Birth/Rebirth: Adoption Story

Guest Post by Susan

My oldest daughter asked me to tell about the adoption of her sister. The names in the story have been changed to protect my adopted daughter’s privacy.

A little background of the family dynamics before I get started: my husband has one brother and one sister. His brother (John) is married to (Mary) with no children and his sister (Lucy) is not married and she had at this time 4 children living a son, and three daughters. Her youngest daughter (Anne) is whom this story is about.

I already had two children, a daughter and a son. I found out through the family that my nephew and two nieces were visiting John and Mary after Anne’s birth. It soon became known to John and Mary that the children had been abused. They contacted social services about the abuse. We all knew that Anne was living in this situation.

One night in September I had a dream that it was Christmas time. All I remember about the dream is a Christmas tree, me and a little baby girl. After waking up from this dream I had a distinct feeling, this baby girl was Anne and she was to be my daughter. We did not live close to the family, they lived on the east coast and we lived in the central part of the states. I was perplexed by how we would become her parents, but I knew it was to be. At that time all I could do was to pray for her safety and that there would be a way provided that we would have her at Christmas time. I prayed daily for her.

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Temple Issue Extras: Unveiling My Temple Marriage: A Story of Decisions

We haLogan 8X10d so many lovely submissions for our Summer 2013 Temple issue and couldn’t pack them all into 44 pages. (Order yours today to ensure that you don’t miss this touching issue.) Special thanks to Ashmae Hoiland who has allowed us to use some watercolors of temples in this series on the blog (and in the magazine). More of Ashmae’s work can be found at her website, http://www.ashmae.com/.

I always wanted to be married. However, getting married was a difficult decision. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to be married, quite the contrary. After all wasn’t the ambition to marry the noblest aspiration of a young Mormon girl? In truth, I had been seeking and praying for a companion for decades—through my teen years; during college and graduate school and the tumult of my 20s; then half-heartedly into my early 30s. No, I definitely wanted to get married. Maybe it would be more accurate to say that getting married in the temple was a difficult decision. But when I found the person I wanted to be with I wasn’t in the place I thought I would be.

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Temple Issue Extras: Dressing Grandma for the Temple

Los Angeles Temple by Ashmae HoilandWe had so many lovely submissions for our Summer 2013 Temple issue and couldn’t pack them all into 44 pages. (Order yours by Monday, September 2nd to ensure that you don’t miss this touching issue.) Special thanks to Ashmae Hoiland who has allowed us to use some watercolors of temples in this series on the blog (and in the magazine). More of Ashmae’s work can be found at her website, http://www.ashmae.com/.

Grandma spilled the beans when she walked me through the temple ceremony.  Scene by scene, she detailed what would occur during my upcoming endowment, omitting only explicitly secret portions.  The imagery and specific eccentricities of the rituals were all new to me.  As I earnestly listened to her I was fascinated with how different the temple was from any other church experience.  Grandma’s first time through the temple had been disastrous.  She was ill-prepared and blindsided by its novelty.  She compartmentalized her confusion, compliantly wore her garments, and continued to attend church.  It took 20 years, and her son going on a mission, before she would go back to the temple for a second try.   My grandma’s genuine concern and preparation help altered the way I experienced the temple. Thanks to grandma, I felt prepared.

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Announcement: Summer 2013 Temple Issue’s Letter from the Art Editor

Exponent II Magazine_Summer 2013 Edition_Cover PosterIt’s still summer, right?

Exponent II’s long-anticipated temple-themed issue is surely worth the wait. Mormons’ unique culture surrounding our temples and temple worship has made this issue rich with work ranging from humor to heartache.

This issue also has a fantastic Letter from our Art Editor, Margaret. Enjoy!

I was just a baby really, just twenty years old, when I went through the temple for the first time.  I was getting married in three months and had just moved across the country to join my fiancé in Maryland.  For those three months I was living with my future sister-in-law, Julie, and her husband, Karl.  I barely knew them but immediately counted them as kindred spirits and a safe refuge for the faith crisis that was beginning to envelope me.  I walked into their kitchen one evening after an endowment session and blurted out, “Do you think it’s okay to not really like the temple?”

Karl deliberately put down his work, looked me in the eyes, and said, “Absolutely.”  I talked to them both for a long time that evening and they were unfailingly supportive, loving, and calm.  I don’t remember much of what any of us said, but in the years that followed, I returned often to the love and empathy Karl showed when he answered my question.  It took me many years before I could get through an endowment session without crying.  It took prayers of wrestling with God before I could come to a place of peace about my decision to stay in the Church.  But often along that difficult and rewarding journey, when I felt lonely, confused, and angry, I steadied myself by remembering that people I loved and deeply respected thought that my feelings were valid and believed that I still had a place in this Church.

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Poll: New Video or Old One?

Exponent II Magazine_Summer 2013 Edition_Cover PosterSo, the new temple movie came out this week (just as our Exponent II Summer 2013 temple-themed issue is coming out in a couple weeks; order yours today here!).

What are your thoughts?

 

Many of us will probably see the new temple video in the upcoming months. If you do, we’d love for you to write up your experience (the good, the bad, and the ugly) and send it in by September 15th for our Winter 2013 issue. Email us at editorATexponentiiDOTorg.

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