Yesterday was a truly special day for many reasons.
I can't believe we're at Week 20 already. This week, according to my email update from The Bump, Baby G is about the size of a cantaloupe or honeydew melon, and I sure am starting to feel that extra bulk as I move around now! I haven't gained any weight, but the heft in the middle is definitely there.
I went to the first part of the morning Ladies' Bible Studies yesterday, mostly because I had to return an item to a friend who attends (I go to an evening study). However, it was a blessed time of fellowship. I had an opportunity to chat with Mona, a dear older lady with such a sweet spirit. I was hugged and loved on by lovely women I don't see very often, and I got to enjoy yummy spinach rolls and quiche with two of my favorite women from church.
On my way out, I ran into Justin (youth pastor) and Kristy (his wife) and their little girl returning from court -- Kaitlynn is officially a Fischer now! Hurray! In some ways, it seems like not-so-long-ago that they got her through foster care. I remember babysitting her the week after she came, taking her to the fair, with her stringy hair and limited vocabulary.
She was our flower girl in our wedding two years ago.
And now, she's a spunky little preschooler with parents, brothers and lots of friends who love her so very much. Justin and Kristy held a dedication ceremony last night for Kaitlynn at church, followed up by a party - complete with a Disney Princesses Bouncy House. :~) It was so special to be able to celebrate with them in this joyous event, and we are so glad, as Kaitlynn said so well to me yesterday afternoon, that "Mommy and Daddy are going to adopt me, and that means I get to be a part of the Fischer family forever!"
Sitting there in the sanctuary last night, as Pastor Steve talked to Kaitlynn about what a special family she is joining, and as he prayed over her and the Fischers, it made me think about what an honor it has been for Nich and me to be a part of the lives of our friends' children in such meaningful ways. I was recently sorting through a box of letters and cards that I've saved over the last few years, and I found several from Justin and Kristy, thanking us for being a part of their children's lives. It made me reflect on all the memories we do have with them.
Nich recently had the privilege of taking part in a coming-of-age ceremony for Noah, the thirteen-year-old son of our friends Joshua and Ellen. He said that it was really neat to see men of all ages, from various parts of Noah's life thus far, sharing their hearts with Noah, to welcome him into their circle and to inspire him to live a life as God's own. And although Noah is still quite young and may not fully appreciate or even grasp the significance of the event, Nich said that the incredible thing is, because he's so young, he's at a very impressionable age. And hopefully, the things that were said and written (letters/poems were presented to him) will have made an impact on him that he will remember from time to time.
I don't know if any of the kids that we spend time with will remember us into their teenage years and adulthood (I know I keep in touch with several of the adults who made a difference in my life when I was younger - even my second grade teacher!), but I know that these times have made a difference in my life and Nich's life. I hope that there are always godly adults in our children's lives who will pour out into them and love on them just as we have had the honor of doing with our friends' children.
"If the God you believe in as an idea doesn’t start showing up in what happens to you in your own life, you have as much cause for concern as if the God you don’t believe in as an idea does start showing up. It is absolutely crucial, therefore, to keep in constant touch with what is going on in your own life’s story and to pay close attention to what is going on in the stories of others’ lives. If God is present anywhere, it is in those stories that God is present. If God is not present in those stories, then they are scarcely worth telling." ~ Frederick Buechner