“How do I start this column?” I just said as Jerry left my doorway.
“I don’t know,” he replied from down the hall.
Ah, the joys of working with your spouse.
As you read this column, you may be drinking your Sunday morning coffee. Or, you may be relaxing on your back deck enjoying the lovely day. Either way, I am thinking of you.
Why? Because this Sunday is special. I am full of joy and want to shout it to the world.
At 8:30 a.m. mass, this morning at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Gilbert, my family will be sitting in a front-row pew. I will be wearing a white dress (I never did at my quicky wedding so I’m taking advantage of this chance!). Shannon will be wearing a tan/pink gown that fits her to a T.
I have no idea what Jerry and Mick will be wearing. Their suits are currently locked away at the cleaners in Hibbing as we didn’t pick them up before it closed!
There will be my angelic children, the ones closest to the priest, probably poking each other.
Near us will be my parents and in-laws. See that lady brushing away a tear? That is Jerry’s mother, Nancy.
That is a happy tear as this is a special occasion. Shannon and Mick are getting baptized and receiving their First Communions. As a family we are receiving a special blessing as an adoptive family.
I like to think of this as our family unification ceremony. The adoption legally brought us together. Today, Fr. Michael Garry and our parish will be welcoming us as a spiritual family — uniting us together in the eyes of God, forever.
As a parent, one of the most exciting parts about welcoming my children into the Catholic Church is selecting their godparents.
Godparents are special people who agree to support and guide a child in both their secular and spiritual lives. These are adults that a child can form a special connection with and turn to them throughout their lives.
In my family, our godparents were all siblings to our parents. I feel that this led us to have a special connection with those aunts and uncles. We looked on them as special and they looked at us the same way.
To this day, my godmother, Aunt Debbie, still sends me birthday cards!
One of the best parts about how old our children are, is that we can select godparents who encourage their personalities.
Shannon is a mature child. She need fun and passion in her life. Basically, the kid needs adults to look up to that will help her relax and have fun with her true self. Therefore, we have selected Nikki and Shane as her godparents.
Nikki is Jerry’s only sibling. She is the cool aunt who is up-to-date on fashion and all things hip and with it (very unlike me who uses words like hip and with it). Nikki is also an artist. She has passion and fire in her life. Shannon has a spark and interest in art that, I hope, will be inflamed by Nikki.
Shannon is ready for a new, liberal, worldview that will not only be provided to her by Nikki but also Shane, my cousin.
Shane has always been like an older brother to me. My older brother, Bart, died as a baby and I felt that loss of a male protective figure. But there was tall, lanky Shane with his weird Wisconsin accent.
Shane got into trouble and taught me from his mistakes. Shannon needs that, too. She needs someone who has experienced life and won’t judge her when she needs to turn to someone besides us.
Plus, I love the idea of sharing the love of my children with one of my favorite cousins!
My son, Mick, is all boy. He is mud and baseball and running away from me in the middle of Walmart. I’m not saying the boy needs structure but I am glad he is open to the idea of joining the military.
Lucky for him, I come from a proud military family! For his godfather, we selected my Uncle Leo. Leo is a general in the North Dakota National Guard and an ideal person with whom to discuss a military career.
Uncle Leo doesn’t take any junk from kids but is fun-loving and kind.
Plus, I happen to know he is an amazing godfather, as he is mine. I think it is kind of neat that Mick and I will share him.
Leo is mature in the same way that is Mick’s godmother, Zelda.
Zelda was our children’s foster mother for several years. She has a love and deep connection to both Mick and Shannon for which we are so grateful. When selecting godparents, Jerry and I knew we wanted to find a special way to cement Zelda into their lives forever. It just so happens, she is the exact woman Mick needs. She is kind, yet firm and has a special love for him.
I am excited for our children to join our church and get to spend quality time with their godparents this weekend.
Jerry just walked in with dress pants from Target for Mick — so they will both be wearing pants! I want to ask him how I should end this column, but I think I already know his answer…