Sunday, October 10, 2010

Five Minutes...

We don’t remember our births, but the stories we’ve heard about our birth or adoption are our natural starting point. What have you been told about your birth or adoption? Who told you?

I don't know a ton about my birth. I am the oldest child in my family. When I was born we were living in Honolulu, Hawaii. My Dad was stationed there with the Air Force. I was born in Tripler Army Hospital, late at night. Because we were living in Hawaii, my parents considered naming me Leilani, but went with Jillian instead. I believe Jillian was a character on the soap opera "Brian's Hope" or "Ryan's Hope"...something like that. I wasn't named after the character per se, but that's just where they heard the name and they thought it was pretty. My middle name was a famous French singer, and is nod to my Grandma Fern, who is French. Once I was able to read a letter my Dad sent to my Grandma Coleman (his mom) after I was born. In the letter he said that he wished he'd been able to write down the prayer he said to Heavenly Father that night, because it was a beautiful poem about how grateful he was for me to have been born and how blessed he and my mom were to have a child enter their family. 

I was born almost 3 years after my parents were married. Before they were married they weren't members of the Church, but found the gospel together. My Dad was raised Southern Baptist and my Mom was raised Catholic. After they got married they started talking about having children. They knew that they wanted to raise their children in faith and with religion of some kind, but didn't necessarily believe the faiths they had been raised in. One day, they found an insert in the Reader's Digest from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints about the importance of families, and how families can be together forever. There was an address in Salt Lake City to write to for more information. They were discouraged, though, because at the time they were stationed in Crete, an island off the coast of Greece. Turn around time for mail to the United States was about 6 months. At work, a few days later, my Dad mentioned the insert to his supervisor, who happened to be a member of the church! He invited my Dad & Mom over for dinner with his wife, and had the local Branch President come over, too. (At that time, there were no missionaries in Greece.) That evening they went through all seven discussions (lessons about the doctrines of the church given to investigators) in three hours! My Dad's supervisor and the Branch President were blown away. Usually it is many weeks before people finish all the discussions, but my parents knew everything was true right away and were very excited about it. The Branch president made them attend church for two weeks (maybe it was a month. I don't remember.) to make sure they really wanted to be baptized, and that they weren't just pulling his leg. They were finally baptized one beautiful evening at sunset in the Mediterranean Sea. After they came back to the States, they were able to be sealed in the Washington, D.C. temple. I decided to wait to come down to Earth until after they were sealed in the temple, so I could be born under the covenant. :D


  1. Baptized in the Mediterranean? That's pretty cool.

  2. love your story. that is so neat about your parents and their conversion story. gave me chills!

  3. I had no've got a pretty rad story!


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