As I have been looking over my list of things learned while waiting for another baby over the past 5 years, I get a little choked up. I really have learned a lot. But more than that, the things that I have already known have been re-taught and re-emphasized so that my knowledge has grown and been made stronger.
One of the greatest blessings of adoption, actually, the crowning glory of adoption, is going to the temple together. Not as a couple, but as a family. When we went to the temple to have Ruthann sealed to us it was an experience that taught our boys the beauty and strength found in the House of the Lord. Daniel and I have wanted that opportunity again!! And so have my kids. But the truth is, we can't take our kids in the temple just because we want to. There has to be a purpose while they are so young. Here's what I've learned about taking my family to the temple during the wait.
We sat in the temple as a family one day. Daniel was kneeling across from me, Ruthann was between us being held by Abbie, our boys were sitting on the closest chairs with Grandma, our dads were sitting as witnesses, and my brother Aaron was close by in spirit. Much of our family was there with us. What a beautiful day. Our daughter was sealed to us as if she were born in the covenant. I cried tears of Joy that day.
We talk about that day a lot. I want them to remember it. To want to go back. So far it's working. All of my children want to go back. We talk about what mom and dad do when we go to the temple. We go so often that when I asked one of our babysitters to babysit, she said, "Doing the usual?" I looked at her kind of strangely I guess. She said, "Going to the temple?" Even she knows we go often. When Daniel and I have gone on a date in jeans, my kids are confused as to why we are wearing jeans to the temple. Sometimes we just go to a movie.
We have a beautiful picture of the temple on our wall. It's a constant reminder that I want ALL of my family there. It would be easy (hah!) to just focus on going back when we have another baby sealed to us. But as Daniel and I have been feeling more like our family is done, we will have to wait a little longer before we are all in the temple together. I remember being in the temple with Daniel's family for his sister's wedding. His parents talked about having ALL of their children in the temple. I remember being in the temple with my family. My brother Aaron passed away several years ago. When Ruthie was sealed to us and as my brothers have married, ALL of my siblings were in the temple with my parents. What a tremendous Joy for parents to be in the temple with all of their children. And their children's spouses. I look forward to that day for my little family.
As for what I've learned...No matter when we will all be in the temple together, Daniel and I set a precedence. We go often, as we've been counseled. We talk about the temple as a family often. We visit temple grounds and talk about worthiness often. Our previous Bishop would always ask our kids during tithing settlement what blessings we have received as a family because of paying tithing. The answer is always-Being able to go to the temple. And being able to go to the temple, talking about the blessings of the temple, and going to the temple often, strengthens our eternal family! Oh my heart!