Saturday, November 23, 2013

Esther's baptism.

One of the main reasons I started this blog two years ago was to record what my feelings and experiences were on the adoption journey with the hopes that another family in this process would find comfort. And still I am so pleased to continue to share hope and happiness from our journey.  Recently some good friends returned from China with two new adopted children and they are in the thick of the hard stuff right now.  It was actually good for us to talk with them and reflect back on when we too felt overwhelmed and exhausted and slightly terrified.  Back then we worried, "Will we ever love them as much as our other children?"  "Will it always be so difficult?"  and there were even moments of ultimate discomfort when we asked ourselves, "Why on earth did we do this to ourselves?"

If you find yourself there - trust me on this - it will get better.  It will slowly - sometimes it's painful how slow - but it will get better.  And then after some time your heart will be overflowing with love and gratitude that you stuck it out and your dear children are home with you.  Today was one of those days for both Michael and I.  Today Esther was baptized and confirmed a member of the Church by Michael and it was beautiful.

Esther and Mike in their whites just before the baptism

In our faith, children who are over the age of eight and would like to be baptized need to take lessons from the missionaries and be interviewed to show that they understand the commitment of baptism and that they have truly gained a testimony for themselves of God and Jesus Christ.  Esther has been spending the last few months meeting with the sister missionaries and learning the principles of the Gospel.  She has been reading the scriptures, praying, attending church, and asking the Lord to answer her prayers.  The very nature of this process has been difficult for Esther since it requires so much vulnerability and emotion.  She has not had very many people in her life safe enough to trust with her physical safety let alone emotional.  But line upon line, He has answered her prayers.  As we have shown her love, she has been able to feel His.  I can not say enough how loving parents enable a child to feel the love of a divine parent.  Without that safe and loving relationship, it makes it very difficult to understand a God full of love and grace and mercy.

These ladies have put their lives on hold for 18 months to teach others about Jesus Christ.  They were assigned to teach in Spokane and we are so grateful.  They have loved Esther and she has loved them right on back.

But today, after gaining a new and budding testimony, Esther was baptized.  We were overwhelmed with love and gratitude.  The spirit whispered to our hearts that we were attended by angels and we could feel it.  The Lord loves his children and these girls are very special to Him.  How marvelous it is to feel His love for them mingled with our own. 

The ragamuffin group.
My heart was bursting with love for my sweet daughter today.

Next month we are traveling to Boise to be with family and to take the girls to the temple there.  There we will be sealed together as a family for eternity - the same temple that Mike and I were married and sealed over 13 years ago.  We are so incredibly grateful for the atonement of Jesus Christ - that His love and sacrifice is helping to heal our daughter's hearts of the pain and anguish.  But even more grateful that He has given us temples so that we can receive the ultimate blessing to be a family forever.