Once upon a time there were two very special people, David and Katie. Meeting David and Katie was a pivotal moment, not only in my career, but also in my life. I love sharing the most special moments of my career with people, so below is our story….and when you read it, you’ll know why this Interfaith family is so special!
In November of 2008, David and Katie contacted me to discuss their upcoming Jewish – Interfaith wedding. David was Jewish; Katie was not. They loved each other unconditionally; and they both also had great love and respect for their families. Because of this, they were concerned about their upcoming wedding and wanted to ensure that at the ceremony, both families would be comfortable.
I appreciated their concern as well as the fact that they were so straightforward in communicating it. It was just as important for their families to enjoy this special day as it was for them. So, we talked….and talked ….. and talked some more. In fact, we spent an entire year getting to know each other. While Katie was not planning on converting, she did want to raise a Jewish family. Throughout the course of the year I was able to serve as advisor for her. We discussed Jewish lifestyles, I helped her understand many of the things she could expect her future to hold.
Finally, their wedding weekend arrived. Their family and friends gathered in St. Petersburg, Florida; and they invited me to share their wedding weekend with them! I stayed overnight at the same location as their families and had the chance to not only meet everyone, but also see, see first hand, the joy everyone had for David and Katie. Needless to say, the wedding was filled with emotion and love. Before I left, David and Katie made it clear to me that they wanted to continue our relationship; and we did.
You can imagine my reaction when I received an excited phone call in 2014 – David and Katie were having a baby!! We had been in regular contact since the wedding; but this moment was so special. They shared that they would love for me to perform their baby naming ceremony in St. Petersburg, and naturally I was thrilled! The car ride to the service flew by, probably because I was so excited to meet baby M and catch up, in-person, with this very special couple. Honestly, I truly don’t have words to describe my excitement; you may have thought this baby was MY family!! After a meaningful ceremony and celebration, we parted ways with promises to keep in touch and plans to see each other again.
In August of 2016 my phone again rang with happy news; their family was continuing to grow! The joy I felt was immeasurable. You know the feeling, when good things happen to good people – good people that you love! And so just recently, on December 4th, I hit the road on a highly anticipated trip” to St. Petersburg to celebrate their beautiful new addition, Baby R, and their very special family.
It is an experience like this that helps define who I am and what I do. My job is so much more than simply performing a ceremony for Jewish and Interfaith couples, and it is more than offering advice and counsel. What lights me up is watching people grow and develop, helping people clearly see their futures, it’s building relationships and helping make life a little bit better for everyone I serve.