In the last few years as I have started taking pictures, a new trend is professional photos at the age of 8. I also offer these photos in which I lovingly calling the photos " Great to be 8" Photos. Usually it is me, the 8 year old an the mother. It reminds me of the time we had large mission farewells where it was finally advised to not make it a production. ( I am just waiting on the day with joy that it also happens with baptisms, for LOTS of reason!) I didn't know what to do for Ty's baptism because there is or wasn't a clear cut answer as to if we should/shouldn't baptize him or HOW we could even do it. Lucky for me we didn't pay a professional to take his photos!
Our initial idea about a 10 months ago, were to not baptize Tyler at all. We weren't sure how we judged if it was right for him or not. As the mom I was hoping that the normal "8" things were going to happen and yet knew and know that he is perfect and doesn't "have to" be baptized. We went to our bishop to see what his opinion was. And it was just that. "I don't know. There is no clear cut answer."
So after a few more months we went to him with our choice. We started even harder preps to have him be "ready." But I don't know how much he fully understood or understands. So back to the Bishop we went. The Bishop gave us some advice at this point and we took it home and made our choice to have Tyler baptized.
We live way from family and knew we wouldn't have a lot in attendance and after much thinking, pondering and a few other things, we thought it would be in Tyler's best interest to either go visit our Grandparents in Utah OR cut down our list to bare minimum and have it be just us. So we invited and uninvited etc. It was really hard to uninvite but in the end it was about Tyler.
Both sets of grandparents came and Aunt Nicky, Ty's respite worker. Three other people from the ward was there but it was SMALL and perfect. Ty did great and was a happy camper. He did a wonderful job and even managed to crack a few jokes. We love him!
Nope, you won't get a photo of me. I am to ucky! But Dallas and Ty and his parents and my parents and Ty's Baptizing Koala Bear.
My sister came and she stayed with us for one night. They made a quick trip. Dallas' parents spent a few days with us and we really enjoyed our visit with them.
Overall it was a wonderful day. However, baptism for children with special needs is not a cut and dry issue. It isn't one way or another and it truly is up to the parents and the children. Ty is not limited in his ability to move as much as other children and he is able to understand what is going on around him. He has watched people be baptized and had expressed an interest in it the last few months before his baptism. He participates more than some other children with special needs with his peers and is able to know when he is being left out. He also participates in the scouting program through our Church. As he gets older and all of the kids he is in church with start passing the sacrament, he isn't limited enough to not notice he is being left out. So it was the right choice for us.
For more information click on over to a few of the links! HERE and a good read HERE. Even more here.
This choice was made thoughtfully and prayerfully with our local leaders and it was what was best for our family. Please note, that we did work on going under the water. We did activities that involved baptisms. We talked about it. We learned a few songs and we did all we could to make it the best for Tyler. We are in no way condemning those who do or don't. Each situation is unique and our local leaders and our prays were answered in a way that worked for us!
* A Tylerism: Ty loves Ghost stories and was given a book on the Holy Ghost to read. So we read it and when we got one he said " Mom can we read a different book. It said it was about a Ghost ( insert spooky ghost sound) but it was NOT about a ghost." Then after a talk given by one of his grandpa's gave a talk on how a treasure would be found after he got baptized. He spent some time in the font, splashing around looking for his "treasure." After, his other Grandpa told him about the Holy Ghost. He sat down and the Bishop ad I were listening to Tyler talk. Ty said " Mom, I think the Holy Ghost took my treasure!" *