Back in February, when we asked Emily and Dave to be Cally's Godparents, I never imagined that her baptism would be as perfect as it was. I didn't envision the baptism really, but rather the fact that she would be well cared for by two wonderful friends. But then it began to dawn on me; in order for Emily and Dave to actually be Godparents, we needed to have Cally baptised.
So I gave it more thought, especially in the last two months. What came to me first was someone to actually perform the baptism. Our family friend Mark popped into my mind. He (and his wife Cathi) flew all the way out to Providence eight years ago to perform Naem and Jared's wedding ceremony, so I asked them when they might be in Hong Kong again. After I explained why, they thought it the perfect excuse to book a ticket to visit us from Seoul. I am so glad they came for the baptism and for so much more.
Originally, I wondered if something on our beach would be nice. Joey didn't share that sentiment, so he suggested having Cally baptised right in our house, with Emily and Dave on skype to take part. My brilliant husband knew what I was thinking before I even thought it. Who would we ask to stand in as sponsors for this ceremony?
Well, despite having a choppy connection (which of course never happens on a normal skype call to Emily), we needed no one to stand in. And it was wonderful. Intimate. Meaningful. Just for us.
I loved how Buddy and Ella floated around during the ceremony, witnessing it for themselves. Curious, comfortable and all the while respectful.
Cally wore the same dress that Ella wore for her baptism. The one that belonged to my mother, made for her by her mother.
My mum's singing bowl worked perfectly for the real water used for the baptism. Made holy with Mark's blessing. Ella said he was magic. Magic Mark.
Aside from my parents and Mark and Cathi, Yaya and Jojo joined us. We tried to have Joey's parents on another skype call, but it proved too much for our internet connection.
As I look back on this weekend, I am thankful that things came together as they did. I was so excited all week thinking about Emily's virtual participation. I knew, regardless, that she and Dave would be with us in spirit. But to have it be her voice answering, in her way, the vow to love, support and care for Cally, made the moment even more special. I realized, though, in the middle of the ceremony, as I started to well up with emotion, just how much I wished it was Emily who was holding Cally. And, as I gazed over to the laptop on our coffee table, with Emily's face smiling back at me through teary eyes, I realized just how much I wanted to be able to give her a hug.
But we will have time for that. She'll meet Cally next summer. There will be plenty of hugging. She really was with us this weekend. Her presence was felt by all of us. I love that she dressed up, as we did, and even recorded segments on her flip camera with her voice ever present and speaking to Cally, as a sweet keepsake for when she gets older.
Emily wrote about the baptism on her blog as well. I keep reading it, thinking about what this experience was like from her end. Glad that I have both sides.