Go to my mom's blog to see the beautiful dress she made for Jocelyn's sealing and blessing. We start the adoption finalization process on October 21 (my birthday!) and it should be all done before Thanksgiving. On December 12, Justin and I will have Jocelyn sealed to us in the Salt Lake Temple and then we will give her a religious blessing afterward. These two things are important to us spiritually. For those readers who aren't familiar with these things, here are a brief explanations.
What is a sealing and why will Jocelyn be sealed to us?
A sealing ceremony is the joining together of a husband and wife and their children in relationships that are to endure forever. This ordinance is only performed in an LDS Temple by someone holding the proper authority. Once two people have been sealed as husband and wife, biological children born to them after their sealing are born "under the covenant" so an additional sealing is not necessary. Children who were born before their parents' sealing or adopted children will need to be sealed to their parents separately. For members of the Church, sealings endow life with greater purpose and give marriage a sense of divine partnership with spiritual safeguards. Bringing children into the world becomes a divinely inspired stewardship. Sealings can sustain a family in life and console them in death. They establish continuity in life, here and hereafter.
The best way I've found to explain this is that while the court finalization makes Jocelyn legally ours, this sealing ceremony makes her spiritually ours forever and ever. The sealing ceremony is very beautiful and reverent and most people only experience it once, so I am actually really excited to be able to experience it again.
What is a baby blessing?
A baby blessing is an ordinance of the LDS Church where a newborn baby is given a name and blessing. Usually during a church meeting, worthy family members and friends with the proper authority gather in a circle and hold the baby in their arms. One of them, usually the father, gives the blessing. This includes the giving of a name by which the child will be known on Church records and blessing the child as directed through inspiration of the Holy Ghost. While the baby's name is officially placed on the records of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the child won't be a confirmed member of the church until he/she gets baptized and confirmed at eight years old. While most babies are blessed within the first two or three months of life, Jocelyn can't be blessed until the adoption is finalized.
Are either of these the same as a christening?
It's the same in the sense that a blessing and christening both are considered Christian naming ceremonies. However, a christening also involves the infant's baptism. Baptisms don't take place in the LDS Church until the child is at least eight years old.