Sunday, March 16, 2008

Making Traven eternal

As most of you reading this blog probably know or realize, I have some strong religous beliefs. One thing I truly believe in is the eternal nature of families.

On Saturday, we journeyed down to the Manti LDS temple to have Traven sealed into our eternal family. The temple workers were fantastic! They said they didn't get to help with this particular ordinance very often, so they were making the most of it. We were escorted around by several different people. There was a team of old grandmothers who watched the kids while Lori and I took care of some paperwork. They also helped the kids get changed into their white clothing. We felt at home and well attended the entire time.
The actual ceremony was short, but powerful. Now, Traven is officially a member of the family!
We had a lot of family and some friends there to witness the sealing. Missing from the above photo are Brian Anderson and Kandi Jensen. They slipped out before the photos!
To me, it just rings true that a family unit would have the ability to go on forever. There is so much love and such a strong bond in the family. Would a loving God really want that to end with death? I don't think so. That would mean He would provide us the ability to "eternalize" our families. A power that would seal in Heaven what is sealed on earth. The key then is to seek out these truths while on earth and embrace them.

Making Traven Legal

On Friday morning, the date finally arrived for going to court and making the adoption legal and binding. We met before Judge Laycock over in Provo. It was a very unique experience.

We arrived at 8:20 am and went into the court house. As soon as the guards realized we were there for an adoption, they just waved us through the metal detectors. We went up to the 2nd floor and met up with our lawyer, Paul MacArthur. Paul and his staff were outstanding throughout the entire process. They were extremely helpful, very informed and on top of all matters pertaining to the adoption.

At 8:30 am, the doors opened and we went into the judges court room. The recorder was there, busily doing about 5 things at once on her computer, and the bailiff was there. In walked the judge, we all stood up, then Lori and I were sworn in as witnesses. There was a very formal process as the judge acknowledged she had reviewed all the documents and they were entered into the official record.

It was then time for Paul to ask us some questions. They were all very easy - basically making sure we realized we were both taking over legally as Traven's family and severing any ties he had to his birth parents. This part felt strange to me, as I have felt like Traven was officially in the family for months. It was a series of easy questions.

The one question I enjoyed the most was the last one, asking me to share my feelings about him with the court. I love him, every bit as much as the other kids, which is TONS! To me, he just fits right into the family. I can't imagine life without him. He seems to bring out the best in all of us.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Time for a family update

A few things have transpired lately which would seem to warrant some commentary.

First off, Traven's health has been getting gradually better. He usually sleeps through the night, and is coughing less. He is 6 months old now, and full of personality. When he gets excited about something (usually singing on the tv), he sticks out his arms and legs and kind of sounds like a monkey. It is very amusing. He is good for about 30 - 40 minutes of church, before he gets bored and wants to be walked around. He is sitting up, and will spend a little time on the floor, but usually prefers to be walked around or put in his jumper.

I am trying to get ready to run the Ogden marathon in May, but am really struggling. I am slower than I have been in years and just can't seem to find the groove. I am worried about Ogden and about the Wasatch Back in June. I'm not sure what is wrong with me.

Lori's brother Brett has decided to divorce his wife. This is a painful process to watch, especially considering they have 3 young children. It is heartbreaking to see the problems being caused for them because of parental decisions. I continue to hope and pray for the best, but I honestly am not sure what the best solution would be.

Now that Kaylee is 16, we see her a lot less. It makes me sad and happy at the same time. The sad is just a bit of missing her being around. I am happy that she has made good friends and enjoys getting out of the house. She also has a job, which she doesn't exactly like, but does enjoy the income.

Braden has grown several inches and has been playing basketball and getting in shape to run on my Wasatch Back team. He has changed a lot over the past year.

Jason is still working hard at school. I feel bad sometimes because it feels like I am constantly having to remind him to do homework.

Alyssa is still doing great in school. She has some good friends and is constantly wanting to be on the go as well.

All in all, I feel very blessed and lucky to be where I am at in life. Sometimes I let things get to me. I live in fear of my company either downsizing me out of a job, getting bought out by another company, or simply fading into oblivion. I worry about the state of our economy and nation, and wonder what type of future my children will have. But then I remember the important thing is to do what I can to help them, and to have faith that things will work out as they should. I am grateful to have a great wife to keep me in line and help me out. I am very thankful for five wonderful children.

My sister Charlotte tells me my sister Patty is moving back to St. George and will be staying with my parents. It should be interesting to see how that works out. I don't hear much out of my sister Karen.

I am really excited to go backpacking with Braden and Jason this summer. I think I will try to sale my trailer, since it looks like the young men will be doing a lot of backpacking over the upcoming years.

I am also excited for spring. Winter sucks.