Sunday, April 15, 2012
Today was Julian's dedication at our church. It was amazing. Rev. Dr. Dennis Short, the minister who married us, dedicated Ali and Bella, and gave Bella's memorial, came to our church, First Christian Church of Orange, CA, to do the dedication. It was really important to have "continuity of spiritual care" with our family, and particularly our children. The best part? We didn't even have to ask. Our amazing Associate Pastor, Rev. Dr. Olivia Bryan Updegrove, automatically asked me if we'd want Dennis to do the ceremony as soon as we told her we wanted to schedule Julian's dedication. How cool is that? So, the ministers all played musical churches, and our interim minister, the AMAZING Rev. J. Dale Suggs, went and preached at the church where Dennis is interim pastor, Olivia lead worship for us, and Dennis led the dedication.
I just have to say how happy we are in this church family. Our denomination is called Christian Church - Disciples of Christ, and our sister-denomination is United Church of Christ. We are a progressive Christian church that is open and affirming to all who want to join. Watching everyone work together to make today exactly what we envisioned... it was amazing. Everyone was so accommodating! I was telling this to one of the elders later in the day, and he put his hand on my shoulder and said, "Well, this is YOUR church!" As if this type of thing should occur. Love that.
I also had the honor of preaching during the offertory and playing "Julian's Song" during the offertory. I'd like to share what I spoke...
Show of hands: How many of you have come to realize and know that you have been blessed with a certain God-given gift?
How many of you have ever looked around at someone else's gift... and wanted theirs? ;-) Be honest!
How many of you have invested time, energy, money, or other resources to nurture and develop your gift so you could truly make use of it in the world?
(to you blog reader) What you may not know is that Chapman University, where I got my music therapy degree, is a Disciples of Christ school, and as a D.O.C. student, I received a partial scholarship to help with the private school tuition fees. While at Chapman, I learned about "Birth Songs." You already know the impact Bella's song had on her from the moment she was born to the moment she died, but you may not know this little story about Julian...
When he was pulled outta mommy, he was a little mad. I think the "C-section Surprise" would do that to any kid. After all, there's no warning! One minute you are lying there in a peaceful, warm, dark waterbed, and in the next, the roof opens up, the waterbed pops, and you get dragged out into who-knows-where... and it is BRIGHT and LOUD and COLD! Screw that! I'd be pissed, too! LOL.
Anyhow, by the time Julian hit the scale/APGAR table, he was in full pitching-a-fit mode. So, I walked over to him, leaned over him, and started singing his song to him live... loudly. It was playing on the CD in the O.R. but the CD player was all the way across the room at this point, and between the din of machines, and the O.R. team putting Ang back together, I could barely hear it myself.
Within a second of my big voice resonating in his little head, his eyes popped open WIDE, the locked with mine, and he instantly stopped crying. The nurse got all choked up, and then I got all choked up.
The music worked. Again.
This was my first 'birthday present' to Julian: in a moment of complete chaos for him, I gave him something safe to latch onto... his own song... the song he had been hearing every night for over a month before those docs so rudely interrupted his final moments in 'mommyspa.'
If it hadn't been for the financial gifts that were given by church members that helped pay my way through school, that little moment for Julian might not have gone exactly the same way.
Oh man... the best part? After sharing this story, I sing Julian's song, and doesn't he immediately perk up and just GLOW at daddy from the second row! I never took my eyes off him the whole song. I got to sing his song to him at our church for his dedication. That was such a special moment as well. I just love our church. I just love our faith. Life is good.
P.S. We took Ali to SeaWorld on Wednesday to celebrate her 6th birthday! The big party isn't till the 22nd, but we had a BLAST there. They have a deal right now where you pay once, and you go for the rest of 2012 for free! Killer deal! We had so much fun there, but I think getting completely soaked by some dolphin kids while playing with them took the cake. Check out the pic of Ali showing off her new mermaid barbie to one of the dolphins... too cute!