In our tradition, we welcome them into the community with blessings and a covenant, much like in marriage. There was a ceremony in the church service where first me and Michelle promised to care for Joshua and raise him well, then our wider family made the promise, and finally, the whole church community. Afterward, people shared blessings, and the elders prayed over him.
It was a touching ceremony, and most people were crying, including me. It gave me a profound sense of appreciating what a gift this little child is – and also what a wonderful and great responsibility.
At one point, the analogy was given: If God somehow caused a new baby to mystically appear in front of us, with all sorts of lights and music, and said, “Take care of this child. He’s special.” You can believe we’d all do our best to do just that. This baby came to us through his parents, but it’s the same thing.
I looked at my son, squirming in my arms, and thought, “You know, he’s right.” This little boy is utterly special – a huge gift, a big blessing, and an honored guest. I feel so privileged to be his parent today.
I hope that feeling lasts.