Amani was dedicated at church today. It's not really a big deal; we just stand in front of the church and declare our intent to raise him in the church. Except that I always seem to forget that it's a bigger deal than that.
What really happened was this:
I had the honor of standing in front of my church family along with my husband and three children (and my dad, who was here visiting!), and my good friend's family and her three children (she has the most precious new baby girl) and make our promise to teach Amani how much we love Jesus. And then my church family responded in kind, promising to help me along the way, to teach him, to encourage us as his parents. It was a very sweet moment for me. Probably more so than when my first two kiddos were dedicated. I think this time was different because I know how much our church family prayed for us, for him, during the whole process. Just plain sweet!
And Amani gave me the BEST present ever today, on the day of his baby dedication. When I dropped him off in the nursery that morning before Sunday School, he cried when I left!!! Yes, I know normally moms don't jump for joy when their children cry about being left behind. And I never rejoiced when my first two did just that. But this was the FIRST time that Amani has cared about being left without his parents. So of course I rushed back to show him that I was still there and once he was settled in, I was still able to go to Sunday School. And after dropping him back off after the dedication, I wound up being paged to come get him (which somehow I missed the page and our WONDERFUL Children's Ministers brought him to me. Oops - Mom of the Year award).
Want to know why this was so awesome? He was acting like a normal kid who has a healthy attachment to his parents! Hooray! From day one, he hasn't minded at all being dropped off in the nursery, and really didn't care that I stayed there with him for the first 8 weeks. And while it seems nice to be able to easily drop your child off, it has hurt my heart each week when he happily reaches his arms out to his Sunday School teacher (or any adult) and doesn't bat an eye as I leave.
And, just to make the moment sweeter, my good friend Becky, who is also our preschool children's minister, was there and saw the whole thing and totally rejoiced with me. What a good God I have, to give me friends who are understanding enough to celebrate my crying child with me!!