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Maybe it’s the artist in me, or the proclaiming of forever love, that leaves me intrigued with the beauty of a love lock bridge. Have you ever seen one up close? Oh, I understand that for a few countries and possibly twenty-one states in the US it may be considered a nuisance–but the concept of a new husband and wife announcing their vows, locking one engraved padlock to the rail of a bridge, and throwing away the key–is beautiful to me.

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In Latvian tradition, wedded bliss concludes with a commitment to firmness and stability in the marriage by a couple engraving their wedding date and names on a lock, clamping it upon the rail of a bridge, and putting their declaration on display. As a passerby a few weeks ago, I was almost giddy as I saw a bride and her groom affixing theirs to the wedding lock bridge in Riga, Latvia.

Just days before, my husband, our three newest children, and I made our way to the same quaint bridge in Bastion Hill Park. The rushing waterfall beside it helped fuel my excitement and made for great pictures. In my hand, I cradled our own gold padlock. The etched metal, announced the names of our three newest children and the date of their adoption. We then hooked our padlock on to a string of locks once hung by adoptive families’ only days, weeks, and years before.

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It is true, many new and adoptive parents have also come to embrace this marital tradition as their own. We want to celebrate the creation and new birth within our families. We want to celebrate the binding together of our hearts and the kind of unity that is a gift from God alone. We want to celebrate the miraculous infusion of God’s design into our lives and His greatest plan for us. What better way for us to also display our birth announcements?

When I placed the lock keys into our daughters and sons’ tiny hands on the bridge–they didn’t understand what we were about to do. They were eager yet unsure of the reason behind tossing them into the murky river below. I’m proud of their courage to let those keys go. We as their parents, now look forward to our lifetimes together as a family and assuring them that they are ours, and that our love is now locked together forever.

*Please check out and follow my Face Book page–Kelly McManus Writer! I will be posting our key launching video today!