Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Here I Am, Little Counselor

Ours is an interfaith family, with roots in Catholicism and Judaism. We celebrate both but practice neither, and as such our kids have never had any religious ceremony like a bris, a naming or a baptism. 

And yet, as things were becoming clearer at Duke, both Brett and I separately came to the conclusion that we would like something for Quinn, a Blessing of some sort. 

Our wedding ceremony was performed by an interfaith minister, a wonderful woman named Pamela Bloom. Pamela literally created a celebration of our partnership, interweaving aspects of both religions with some Eastern philosophy and secular readings. It was perfect, and it was what we were hoping to have for Quinn's Blessing. Thankfully Pamela was not only willing to oblige (twice, thankyouverymuch Sandy!) but presented it as a gift to Quinn!

Pamela, almost 8 years earlier at our wedding

Our families and close friends came together that morning, a bit tense. No one knew quite what to expect and they were slightly apprehensive, especially those who came with children. 

Pamela struck the perfect tone, keeping it a celebration of Quinn's Life. 

When we met with her, Brett and I had explained to Pamela that we would like to incorporate the Catholic tradition of godparents and wanted those chosen to recite a vow. But two godparents is not enough for the 'Community Baby' - no sir.  Quinn now has 148 (one hundred forty-eight!) godparents. Every person there was asked to stand up for her and recite the following vow:

From this day forth, we vow to walk beside
Quinn Madeleine Linzer
as her devoted godparents
to love and cherish her,
to support and inspire her,
to reflect her own beauty back to her,
to help her fulfill her mission,
and to celebrate each moment with her
in love, joy and gratitude

Colin and Reid were presented with 'Best Brother' certificates and showered Quinn with rose petals (in lieu of holy water, as at a baptism). The matriarchal lineage was celebrated with the grandmothers and great-grandmothers called up (honoring the matriarchal role in Judaism).

best big brothers...ever!
photo credit: Angela Marshall Photography

the vow, attached to the bracelets we gave out which read:
I'm a part of Quinn's WonderFULL life!
photo credit: Angela Marshall Photography

the matriarchal lineage
photo credit: Angela Marshall Photography

'baptised' with rose petals

And Quinn's name was discussed, as in a Baby Naming. Quinn means 'Counselor'. Madeleine means 'Little Girl'. 


Amazing. Simply amazing. 

This child could not have been more aptly named. And that is not meant to pat myself - or Brett - on the back for such an apropos selection. We truly picked the names because we liked them, with some input from the boys as Madeline is one of their favorite books (thank you writers of Glee and Ludwig Belemans :)).

the original source of Quinn-spiration (sorry, I had to!)
photo credit: http://nyfa.tumblr.com/
the French book with the Americanized spelling (?!)
though we're not French, our Quinn's 'Madeleine' honors the traditional spelling

Pamela surprised us and also gave Quinn a Hebrew name during the ceremony. The name she gave her is Hineni, which means Here I Am

Here I Am. Your Little Counselor.

the wise one
photo credit: Angela Marshall Photography

Quinn looked beautiful that day - even moreso than normal, which is no small feat. She actually completed a
List item with her wardrobe.

Every girl should wear a wedding dress

The first thought I had after we decided to have the Blessing was that I wanted to have a replica of my wedding dress made - from my wedding dress - for Quinn to wear. The seamstress did an incredible job (though there was a moment of misunderstanding when I feared she was going to call CPS as I showed her my strapless wedding dress and said I wanted a replica for my six month old daughter!)

Her Every little girl should receive a gift in a little blue box necklace was the perfect finishing touch.

isn't she lovely, isn't she wonderful?
photo credit: Angela Marshall Photography
the original
The cherry on top was the donation of time and talents by a local photographer.  Local.  As in affected-by-Hurricane Sandy, lost-her-home photographer.  And as you can see, her own circumstances certainly didn't deter her from her task - we were presented with incredible images.  Thank you, Angela!

The day was perfect. Better than perfect - it was Us and it was Real.

one of my favorite photos of the day
photo credit: Angela Marshall photography

Quinn's Idea(wo)men: mommy, daddy, aunt Michele (wedding dress)

Quinn's Benefactors: Pamela Bloom, Angela Marshall Photography

Quinn's Wing(wo)men: mommy, daddy, Colin, Reid
Nanny, Grandma, Nana, GiGi, Popsie, Grandpa David
aunts Mary, Maria, Michele, Sheryl, Lydia, Pam, Shirley, Anne, Kathy, Colleen, Leslie, Eileen
uncles Ricky, Brian, John, Erik, Terry, Bob, Murray, Kevin, Stu, Gene
cousins Richie, Katie, Sean, Maria, Brian, Dahlia, Edward, Erin, Megan, Patrick, Ryan, Colleen, Matt, Andrew, Reva, Matt, Ross, Richard, Jane, Justin, Tess, Josh, Adi, Howie, Ana, Rob, Chris, Ashley, Krissy, Nicholas, Erin, Kelly, Steve, Katelyn, Pat, Allison, Billy, Alex, Emma, Kathi, David, Trevor, Mike, Zack, Keri
friends Mo, Sam, Annabella, Erik, Wendy, Mr. B, Mrs. B, Jay, Beth, Brad, Jordyn, Camryn, Austin, Candace, Marty, Scarlett, Evie, Max, Nicole, Oren, Ellie, Therese, Thomas, Claire, Shaquan, Janessa, Justin, Jaden, Amanda, Jed, Dylan, Jordan, Jon, Seiko, Kai, Dave, Allison, Charlie, Gabriel, Liza, Joyce, Maria, Junior, Anthony, Gianna, Michelle, Guy, Gianna, Guy Anthony, Angelo, Cristian, Lauren, Frank, Luke, Scot, Adi, Debbie, Kweon, Kweon, Jolie, Caleb, Marc, Al, Melissa, Sammy, Lexi


  1. We were all so blessed to be part of Quinn's amazing day. And you, Eileen Linzer, there's a book in you, for sure. xo

  2. Oh my gosh, Eileen. There is only one word - PERFECT! A perfect idea, a perfect day and a perfect name for such a perfect child. There is nothing that says Quinn more than "Here I Am"! One can tell even just from photos that she is larger than life. I love, love, love all of the pictures, especially the teary Gran and the family pic at the end. The love for sweet Quinn jumps right off the page! And yes - she IS lovely and she IS wonderful!

  3. oh my goodness, what a AMAZING special day. I love the baptism of rose petals and how beautiful and full of love everyone looked. And i am jealous of whatever lucky person Quinn was smiling at in the photo of her in her heart necklace, that photo is a heart melter. And just last night we were watching Glee and I wondered if Quinn was maybe borrowed from there;) sending so much love to your family always. xoxo, Chelsea
    and yes her name meanings are no accident

  4. love the idea about the dress! brilliant!

  5. Beautiful, just beautiful! From the idea, to the day, to the baptism of rose petals, and certainly to the beautiful dress! What an amazing idea! So happy sweet Quinn was able to mark some items off her list.

    Thoughts & prayers - Trek's Aunt Jalene :)

  6. An absolutely beautiful dedication to Quinn!

    I've nominated you for a Liebster Award. See my post for more details: http://immovingalong.blogspot.com/2012/12/an-online-award.html

  7. Both Dahlia and myself were honored to be a part of something so special for such a special little woman. The day could not have been more moving. The love and commitment you all put in to make every one of her days a magical memory is so uplifting. Although we have not spent too much time with lil miss Quinn and you all, every moment holds a special place in my heart. I dont know where you find the courage and sanity, but I commend you all for keeping it all together so perfectly. Quinn and the boys are truly blessed to have you both as parents. My brother married a very strong, compassionate woman and we are all blessed to have you in our lives as well..

    1. Thanks Sheryl, she is very lucky to have you as part of her wonderFULL life :)

    2. Love you all.. I am proud to call you my brother....xxoo to you all..

  8. Wow, I can't even comprehend your emotions as you see your daughter wear your wedding dress. What a beautiful idea and memory. Blessings to all your family; I will remember you in my prayers <3

  9. I know you don't know me, but my heart goes out to you and your family. What you are doing for her is amazing and she is lucky to have parents like you. You will forever be in my thoughts and prayers!

  10. Barnabas was a reliable encourager. The epistles flood with standards for living, rules for tackling issues, and directions for people with pressure in their lives. In excess of multiple times we read each other sections. Bear one anothers loads, we are told, support each other, care for each other, be caring to each other, serve each other. choosing a therapeutic school