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Christy and Dave Return to Haywood Hall in Raleigh To Christen Their Son

A few years ago, Christy and Dave had married at the historic Haywood Hall in Raleigh, full of the hopes for their future that all newlyweds begin their marriages. One thing very important to them was to have a family and yet, try as they might, that just was not to be in the way they expected. Eventually they decided to take a chance and adopt a baby. There are so many things to be considered in adoption but Chrissy and Dave were determined and one day a little infant was placed in their arms. They decided to name him Chance. How perfect is that!

When it came time for a christening, they had something very special in mind and I was so lucky to be able to be the one they chose to help them put it all together. They wanted to have the ceremony in the pergola where they had married and the Haywood Hall management very kindly allowed the short little family celebration to take place there. It meant a lot to Christy and Dave to be able to come back to the place where their marriage began to officially mark the next phase in their life together.

Haywood Hall

This is the path from the back of the manor house that leads to the gazebo.

Here is Christy, setting up the chairs for their guests to sit in front of the gazebo.

There were only family and dearest friends present, which lent to the beautiful intimacy of the ceremony. You could really feel the love of everyone there.

For the ceremony, the parents, godparents and I stood in the pergola.

Christy and Dave had each chosen something they wanted to say to Chance during the ceremony. Dave told us all about a song lyric he had heard years ago that had really touched him. Mind you, this was long before he had even met Chrissy, and he had determined when he first heard that song that he would read it at the christening of his children one day. This was that day, and how touching it was to hear the words that had meant so much to Dave so long ago - and that now he was going to be able to live.

Here is the song that Dave read;

Finally I've met you
The day has come
You're more than beautiful
And you're my son

I don't deserve this
I never thought it could be
Quite like the moment
When you first smiled at me
A toothless, wonderful feeling
Like I'd never seen

It's you, Chance, it's you

And when you lie down to sleep
I'll protect you
From the demons of the night
While I'm watching you grow

I'll pray
There's so much I could teach you
If you only have the time
I'll pray
There's so much God can teach you
If you only have the time

So will you tell me the little things?
What does God look like?
And angels' wings?
I don't remember these things
So would you teach them to me?
So for the moment
I'll watch you breathe

And when you wake up in the morning
You're always smiling, sweetly

Chance, There's so much I could teach you
If you only have the time
I'll pray
There's so much God can teach you
If you only have the time.

Chrissy’s reading was a poem she had found about loving an adopted child and what a gift that child is.  Chance, who loves balls of all kinds, was fascinated with the globes that had been hung along the rim of the pergola for the ceremony so as Chrissy read her poem to Chance, she was also balancing one of those “balls” in her hand while Chance played with it. Very cute.

Here is Christy’s beautiful poem;
We didn’t give you the gift of life,
But in our hearts we know
The love we feel is deep and real
As if it had been so.

For us to have each other

Is like a dream come true!

No, we didn’t give you the gift of life
Life gave us the gift of you.

Even as I read that now, I still get all choked up.

For the christening, I always ask the parents to put their prayers, hopes and dreams for their child into some water and bring the water and a special vessel for placing it in with them to the ceremony. Chrissy and Dave had done this and used this lovely crystal bowl to hold the water.

And so this water - filled with parental love - was used to christen Chance, as loving family and friends looked on. 

One thing I noticed during the ceremony was that all of a sudden the birds started chirping like crazy. This is something I often hear at weddings when couples are speaking their vows and here it was again as Chance was being christened. It’s as if the birds are completely connected to the ceremony and the love and the import of what is happening. It is so beautiful when Nature sings in celebration with us.

After the ceremony was finished, the parents, Godparents and I all signed the christening certificate. Note the little red-bowed cousin in the shots. She was fascinated by every part of the ceremony.

It’s become a bit of a tradition at my christenings when the ceremony takes place out in Nature for the parents to pour the christening water back into the earth. The parents choose where it seems appropriate to them and Christy chose some little purple tulips behind the gazebo. With Chance looking on, it was a very sweet moment.

Then it was time for the family photos with our young man of honor. 

Christy and Dave, thank you so much for including me in your sweet celebration of love. It was a true blessing for me to have been a part of this special day in the life of your family.


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