Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Many cultures and religious groups have different traditions when it comes to welcoming a new baby into the world.When Bonnie Rose was born a couple of our Chinese friends asked us if we had any special ceremony that we did for the baby since we are Christians.
I explained what we usually do is called a "Baby Dedication." The parents usually take the baby to church and stand in front of the church with the Pastor. The parents promise to raise the child to know God and by doing it in front of the church they are also asking their church family to help them raise the child in this way.
Simply put, we dedicate the child to God. We say to God "Thank you for giving us this baby, we acknowledge this beautiful gift and give it back to you."
Anyway, I wasn't sure what we were going to do for Bonnie Rose. We are far away from our home church and our family and it would be nice to do it with them. But since we don't know when we will be home again to our home church, and the International Church in Shanghai was having a Dedication Sunday we decided to do it now.
So we got Bonnie Rose all dressed up in her beautiful rose covered outfit from her Nana and made the adventurous outing to church.
Any time you have ten babies sitting in the first 2 rows of church it's an adventure. For every one. But all the babies behaved very well and we got to practice what it's like having a baby at a public event. It was fun, and it was special. And Bonnie Rose looked Beautiful.
The church people were so sweet and supportive and super patient with all the babies. They gave Bonnie these beautiful flowers and a Certificate for us to remember this special Sunday by.
Baby dedication isn't some magic pass straight to heaven. It doesn't guarantee that the baby will have a perfect life. It's not superstitious or for good luck. It doesn't really mean much to the child.
But it is special for the parents. It's a way for us to refocus our goals and intentions for our daughter. It's a time to stop and be thankful for our blessings. And it's a time for those in our community to remember the value of children and to be reminded of our communal responsibility to them.
And it's a great excuse to get our baby all dressed up and have people tell us how cute she is.