Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Jaycee's Baptism Anniversary

Today is a special day for our family.

Two years ago today, Jaycee was baptized in our church surrounded by friends and family. It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon.

October 19, 2014 Jaycee with Pastor Chad with me watching from the side

Before this happened, I can't tell you how many times I witnessed other children being baptized in church wondering if and when I would see this with Jaycee. I wanted to see her grow in our faith. I wanted her to understand this important step. I wanted her to live long enough (she's had some really close calls due to her respiratory issues) to have this chance.

I wanted these things but I knew she had large disabilities. I wasn't sure if it was reasonable to expect a minimally verbal child to be baptized. I wasn't sure if she would understand and if people would be open to the idea.

I had a stirring in my heart that it was time to prepare Jaycee for baptism. I tried to ignore it but the thought of Jaycee being baptized came again and again. She had been extremely sick in the ICU a few times before getting baptized. While this wasn't the reason I started the process of getting her baptized, it is what finally motivated me to speak up and get a date scheduled.

Part of writing and sharing our life with the public is to share information. The topic of Intellectual Disability, baptism, and church guidelines is a topic that is not widely discussed. There are some denominations like the Catholic church that have written guidelines on this topic but this may not be the case for your church or faith.

If you are a parent with a child with limited verbal skills and/or an Intellectual Disability, I urge you to pray and reflect on this topic. If this is a desire of your heart, do not ignore it.

Here's a great response to the topic of baptism and intellectual disability on another site:

If you want to know how I taught Jaycee about baptism read this: Teaching Baptism
To read the backstory of the baptism, read this: To the Pastor Who Baptized My Daughter

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