December 28, 2006 was such a special day for our family. Our sweet little China blessing, Maya Qiuju, was sealed to us in the Salt Lake Temple. Fourteen years ago, Lyle and I were married in the Salt Lake Temple, so we had quite a feeling of dejavu when we walked up to the desk in the lobby and they said, "Oh, you must be here for the Beck/Kelley sealing." It seemed like that had already taken place!
We took the kids to the "Youth Center" in the temple and then we went to get ready. The dejavu continued as I was taken to the Bride's Room and Lyle went with the grooms. Apparently there were 58 weddings taking place that day! I got lots of sweet smiles from the brides who I'm sure were probably thinking, "Oh, I'm so glad she finally found love at her age!" The workers at the temple were so sweet and excitedly showed me the beautiful white Asian temple dress that they were thrilled was my size. If I had 100 dresses to choose from, that's the exact one I would have picked.
Our temple sealer briefly talked to us and then he pointed down the hall to one of the sweetest sights I have ever seen--our three older kids all in white looking so beautiful (or handsome as the case may be!). We all went into the sealing room (#10) and saw our guests and listened to the sealer as he spoke to us about the sealing ordinance. I thought for sure that I'd hear Maya before I saw her. She doesn't always immediately warm-up to strangers. Much to my surprise, she was totally quiet and came in being pushed in a little white stroller. She smiled at everyone and came to sit with me and Lyle. She stayed relatively happy but was loudly expressing her curiousity during the sealing. Afterward, they put her back in the stroller to take her and her siblings back to the Youth Center. Now that she was with us, she did NOT want to leave us and go back in the stroller! I think most temple weddings don't have a screaming baby in the background, but the couples at the Salt Lake Temple that afternoon got quite an earfull!
We got our shoes on and went outside for a few pictures. It was COLD, so we didn't stay outside for long. One man poked his head outside of the temple door and yelled to Abby, "Love the white dress and red shoes!" We got lots of misty-eyed congratulations from total strangers both inside and outside the temple. After, we got changed and walked the few blocks over to the family dinner at the Olive Garden. Poor Abby, who'd complained of an upset tummy numerous times at the temple, convinced us of her suffering by throwing up all over our pile of coats on the floor of the restaurant. I'm thankful she didn't do it in the temple!
Despite Abby's sickness, it was a wonderful and memorable (I guess made even more memorable by Abby!) day. We feel so blessed to know that Maya is part of our family for all eternity.
With cousin Syd at the Gibson's house.
Maya was really quite fond of the Gibson's dog, Woody. I think Woody, though, was a tad frustrated at Maya's lack of fetching knowledge. She didn't throw the ball, she insisted on inserting the ball in Woody's mouth. Thankfully Woody was reasonably patient.
I was a little worried that Maya would get all dirty before we left, but she was having a blast playing with the dog and amazingly stayed totally clean!
Maya and her dad.
Adam, Madeline, Eileen, Maya, Lyle, and Abby before heading to the temple.
Little girl. Big temple.
The Beck kids
We love you little Maya Qiu Ju!