A is for Adams

I officially became an Adams fifteen years ago this July. With a nod towards tradition, I took my husband’s name and bumped my maiden name one slot over to become my new middle name. Our wedding day was amazing and there were several very special and touching moments but the most poignant was my husband’s wedding gift to me. He waited until we were in the limousine, our first quiet moment just the two of us. “I have something for you,” he said as he presented me with a tiny box – the type of box that could only contain a piece of jewelry. I opened it to discover a signet ring with his family’s crest engraved into it. “You’re officially an Adams now,” he said. That one moment underscored the events of the day for me. We had said our vows, exchanged rings, kissed, danced and cut the cake, but this ring was the one event of the day that brought me to tears with emotion. I am forever a part of another family.

Being a part of another family, of his family, has been an incredible blessing. In many ways his family is similar to mine: values, morals, beliefs, all major underpinnings in the foundation of our marriage. In other ways his family is different from mine in their traditions, perspectives and interactions with each other. But without a doubt, my life has been enriched and I have been shaped into a better person by being brought into their fold.

I learned about the crest ring and its significance while Kevin and I were dating. His parents had designed the crest with Rogers, my husband’s grandfather. The five stars in the cross represent each of Kevin’s immediate family members. There are symbols in each of the four quadrants: a rose for gardening, a book for education, a theater mask for my mother-in-law’s love of the arts and the sign of the fish for Christianity. The steeple on the top of the crest is of the Congregational Church in Stowe, Vermont from where the Adams hail. And coincidentally my mother-in-law has relatives buried behind that very church even though she is from Virginia. At the base of the shield are golf clubs crossing; a fun touch that is easy to miss at first glance.

My in-laws had five rings made, three of which were stored in the safe deposit box and given as college graduation gifts. Kevin had mine made from his ring and I have cherished its symbol of family history since they day he put it on my finger. We will continue the tradition and have two more made for our own boy’s graduations. Hopefully in the future, they will meet the love of their life and more rings will be made.