The news is spreading even further – Andrew and I are so touched at the lovely messages from friends & family as they hear about our expanded family. There was a rose on the altar at our church in Milwaukee this morning – it’s a tradition to celebrate every new baby born in the congregation this way. We are so – SO – honored to be included, despite our distance. While we are settling in well in Seattle, we certainly have not had time to find a new church yet. I’d say we’ve gotten to church…maybe….five Sundays so far? We’ve seen some serious contenders, for sure, but it’s hasn’t been terribly high on the To-Do list. Now I’m afraid it’s gotten knocked even further from the ranks.
While I am not sure how often we’ll actually get to a church, it’s lovely to know that our friends in Milwaukee are celebrating with us. Many have “walked this journey” with us – especially with me. Neither of us have been shy to share our desire to adopt with others, and through womens’ retreats….couples retreats….play groups…..other random nights over drinks & frites….and an incredible trip to El Salvador, loads of people found themselves “in the know.” They’ve waited with us – they’ve watched us struggle and question – and they’ve taken the time to hope when we didn’t have it left in us.
What I loved about Lake Park had nothing to do with doctrine. It wasn’t about interpreting the bible or stellar Sunday preaching (though David did frequently knock our socks off). Perhaps its the social worker in me, but it was always about the people – how they take care of each other, how they question and learn and value education, how they embrace the chaotic nature of children, and how they seem to set their entire center on the line, “And they’ll know we are Christians by our LOVE.” Acceptance, not judgment. Conversation, not edict. Love, not piety.
Today our family made the bulletin and a rose graced the altar. We are left a bit homesick and wish we could share this beautiful little creature with those who waited alongside us. Truthfully, we wish we could share her with anyone at all as these hospital walls are starting to drive us a bit batty.
Lake Park considers themselves a “radically welcoming community.” They tell you that you’re welcome in their building no matter where you are coming from. What we are learning is that once you’re in, you can always go back, too.
Thanks, Kendra & Kyle, for sending these photos. Thanks also for sending your love with them. Can’t wait to bring Sweet Cheeks back to Milwaukee sometime and pass her around! Perhaps we can even Dunk That Baby In The Water…… 🙂