Before Adeline was born we frequently discussed whether or not we would baptize her as a baby. Tim and I were both baptized when we were babies and he wanted Adeline to experience this tradition, too. I wanted to wait until SHE accepts Christ (God willing) and she chooses to follow this command on her own. The Bible calls us to be baptized upon our belief in Jesus so I didn't feel comfortable doing this until the day arrives when she is a believer.
In October, both our churches (in Tucson and El Paso), hosted baby dedication ceremonies. This is a ceremony where parents promise to raise their baby in Christ and dedicate them to God. I was excited about this event because it satisfied our desire to christen Addie without baptizing her. Before the dedication, our church requested we listen to three CDs that discussed the role of a parent raising a child in the Christian faith, which was accompanied by a few homework assignments. One of the assignments asked us to list all the qualities we wanted Addie to possess by her 18th birthday and revisit the list each year on her birthday. The purpose was to enforce the idea that we must model and sculpt character instead of activities. The pastor on the CD said that so many parents focus on what they want their children to be (a great student, athlete, musician, artist, etc.) instead of who they will be (kind, passionate, forgiving...).
We were blessed to share this experience with friends and family who attended the ceremony at Pantano Christian Church. For the event, Joan offered us a beautiful family gown to dress Adeline in, which was worn at baptisms for her father, herself, both her sons and grandsons. The gown is almost 100 years old! The dedication began with a song, followed by each set of parents introducing their baby to the church and reciting a life verse they'd chosen for their child. Before Adeline was born we chose this verse for her: "Let you roots grow down into Christ and draw up nourishment from Him so you will grow in faith, strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught. Let your lives overflow with thanksgiving." We like Colossians 2:6 because it focuses on being rooted in Christ and thanking God for our blessings. After this, the lead pastor spoke, each family gathered for prayer, and then we prayed as a church.
We pray each day for Adeline's salvation and hope she makes this decision at a young age. When she chooses to be baptized, she'll do so with water sprinkled in from the Jordon River, where Jesus was baptized - a priceless gift from Bunnie!
Thank you, God, for this opportunity to dedicate our baby girl to You!