Yesterday, August 9 was the one year anniversary of Joshua's baptism. We had wanted to have Joshua and Joseph baptized in our church at the same time, but never knew when Josh would be discharged from the NICU. Just one day after their births Joshua and Joseph received a blessing from the hospital chaplain. About a week later, we had Father Tony (our pastor who had since moved parishes to Mary Queen of Heaven where Phil and I were married) come in for another blessing for both boys, and he also had a special blessing and prayer for the new parents. Father Tony was very impressed in learning Joshua and Joseph's names, and noted the power in Joshua's name. Joshua Roy translated means Jesus is King.
Joey was discharged the following week, and we were left wondering when Josh would make it home. As time passed we learned more about Joshua. Joshua was now on a ventilator and it was decided that he would need a tracheostomy, g-tube, nissen, and later on a VP shunt, and many other surgeries. In preparation for the first of surgeries (as these anniversaries approach we will blog about each experiences) we decided we wanted Joshua to be baptized. We once again called Father Tony who was more than willing to come in short notice for Joshua's baptism. Father Tony said a prayer with me over the phone and agreed to come in on Saturday, August 9, 2009 to baptize Joshua.
For many people the focus of the baptism celebration is the party; having friends and family over to meet the new baby, have some food and spirits, and celebrate the life of the baby. I called Trisha Joshua's Godmother who was away at school at the time. Without hesitation she drove in from Michigan to be there for Josh. Chris, his Godfather who is at his busiest this time of year also put the day on hold for Joshua and the Lord. Since there is a restriction on the number of people allowed in the NICU the baptism involved an intimate few of us: Mom, Dad, Trish- Godmother, Chris-Godfather, and Father Tony. It was a most beautiful ceremony where for the first time I felt I understood the true meaning and experience of baptism. Trisha had made a gorgeous and colorful garment to be placed over Joshua which we later hung in his room, and although we weren't allowed to light the candle we smelled the rich oil as it was blessed and placed upon Joshua's head. It was a most precious ceremony, you could feel the power of prayer within the circle that we stood around Josh. Father Tony had many special prayers for Joshua and always has such a wonderful way with words. One thing I will not forget, before Father Tony left that day he took a moment to himself by Joshua's head and starred at him smiling. He came over to me and said "This boy wants to live. He wants to live. He will." Father Tony had to leave, but left us very uplifted and full of promise.
We went home from the hospital to a nice luncheon between our immediate families. We celebrated Joshua's baptism and faith in the Lord. After everyone left, I returned to the hospital to end the day with Joshua. You could tell in Josh's eyes that he knew the day was special. I held him that night as we both felt the comfort of our Lord, we knew that the Lord would take care of all of us.
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. -John 16:33