In an earlier post, I mentioned that Charlie is named after our dear friend and close confidant, Father Charles Latour. We’ve known Father Charlie since for 12 years now and he has become more like family than a friend. He presided over our wedding, baptized both our older boys, presided at the weddings of all our siblings and has counseled us more times than we care to admit. He loves our family as though it is his own and has always made us feel as though we are the most important people on Earth to him. In other words, he’s blessed our lives in more ways than we can count.
When we found out we were expecting back in December, Father Charlie was one of our first phone calls. We needed to put a baptism on his calendar for Thanksgiving weekend in San Antonio. (We like to tie our baptisms into family gathering holidays and have had the older boys baptized at Matt’s home parish where he grew up.) However, when we received Charlie’s diagnosis in April we knew we wouldn’t be comfortable postponing his baptism to a “convenient time” for family and friends. He would certainly need to be baptized in the hospital before his first surgery.
Ironically, the day after Charlie’s diagnosis Matt was scheduled to be in New Orleans for a conference. Father Charlie has been in New Orleans for a few years now as a high school principal and had already agreed to meet up with Matt for dinner on his first night in town. What a counselor he proved to be that night!
That night he also promised us to be here to baptize Charlie in the hospital! Even though we knew Charlie would be arriving the first week of school! He didn’t want to miss the opportunity to baptize another one of our children – so he gave us his word that he would be on a plane as soon as we knew it was time.
A long story to get to this point – yesterday afternoon Charlie officially celebrated the sacrament of baptism in the Roman Catholic Church in his NICU room with as many family and friends as we could wedge in without upsetting the nurses and doctors. We even managed to have Charlie’s godfather, Leif, on FaceTime on the iPad so he could watch and participate long distance from New York (don’t you love modern technology?!?!?).
Here’s some quick highlights of our afternoon…
What a great day it was!
PS – Mom was originally released from the hospital on a day pass for the baptism because the resident doctor wasn’t comfortable discharging her without the attending’s consent, but (literally) on the way out the door we ran into Jean’s attending doctor who called the nurse’s cell phone and told her to hurry up and get us discharged! The nurse even ran back to the room with us to help pack everything so that we could get to the baptism on time. Just another sign that God was watching out for us yesterday!