Today we had Sebastian's dedication at our church. We were so blessed and thankful to have many family and wonderful friends with us to celebrate and walk alongside us in this journey! Thanks, everyone!
As part of the dedication service, Tim & I shared a letter that we had written to Sebastian. We had to cut it down some due to time constraints, but I'm posting the unabridged version here.
Dear Sebastian Roy,
Today we stand before our family, friends & church community to publicly make a commitment to raise you in a way that honors and pleases God. Our love for you is great – larger than we could have imagined - and yet, we realize that we are only human, and we need God’s helping hand to bring you up in this world. We also recognize that we are abundantly blessed to have the love, support & guidance of many who surround us today. These people are very special, and we want you to know, love & appreciate them as we do.
While you were still inside me, I wrote you your first letter that said:
“It's a truly amazing feeling to carry you in my womb. With each new day, I feel more and more of your kicks, punches and rolls... it is such an awesome sensation - sometimes it makes me giggle, at times I just say "whoa!," and occasionally it brings a tear or two to my eyes. I can't wait to meet you, but at the same time I love knowing (and feeling) that you're safely inside of me. I certainly don't want to rush this process, but I'm sure we'll be ready to warmly welcome you anytime after April 20th (when I turn 37 weeks).”
Apparently you were so comfortable inside of my belly, that you chose not to make an appearance until many, many weeks later… on May 24th, the day we proudly and thankfully welcomed you to the outside world. At times, it feels as though you’re not so safe anymore - on the outside - and I have to fight against fear, as we release you to grow up and experience many new things each day. I am comforted, however, by God’s promise to keep you safe – he knew you before he formed you, and before you were born, He set you apart. His word says to fear not, because He is with you, and with me.
Also in that first letter, your mommy wrote:
“We are excited to prepare for your arrival, and are thankful for how fortunate we are to be able to gather things to raise you comfortably. Both of us have seen poverty and have lived among and worked with other children who are significantly much less fortunate than you will be. Our desire is to share with others some of the blessings that we have received. Your daddy came up with the idea of contributing a certain percentage of any money we spend on purchases for you to an organization that specifically works with children's ministries. We'd like other children to have a better chance at food, shelter, education, health, and daily necessities. We know there will always be much more that one can do, but we hope that we'll be able to make a small impact by sharing this gift with other children. We also pray that you will have a similar heart, and that we do our best as your parents to model giving and missions.”
Many people have asked us how and why we chose your name. While we were still pregnant, we took a “babymoon” trip to Nicaragua. We met a man there named Sebastian, and instantly I fell in love with the name. In keeping with our desire to grow in you a heart for the nations, I specifically wanted a name that could be pronounced easily in many languages, but especially in God’s favorite language – Spanish. Sebastian was the perfect name, and we’re finding that it suits you so well. It took some time for the name to grow on your daddy…not to mention the fact that we both were pretty much convinced that you were going to be a girl, and we got used to calling you by your girl name inside my belly. You were a very pleasant surprise, though!
Over time, and after I learned the meaning of your name, I started to become quite fond of it. Sebastian means calling forth respect through age, character and attainments. In early Christian lore, Saint Sebastian was a Roman soldier who was martyred when his Christian faith was discovered. We commit to show you the way of Christ and desire to see you commit your life fully to Him even if it means the ultimate sacrifice.
Before the thought of you even entered our minds, God knew that you were going to arrive after a very long wait and change our world and our lives forever. We're new at this parenting thing, so we ask for your patience and understanding. We'll continue to learn and grow together. What a gift from God you are and will continue to be!
We're so thankful for you and for the opportunity to be your parents. We know that your birth and your life is an opportunity from God and an inspiration to let Christ shine through us by being even more intentional in our pursuit of holiness and the presence of God in our home and in this world. This truly is an occasion to reflect on God’s goodness and to celebrate.
Again, our hearts swell with love and joy. Our prayer is that we be faithful to the call to rise up and serve as your earthly parents, nurturing you in love and truth, so that you may grow to know of your heavenly father in a personal and special way, and that you would develop a heart for peace, justice, human rights and service to all of God’s people.
We love you Sebastian Roy!
And here are some pictures of Sebastian with his grandparents. He's one lucky guy!