Are you familiar with the term ‘Chosen family’?
A chosen family is a group of individuals who deliberately choose one another to play significant roles in each other’s lives.
Close friends of ours, who have become like family, had their first child at the end of December 2018. He was born five weeks early, but otherwise healthy.
His name? Ilan Efrayim.
Ilan means “tree” or “oak tree” in the Hebrew language. Ilan was supposed to be born in early February, which would have been the time of Tu B’Shevat. Also known as New Year of the Trees.
In celebration of their first child, Channah and David decided to have a baby-naming ceremony for their beautiful boy surrounded by close friends. They asked if I would capture the occasion. Obviously I was overjoyed and agreed.
As part of the ceremony for Ilan, his parents requested that attendees sign a book that will eventually be presented to him when he’s old enough. We were also asked to verbally share a wish or blessing. Channah read aloud a letter her and David had written for him – during which some tears were shed. The ceremony ended with Channah singing a blessing.
The whole experience was new and tender, and you could feel the love in the room for this new life.