Monday, March 5, 2012

on the naming of babes


I've been pretty obsessed with names since I was little.  I was that twelve year old girl checking out the baby name book from the library because I was making lists of names that I liked for two very distinct purposes.  First off, I love lists, so of course I needed a list of names I liked.  Secondly, I need names for the characters in my numerous stories.

Despite my numerous lists of names none of my children's names were on those lists.  I take that back.  They were on the lists of names I liked, they just weren't in the top ten.  As I discuss this please don't get offended if your child is named a name that I say I don't like.  It's not that I don't like the name, I just knew it wasn't the name God intended for my child.  I think names are so important and it is amazing to me to think that God knew my name long before my parents chose it for me and that the same goes for my children.  God knew their names long before I had decided what they would be.


Zahara was originally going to be Sienna.  Then we saw the name Sienna on a tabloid and it also means "reddish brown" which didn't really move me.  While we stood in line at Wal-mart debating the name Sienna we saw the name Zahara on the same tabloid.  Yes, it is the name of Angelina Jolie's little girl.  We resigned ourselves to the fact that our daughter's name was a semi-famous one and from that point on she was Zahara.  We thought we would name her Zahara Grace, but at the last minute changed it.  It still starts with a G, but it isn't Grace.  Fun fact: for her second birthday my grandmother still put Zahara Grace on the cake.  LOL.  Zahara is Arabic/Swahili for white-skinned/flower-like, brightness.  My mom was a missionary in Ethiopia when she found out she was pregnant with me so I liked the Swahili reference and we liked the flower and brightness reference. 
Roman's story is a little more interesting.  Paul is a die-hard Italian.  His family is actually more German, but that's besides the point.  Anyways, he liked the name Guido.  Guido...I really couldn't wrap my mind around a baby named Guido.  I pointed out that while Paul and I have dark hair, we both have little brothers who have blonde hair and light eyes.  What if this baby ended up like that?  So, I kind of refused to name him Guido.  Instead we narrowed it down to the names Duke and Roman.  Since our best friends' dog was named Duke, Roman won out.  I liked the name Gabriel, but that got blown out of the water faster than you can say, "Battleship."  Later we got a cat named Guido and and black lab named Gabe.  It's all about compromise.  We went super-deep with Roman--it means citizen of Rome.  

Viviana was named Cadence up until she was born.  After the whole Guido debacle of 2007 I was thrilled when Paul suggested a semi-normal name for our third child so I automatically said I was okay with it thinking he would change his mind later.  We are notorious for changing our minds.  Basically, if we say "We chose this name ____" you can guarantee that won't be the baby's name.  We were completely discharged by the time we chose Viviana.  My favorite baby name book has lists of ethnic names and Viviana was on there.  We liked the names Evie, Eva, Maria, Anna, Annamaria, and Evangeline.  Viviana Maria kind of melded all of those together and we fell in love with the name.  For the record, you pronounce it Viv-eee-on-a and yes I call her Anne-a.  Does that make sense?  Her name means one who is full of life, vibrant; and she lives up to that name!

Oh goodness, Isabella.  The fact that I have a daughter named Isabella makes me laugh.  When I was pregnant with Viviana I picked the name Emmett if it she was a boy.  It was shot down because it was a character in the Twilight novels.  I know, I know, then I go on to name my daughter the name of the lead character in that series.  Ironic.  However, after all of our struggles with Isabella's pregnancy I love that her name means "consecrated to God".  I pray that it would ring true in her life.  Isabella was also the first time that we kept the name a secret.

How did you name your children?
Did you name them names that you'd always liked or were their names a compromise?
I'd love to hear the "why's" of your baby-naming!


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