Wednesday, February 25, 2009

For Eternity

Last Thursday at 4pm we legally became Gabriel's parents! We went downtown to a restaurant with Mark's parents and Sarah's mom and had lunch before the court hearing. We then made our way over to the court house where we wound our way through the maze of metal detectors and hallways, until we found the tiny waiting room for the courtroom where our fate would be decided.

The judge was very nice. She made an effort to help us feel comfortable while still stressing the seriousness of the hearing. We were asked many questions about our ability to give Gabriel the things he needs. Both the judge and our attorney stressed over and over that this was final, that he would be our responsibility legally until he turns 18, and that no matter what happens he will be our child. Mark and I both knew that this would not change anything for us. Gabriel has been our child from the very start. When they asked if we felt that we had developed a bond with Gabriel and he with us, there was no doubt. We love him and he loves us. We are a family.

After all of the questions were asked and answered she declared that from this time forward Gabriel is legally our son! And Gabriel slept through the whole thing. I know, funny right? he woke up just in time for us to take pictures in his cute new outfit.

Then on Saturday we took Gabriel to the LDS Temple and we were sealed as a family for not just this life, but for eternity. As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we believe that we can be sealed together forever. We believe that after this life here on earth we continue in our relationships together and we will love and support one another. This was the greatest experience we have ever had. Gabriel was chatty, as usual, but as soon as the sealer started speaking, he stared up at him as if he knew the importance of what was happening. In the sealing room there are mirrors on opposite walls representing eternity. Once the words were spoken the sealer had the three of us kneel at the alter and look into the mirror on the opposite wall. He then had all of our family members who were there stand behind us and he reminded us of all of those who love us and support us. It was beautiful. If you have any questions about our church click here or contact your local LDS missionaries.

The next day Mark got up in Sacrament meeting and gave Gabriel a name and a blessing. He was emotional from the start and he did an amazing job. It was a beautiful blessing full of love and guidance.
The whole time these events were occurring our minds and hearts were aware of a person who was not with us- Andrea, Gabriel's birth mother. We are so grateful to her for the selfless gift she has given all of us. We haven't heard from her for a while, but we think about her and Audrey, her 2 year old daughter. We hope that they are doing well. Andrea- we want you to know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. Thank you for making this indescribable blessing possible!

Some of you may be wondering why it took me so long to post this. On Saturday, after we had an open house that about 100 people attended, I started running a fever. On Monday I went to my doctor who took one look at me and said, "I'm not even going to swab you for a culture. You definitely need to be on antibiotics." We're pretty sure I have strep throat.