Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Say My Name, Say My Name

Names are important... As a physician in a children's hospital, I see many obscure and even ridiculous names.  It makes me wonder where these names come from.  I enjoyed as a child knowing I was named after a famous actress, but even more than my middle name was from both my Orthodox Jewish maternal great aunt as well as my paternal grandmother and paternal aunt.  I loved knowing it was in honor of someone, regardless of whether I found the name to be "pretty."

As a girl, I always played with the idea of naming my future children....I even forced JT into talking about it early in our marriage when the idea of children were a distant plan.

However, when we received the referral for Tedi, we tried changing his name in our heads.  We lobbed up many names that just did not seem to fit him.   Finally, JT looked up the meaning of the name Tedros, since so many Ethiopian names are intentional and have meaning.  The meaning.... "Gift of God."  At that time, after struggling with infertility, that name seemed perfect.  How could we change the name of the first gift God gave us?  (it was truly funny when we learned he was actually named after an Ethiopian pop star by the same name)

Chernet, however, has a name with an unknown meaning.  We thought about changing his was more uncommon, less easily assimilated in to American culture.  However, Tedi looked at us and said "why would you change the name his Ethiopian mommy gave him"..... it was settled.  After that little jab, I looked back into our paperwork and realized that one of Tedi's older bio siblings also had the name Chernet.  Not coincidence.

Now, finding out I was pregnant, I was actually going to have to name a child. We could not reconcile a girl's name.  However for a boy, JT had always loved the story of Joseph in the Bible....actually both Josephs.. the young boy turned King who followed God's plan and Joseph, the adopted father of Jesus. I liked the name a lot but still tried out others....yet we came back to it.  Then, JT, again, looked up the meaning of the name.... "God will add"  Honestly it was humbling....God had chosen to add to our family in His timing and with his plan.

I wanted this boy to also have a family name.  I wanted it to be a part of me as we decided on my maiden name.  Our son has a name:

Joseph Stewart Henderson

I am not saying that all names have to be so intentional.  I mean, there are names I just like regardless of meaning or such.  But I am happy with our boy's name.  More irony.... the day we found out we were having a boy was also St. Joseph's day in the Catholic Church.  We are not Catholic but one of my very best friends is and she shared this with me..... again, not a coincidence.