to receive so much joy in being his parents.

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  • 9 months later...
Guest Dreamer(not logged in)

We are looking for a new church to go to. Now that we're a family we would like a church with more family programs. Anybody have good ideas on how to find them? WE live in a large metro area. Plenty of churches to pick from. But how do you know without going to each one? That would take forever! Anybody out there, what is your church like and how did you go there?

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Dear Dreamer,

I have a few ideas I'd like to share. Most churches these days are on the web. Why don't you see if some of your area churches have a web site? Try using www.(the church name).com or .org. Their home page should list the various activities available. Also check out the religion page in your local newspaper, and your area's yellow pages. Churches may list their web sites there as well.

You didn't mention if you belong to a specific religious denomination (Lutheran, Presbyterian, Baptist, Methodist, Catholic, etc.) If not, you might check out one of the nondenominational churches in your area. They tend to be the fastest growing and offer a wide variety of programs for all age groups.

Is there a local Christian radio station in your area? They frequently air info on local church events, advertise church activities, and broadcast radio sermons from local ministers. Tune in and see if there's something you like!

Also check to see if they offer a staffed nursery. It's really very difficult for our little guys and gals to sit still through an entire service! In fact, I read somewhere that a child just cannot be expected to sit still for an entire hour until they are at least 4! Even then they become restless. So a nursery would be high on my list.

To answer your question..."what is your church like"...we are Catholic. The Catholic Church is very family oriented. Catherine is enrolled in Religious Education this year (the Catholic term for Sunday School). She attends her own children's church while the adults are listening to the homily in the main church. In the summer there is Vacation Bible School and sports through the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO). I'm involved with our Mother's Enrichment Group and I also volunteer as a Vacation Bible School teacher each June.

Dreamer, one last consideration....you might check with some other families at the church you are currently attending and see if they feel the same way...that there just aren't enough family programs available to meet their needs...and possibly you all could meet with your ministry staff. Maybe they just aren't aware of your need!! Maybe ya'll could organize a Family Potluck Picnic...or a Fall Fun Day...and each family could bring a dish to share and organize some children's games. These are how a lot of programs get started. Just an idea!!

Whatever you choose, good luck on your spiritual journey. I truly feel that our children NEED spiritual formation and moral values. I grew up in a time when prayers were still said in public school (we sung grace "God is great and God is good, and we thank Him for our food. By His hand may all be fed, give us Lord our daily bread. Amen") in the lunch line before going into the lunchroom. For some kids, that was probably the only mention of God's goodness they heard all day. Now even that has been taken out of the schools. So it's even more important that we, as parents, provide that spiritual direction for our children.

God Bless!

Edited by marthaj
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It is timely that this topic resurfaced as I have a bit of a dilemma. (I just read all the posts under this topic.)

We are planning a child dedication but because we live so far from our families, it is likely that no one will come. sad.gif We want to invite our current church family, our friends and neighbors, and, of course, our birthfamily who live a 7 hour drive away.

So, here's the question. Is it reasonable to plan a second one or something similar with just family the next time we travel "home". What have others done?

I want the first to occur between Nathan's birthday and Christmas, but the second won't likely occur until next summer when we vacation in Canada (where our families live). Should we change the plan for the first one so it is close to the date of the second one??? Is it necessary to have a second one just for the family's benefit?

Any ideas?


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With our first child, we had a baptism ceremony at our "home" church, complete with grandparents and aunts and uncles. But, we also attend a small, country church in the town where our vacation cabin is, and we wanted those people to be included in our child's spiritual foundation/formation as well. So, we scheduled a dedication service there -- it wasn't another baptism at all -- instead, it was an opportunity for the congregation to know that we wanted them included in our spiritual lives and the life of our daughter.

Perhaps you could do the dedication service as planned, but then talk with your pastor about doing a small, family-only dedication service when your relatives are present. Sometimes our church does things like that in our chapel, either before or after our regular worship services. It would be a wonderful opportunity for your family to praise God for His blessing in the life of your child and to voice their willingness to be spiritual role models for your child as the years go by.

Edited by FeelingBlessed
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Thanx Feeling Blessed for your response.

This weekend we started the ball rolling. We found out that Nathan's birthmom and birthsister will be here for Nathan's birthday, so we decided to go ahead and plan the first (and maybe the only, we're not sure yet) dedication that weekend. Nathan's birthday is Friday, Nov. 26th and so we are aiming for Saturday, Nov. 27th at an evening vespers service for the dedication. I have ordered a couple of books to help us prepare for the service. We will hold it in a centrally located church (we frequently attend two different churches in two neighboring communities and so we'll invite friends from both) and follow the service with a fellowship potluck type of social affair.

We are excited to go ahead. I think that we might do something very small for just family members the next time we go to Canada. We want them to be apart of our spiritual commitment to Nathan.

Here's another question..........how do you invite people and indicate that gifts are not expected?


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I always write on invitations: No presents necessary ... only your presence!

Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

My son has a friend who always writes on his invitations: no presents necessary, but if would like to please make a donation to Tomorrow's Childrens Fund. That way people feel like they are giving a gift. Take care. wink.gif

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A friend of mine always asks for something instead of a gift for the child. Last year she said, "Don't bring a gift, there's nothing we need.........." but you can bring a new pair of shoes or socks for Soles for Orphan Feet (Church Shoe Drive for Russian Orphanage). This year it says, "but you can bring a can of food for someone who's hungry." I think this is a really nice gesture and teaches her children the gift of giving to those in real need.

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Oh my gosh. I absolutely love that idea.

This gift thing gets way out of hand. Everyone wants to give which I can understand, but Andrew has so much and I am sure that every one of the formumite's children are in the same boat. There are so many children that need so much.

I just really like that idea. Thanks for sharing.


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I need to correct the name of the shoe drive to Shoes for Orphan Souls. I knew it didn't sound right, so heres he the corrected version.

How many of you are doing the costume and trick or treating with your little one?

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We only had immediate family for Jenna's dedication. For one thing, our church is HUGE and visitors can sometimes feel lost in the crowd. It takes some of the intimacy out of events like baptisms, dedications, etc. Anyway, my sister was in town from NC and my parents attended. The gifts they gave were for the ceremony - Sharon gave Jenna a beautiful satin bib with a cross on it and my mother gave us a little Bible she was given as a baby, as well as a bonnet my grandmother had made.

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  • 2 weeks later...

And now, the Word, from Our Sponsor...


What image best describes your heart? A water-drenched kid in front of an open fire hydrant? Or a bristled, desert tumbleweed?

You're acquainted with physical thirst. Stop drinking and see what happens. Coherent thoughts vanish, skin grows clammy, and vital organs shut down. Deprive your body of necessary fluid, and it will tell you.

Deprive your soul of spiritual water, and it will tell you. Dehydrated hearts send desperate messages. Snarling tempers. Waves of worry. Growing guilt and fear. Hopelessness. Resentment. Loneliness. Insecurity.

But you don't have to live with a dehydrated heart. God invites you to treat your thirsty soul as you would treat your physical thirst. Just visit the WELL and drink deeply.

He does the hard part. All you do is ask. There is no spiritual "to do" list for you to tackle, no inventory of rules and regulations. Just drink. Let Christ be the water for your soul. Come thirsty, and drink the water of life.

Receive Christ's Work on the cross,

The Energy of His Spirit,

His Lordship over your life,

And His unending, unfailing Love.

(Max Lucado)

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I received this from a friend via email and thought it was so touching.

A cold March wind danced around the dead of night in Dallas as the doctor walked into the small hospital room of Diana Blessing. She was still groggy from surgery. Her husband, David, held her hand as they braced themselves for the latest news.

That afternoon of March 10, 1991, complications had forced Diana, only 24-weeks pregnant, to undergo an emergency Cesarean to deliver couple's new daughter, Dana Lou Blessing.

At 12 inches long and weighing only one pound nine ounces they already knew she was perilously premature. Still, the doctor's soft words dropped like bombs.

"I don't think she's going to make it," he said, as kindly as he could.

"There's only a 10-percent chance she will live through the night, and even then, if by some slim chance she does make it, her future could be a very cruel one."

Numb with disbelief, David and Diana listened as the doctor described the devastating problems Dana would likely face if she survived.

She would never walk, she would never talk, she would probably be blind, and she would certainly be prone to other catastrophic conditions from cerebral palsy to complete mental retardation, and on and on.

"No! No!" was all Diana could say.

She and David, with their 5-year-old son Dustin, had long dreamed of the day they would have a daughter to become a family of four. Now, within a matter of hours, that dream was slipping away.

But as those first days passed, a new agony set in for David and Diana.

Because Dana's underdeveloped nervous system was essentially 'raw,' the lightest kiss or caress only intensified her discomfort, so they couldn't even cradle their tiny baby girl against their chests to offer the strength of their love. All they could do, as Dana struggled alone beneath the ultraviolet light in the tangle of tubes and wires, was to pray that God would stay close to their precious little girl.

There was never a moment when Dana suddenly grew stronger.

But as the weeks went by, she did slowly gain an ounce of weight here and an ounce of strength there.

At last, when Dana turned two months old, her parents were able to hold her in their arms for the very first time. And two months later, though doctors continued to gently but grimly warn that her chances of surviving, much less living any kind of normal life, were next to zero, Dana went home from the hospital, just as her mother had predicted.

Five years later, when Dana was a petite but feisty young girl with glittering gray eyes and an unquenchable zest for life. She showed no signs whatsoever of any mental or physical impairment. Simply, she was everything a little girl can be and more. But that happy ending is far from the end of her story.

One blistering afternoon in the summer of 1996 near her home in Irving, Texas, Dana was sitting in her mother's lap in the bleachers of a local ball park where her brother Dustin's baseball team was practicing.

As always, Dana was chattering nonstop with her mother and several other adults sitting nearby when she suddenly fell silent.

Hugging her arms across her chest, little Dana asked, "Do you smell that?"

Smelling the air and detecting the approach of a thunderstorm, Diana replied, "Yes, it smells like rain."

Dana closed her eyes and again asked, "Do you smell that?"

Once again, her mother replied, "Yes, I think we're about to get wet. It smells like rain."

Still caught in the moment, Dana shook her head, patted her thin shoulders with her small hands and loudly announced, "No, it smells like Him.

It smells like God when you lay your head on His chest."

Tears blurred Diana's eyes as Dana happily hopped down to play with the other children.

Before the rains came, her daughter's words confirmed what Diana and all the members of the extended Blessing family had known, at least in their hearts, all along.

During those long days and nights of her first two months of her life, when her nerves were too sensitive for them to touch her, God was holding Dana on His chest and it is His loving scent that she remembers so well.

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That was beautiful! Made me tear up. Thanks for sharing it with me.


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  • 1 month later...

From the book "The Great House of God" by Max Lucado. (Word Publishing, 1997)

God's Mission: Adoption

When we come to Christ, God nnot only forgives us, He adopts us. Through a dramatic series of events, we go from condemned orphans with no hope to adopted children with no fear...

It would be enough if God just changed your name, but He does more. He gives you his name. It would be enough if God just set you free, but he does more.  He takes you home. He takes home to the Great House of God.

Adoptive parents understand this more than anyone. I certainly don't mean to offend any biological parents--I'm one, myself. We biological parents know well the earnest longing to have a child. But in many cases, our cribs were filled easily. We decided to have a child and a child came. In fact, sometimes the child came with no decision. I've heard of unplanned pregnancies, but I've never heard of an unplanned adoption.

That's why adoptive parents understand God's passion to adopt us. They know what it means to feel an empty space inside.  They know what it means to hunt, to set out on a mission and take responsibility for a child with a spotted past or a dubious future. If anybody understands God's ardor for His children, it's someone who has rescued an orphan from despair, for that is what God has done for us.

God has adopted you. God sought you, found you, signed the papers and took you home.

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I am sitting here eating my cereal and crying, tears of joy! These posts are some of the most powerful words I have heard.

I have never thought about God's adopting me and longing for me along with the rest of the world, the same way I have longed for a child for so long. Wow, that is so powerful to me.

When we first decided to pursue adoption I went to the Bible to read about "adoption". Now I realize the ENTIRE Bible is about adoption. God's seeks, longs, waits, all of these things, anxiously awaiting us to become his children and ultimately to come home to him.

Thank you for starting my day right! Thank you for the encouragement.!

God Bless you, Kristen

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  • 1 month later...

From "Minimum Daily Requirement for Christian Parents" by Charles White comes this lengthy but inspiring reading on raising children in the faith. Breaking it down into three easy lessons, here's part one, on teaching children the power of prayer:

Your child's journey from age 4 to age 14 is very short. In today's world, the trip is not a safe one. Christian parents need to put God into each day's activities or their children will pay the consequences. The following ideas can make this easy:

Hang some Christian art in each child's bedroom. Children are often quicker to respond to pictures than to words. The best choice is something with a theme, classics like "Christ My Pilot" and "the Good Shepherd," or something more modern from a Christian bookstore. You may have to ask a clerk, but most have some very inexpensive prints that are not always on display. Just tell them you want something for a child's wall. My own personal favorite is titled "Come Unto Me" and features only Christ's hands.

Teach your child to pray. By the time a child is five, he or she should be able to speak one sentence prayers with a parent. By the age of six, they should be looking for answers to those prayers. By seven, he or she should be able to recite the Lord's prayer and have a good idea of what it means. By eight he or she should be praying with people outside the family--a few of his peers and a senior saint or two from your church. By nine, he or she should have a habit that will connect him or her to a church and to other Christians for life. By fourteen, your child should have a confidence and faith that is unshakeable!

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What great words of wisdom. While reading your post Elizabeth came to mind a very important lesson my parents taught us. How honest were my Mom and Dad when they sat down and told us, God loves and knows you better than we do. Other than our love and that we are the two people that were chosen to guide you through life, God is the only constant and forever you will ever have. Seek him first. My parents spoke often in everyday life of the graces of God, came with us to church, talked about forgiveness and in our early teens explained that our relationship with God had nothing to do with one religion. It is such an awesome feeling that as a family we have always been open to ask one another for prayer and support. I believe that is the greatest gift you can ever teach your children.

By the way, the angel crib metal that was given to me at birth is hanging over our crib now. It was an awesome feeling when my niece recognized it and reminded me of the many talks that it inspired.

Have A Great Day, Nita

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Here's part two of "Minimum Daily Requirements for Christian Parents" by Charles White:

Bless your child each morning. If you want to see sudden, dramatic improvement in your family and children, try this for just one week. Each morning as they are leaving the house, place one hand on a shoulder or head and repeat one of the following blessings:

Old Testament (Numbers 6:24): "May the Lord bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you and give you peace."

New Testament (Ephesians 3:16) "May God strengthen you with power through His spirit in your inner being so that Christ may dwell in your heart through faith."

Carry a copy of the blessings with you and when the children are angry, quarreling or calling names, make them bless one another. No one, parent nor child, can be angry and say a blessing at the same time. You have to choose. The habit of blessing one another helps us do just that, to choose between selfishness and blessing others.

Take short walks with your child. Get outside to God's world as much as possible. you can identify trees, collect leaves, capture bugs or even squeeze the petals of a flower and paint with the juice. Let creation declare the Glory of God (Romans 1:20). Give your child an alternative to the network television "muck-a-thon" and endless violence.

Adopt a plant. Fill a tire with potting soil and grow a tomato or pepper plant. The great lesson for all spiritual gardeners is "if you want to pick flowers, then you have to plant seeds." It is the key to all relationships.

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