Picking Names.

This year {or actually…last year I guess} Chris & I decided not to buy gifts for Christmas. For anyone. It was no easy feat for a girl who loves to give presents, but we did enjoy the savings we were able to sock away & definitely had less stress to deal with.

Buuuut I really wanted to give our immediate families a “gift from the heart”…something special to help them connect with our adoption process in a more personal way. I wanted to give them our *hopeful* baby names.

Somewhere toward the beginning of our journey, I had read {from several different sources} of people choosing baby names before they had children so that they could pray over the child in a more specific way. It struck my heart as something I would like to do, and I felt God confirming it as I messaged with an old friend who had done the same thing & talked about my idea with Chris.

{The preface here is that we know there are a lot of variables involved…and that there is a possibility we won’t get to keep these names. I’ve joked that we’ll get to our orientation at the agency & they’ll say something about not ‘buying a crib or picking names’… in which case Chris & I will just have to shrug & wink at each other. So needless to say, we’re holding onto the names loosely…}

Choosing the names themselves ended up being almost comical…Chris & I can come from two different planets sometimes, and baby names were no exception. I feel like I read at least a thousand names…and there just weren’t many we could agree on wanting. At one point Chris was looking up Viking names…I mean, come on.

We found a boy name that we both agreed on, so we decided to sit on it for a few days & feel it out. During that time Chris thought of a different name that he liked more. A good, solid biblical name. As I thought about the new name, I could see parallels between it and what God is calling us to do, so I liked that added layer of meaning.

But as Christmas drew closer, we were still stuck on a girl name. One day I came across one that had appeared on lists many times before…we might have even talked about it at one point…but I decided to throw it out again just for kicks. When I suggested it to Chris, he immediately said “Oh yeah, I like that. I could call her _____.” I had been waiting for him to really connect with a girl name, so that seemed like a good sign. I went and did a little more research on the name, and when I saw it’s meaning it sealed the deal for me.

So it was settled.

I made little photo prayer albums with the boy name on one cover and the girl name on the other {typed in really cute fonts, which made the names even more adorable!}, and filled the pages inside with prayer starters for different aspects of the adoption. We wrapped them up in sweet little boxes & excitedly packed them in the car to deliver on our Christmas trips.

Chris was so cute when we gave them to our families…he was so excited for everyone to open them up & see the names we had chosen. It was a special time to see everyone’s reactions…a few little sniffles, lots of smiles & hugs…repeating the names…watching as each person connected in a new way with this experience. We loved it.

My dad always says that to test a name, especially a boy name, you’ve got to go to the baseball field and shout it out…see how it feels. We didn’t go to the field, but we did test it out…and it definitely works. 😉

{Another really sweet moment was when my Dad thought of the same girl nickname that Chris had thought of…they do share a brain wavelength every once in a while! Hehe…}

We’re not sharing the names with anyone else right now…just praying over them & dreaming a little. Giving them for Christmas gave us sweet memories that I’ll always cherish…{and at least now we won’t have to rush into picking a name once we’ve got a sweet little one in our arms!}

Blessed am I.

***********************************************************************

After Christmas, I read these quotes in “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp. I thought they were pretty spot on, and helped me understand part of why I felt a desire to choose names at this point in the process…

{Naming is Edenic. I name gifts and go back to the Garden and God in the beginning who first speaks a name and lets what is come into existence. This naming is how the first emptiness of space fills: the naming of light and land and sky. The first man’s first task is to name. Adam completes creation with his Maker through the act of naming creatures, releasing the land from chaos, from the teeming, indefinable mass. I am seeing it too, in the journal, in the face of the Farmer: naming offers the gift of recognition.}

{Now, in the Bible a name … reveals the very essence of a thing, or rather its essence as God’s gift … To name a thing is to manifest the meaning and value God gave it, to know it as coming from God and to know its place and function within the cosmos created by God. To name a thing, in other words, is to bless God for it and in  it.  ~ Alexander Schmemann}

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