Since moving to Arizona over five years ago we haven't managed to find a church that we are comfortable making a regular habit of. There is basically just one church that has been close enough to us geographically and the same denomination. However, it's part of a different national organization from what we were accustomed to in California, and that includes some philosophical differences. This is the church where we had Andrew baptized the day after his adoption finalization. Everyone has always been very pleasant and friendly.
We always had a reason NOT to attend each week. Like, we were out of town, we had company, Brian was on call, we were busy, we were lazy. You get the idea. Part of my hesitation was even in bringing Andrew. Each time we went we took him into the sanctuary with us for the service. I never did bring him to the nursery. I knew he would be well taken care of, but I worried because Sunday morning services are always right smack dab in the middle of his nap time. Basically, it was just an excuse.
There is another church very nearby our home, though non-denominational. They were in a temporary home, but building a church some miles away. Again, a deal breaker for us. However, this summer they moved to a more permanent location, still very nearby our home. We have several friends who attend this church, and really enjoy it. I also knew it's services are similar to what I was used to in California. Everything finally added up and we decided to give it a try last weekend. Oh, I almost forgot! A huge plus for us is that they have a Saturday evening service, at 5pm. Well, this is a huge bonus for me! In California I loved attending Saturday evening service!
So anyhow, we went over there on Saturday. Our friends met us there and already checked in Andrew for us. All we needed to do was drop him off at the toddler room. He was so funny! He ran right in, towards a table full of toys, without even giving us a second glance. Andy looked up as we were leaving, but was totally unconcerned as he had a table full of toys at his disposal. We went on our way. When the service ended and we were filing out I looked at my cell phone. I had two new text messages from an unfamiliar number. Yup, the first one was telling me that Andrew was crying and very upset and for me to come to the toddler room. The second one was five minutes later, saying that everything was ok and that I didn't need to come. Phew! These messages had come thru a half hour earlier! Apparently when I turned the phone from ring to vibrate that didn't include incoming text messages. We hurried over to the toddler room and there he was, busily playing inside a little fort. The girls had been able to calm him down once they started singing songs.
All in all Andrew did great. He's never been left where he didn't know anybody. We also did great. It feels good to be excited about going to church again. We really enjoyed the pastor and the service, and we will be back again. Just not this weekend . . . . but really, that's only because we are heading back to the OC and some hopefully cooler temps.