Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christ and the Christening Gown

Now that Christmas Day has come and gone (though we know the Christmas season continues until Sunday), it is time in the part of my brain that needs to plan things, to start thinking about Faith's Baptism.  I am so excited about this day, which will be Sunday, Feb. 21st, which turns out to be the 2 year anniversary of our very FIRST meeting with CAWLI (the adoption agency).  A pretty neat date connection (I AM ridiculously into date connections!!).   The only better date would have been her birthday (the made up one given to her in China) , which is January 10th.  That date would be very cool to be baptized on, as it is the day that the Church celebrates the Baptism of the Lord!!

So the planning has begun, step one which actually began 2 years ago when we started this process was choosing Godparents.  That has to be one of the toughest decisions you make for you child, the decision is a lifetime commitment, and with so many faithful people in our life choosing 2 was hard.  Well, the godmother wasn't because I knew right away I wanted my 'second' sister, my cousin Heather.  Which brings me today's story... step two, shopping for the Christening gown.

Taking advantage of Christmas time off,  Heather, Faith and I met in Quincy/Braintree for lunch and a festive shopping trip.  Not familiar with the area, I did some internet research, found a dress shop that looked perfect  -- had christening and flower girl dresses, and a large selection.  It was called GRANDASIA, which until I saw the sign and the Chinese silk dresses in the window didn't realize the name is GRAND... ASIA...  I was thinking flower (don't ask - my brain is a complex and often confused place).  The trusty Tom-Tom brings us right to the door, there was a beautiful pull through parking place on the street (yeah, never mastered that parallel parking thing!!)   Its cold, although we were happy the rain had stopped during our lunch.  I gather Faith out of the carseat, and off we hustle to the store, which from a distance looks awfully dark inside.  It looked dark upclose as well, as is commonplace with adults with AD/HD, I forgot to check out minute details such as HOURS OF OPERATION!!!

We hustle (its cold remember, and I was fond of the 70s) back to the van, and start tapping away on the blackberry and Tom-Tom looking for other dress shops in the area.  We are on mainstreet Quincy - there has to be someplace else we can go -- I SO wanted to find Faith's dress with her Godmother present!! I begin to pray (I know big shock!!), and Heather finds 2 viable options we plug them into ole' Tom and off we go.  We are unable to locate the places listed - oh wait, we did find one it was closed (permanently - hate this economy).  In our travels around and around Hancock street (think Chevy Chase in Lapoon's vacation, "Look kids Big Ben, Parliment") we see this small shop, Simply Barbara's.  On the wall, what looks like a sleu of little white dresses.   I suggest we call and see if they are opened (before I attempt more on street parking, and another the squid wrestling).  The woman that answers the phone, hesitates are our questions of whether they sell flower girl dresses, and if they are open - but relents that they are open, and off we go.

THIS Is when Christ appears ... see long story short, the boutique was actually closed, but something told her that we needed help, and to open for us.  She asked me fairly quickly in our visit if I was Christian (though I have to confess with her heavy which I think was Nigerian accent, and my befuddled state thought she was asking me if my name was Kristen, which would be my sister but in hindsight how would SHE know my sister's name).  Anyway, Heather, a very level headed and highly intelligent young lady, politely cleared up the confusion for her elderly cousin - and I very enthusiastically answered, "YES, OH yes!! Very Christian!!"  At which point I see behind her a framed bible verse, realize it is Gospel music playing in the background, and on the floor beneath the dresses is an icon of the Holy Family.  Of course, of course God you are still watching over Faith -- even the seamstress could see that, without knowing any of the story, she just smiled down at Faith commenting on how Christ was certainly with this little girl.   It was a chill filling, head shaking, OH MY Goodness this is amazing, kind of experience!! 

She reminded us that the bible tells us to speak His name always and often, that we are here to serve Him, and that she has seen and done things that would amaze us, that her shop was far more than making dresses for important occasions.  Evident further by her response to her children who came into the shop sometime after us, and perplexed asked their mother, 'Arent' you closed."  She just smiled and responded, "They needed me."   Imagine this world, if we all put our agenda aside, our own needs and plans aside, and had the attitude, "I changed what I wanted to do , because they needed me."

She was so amazing with Faith, gentle, kind, I truly felt in the presence of one of Christ's disciples (which she had called herself).  We fell in love with the second dress we saw, and first she put on, like a bride, you know its the right one when everyone in the store is crying!  My mind is such at ease that she will do wonderfully fitting the squid, and that her prayers will be added to ours as another person is initiated into God's family!   I think Barbara said it best at the end of our visit, "God is real, God is with us, and God is among us, He is in everything"  Amen, my new Christian friend... Amen!!

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