The story of her name…


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I’ve been mulling over this post for a while now… wanting to share a bit about our daughter’s name, and our story of this year.  (It’s a bit long…that’s your warning!)

I’ve been thinking about this time one year ago…the day that I found out that month and months of waiting had finally turned from sadness and disappointment to joy.

We were at my parent’s house when we found out that we were expecting…in fact, it was Christmas Eve morning. I had rushed to the drugstore to buy a test before the day got started, and when that test blinked “Pregnant” it was so surreal.

I surprised Daniel by wrapping up the test and gifting it to him when we were alone -just the two of us sharing the joy together at first. The next morning we surprised the rest of my family (yes, even though we had JUST found out the day before).

Leading up to this day, there had been months and months of waiting. Almost 9 months. Our infertility waiting was much shorter than some. I realize this acutely. This didn’t mean that it was less painful or disappointing.

We had gotten pregnant with our son only 2 months after getting married. So, obviously, a nine month wait was totally unexpected. I learned a lot about how out of control some things are…even things (like infertility) that you try to avoid. Close friends prayed had for me, and they were some of my favorite people to tell the news of our expected arrival!

Soon after our son had turned 1, I had mentioned the name “Adria” to Dan as a name I liked, and to get his opinion. I had texted him, and He liked it pretty much right away. From then on it was basically decided that if we ever had a girl, that would be her first name. There are a LOT of girls names we like. Adria was at the top of the list.

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The first months of my pregnancy with our daughter were filled with a sickness that a lot of women experience. It left my body with nausea from noon through the evening past bedtime. It wasn’t fun, and it wasn’t how my body had handled pregnancy with our son. This was different, and I was further convinced by it that we were having a girl.

I say “further convinced” because both Dan and I had specifically prayed together for a daughter, and I had also felt that God had heard me, and it was going to be ok. My confidence wavered a bit as we neared the ultrasound as I had felt so certain, I wanted to be prepared if it was a boy. I wanted to be ok with that too.

So, when the ultrasound tech told us that it was a little girl, I looked at Dan (who had never wavered in his surety that it was a girl) and told him that he was, indeed, correct. Our girl was on her way.

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Once we made it through the first trimester, the nausea got much better, and I had a fabulous pregnancy. I know, every pregnancy is different, but seriously…it was the best it could have been! I was exercising, eating healthfully (for the most part) and gained much less weight than the first time around.

As we talked about our daughter, we even more firmly settled on Adria’s name. Matching a middle name to a first name is a little complicated for a couple of reasons, but we had a couple of good options. Elizabeth (a name I love) seemed to stick, and when we finally decided on that name (though we hadn’t firmly decided on spelling until right before her birth), I felt relieved. (I’m a planner).

Names mean a LOT to me. The name meaning means so much because I see how God uses that name meaning in the person’s life.

Adria means “Dark.”

Besides our girl having a darker complexion like her daddy, I’ve thought about how the year leading up to her birth and these months afterward tended toward darkness, and learning to trust God in that darkness. It has involved a lot of not being able to see clearly, or see what the next step will be or when it is coming. It has involved a lot of waiting, a lot of unknowns. We’ve grown a lot in the darkness of this year. We have learned more about not being in control of results.

When we decided on “Elizabeth” I was thrilled when I looked up the meaning and saw that it can mean “God worshipper”.

God calls us to worship him, and we want our daughter to be a “God worshipper”. The story of the biblical Elizabeth is filled with the essence of God’s promise, and his people believing that He would do what He had said…even when it felt unknown and impossible. Elizabeth believed God. My story (though obviously different) felt similar, and I resonated with feeling barren and belief in God.

The two names, “Dark” and “God worshipper” connect in way that touches my heart.

God has called us to worship Him in the dark. He calls us to worship Him when we can’t see, when we cannot guarantee an outcome, and when we are not in control of the results. He calls us to trust Him.

We’ve learned a lot about that this year.

This time of year asks us to think about the darkness that cloaks the incarnation…the unknowns that Mary, mother of Jesus, and Joseph were asked to live through, the darkness surrounding the shepherds shattered by the bright light and brighter joy of good news. So many people in those beginning chapters of Luke were asked to worship God…yes, even in the dark.

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