Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What's In A Name?

Well, we have made a very important decision. We have officially named our baby boy. We really toiled over this decision. And lots of you weighed in on the choice to keep Haven or ditch it. Some of you offered other names you thought might fit the bill. It is really pretty funny what strong reactions baby names can bring out in people. As a teacher, I have a whole slew of names that have been ruined for me because they belonged to students with less than pleasant personalities or they have been so over-used. I guess this is probably true for all of you, as well. Every bad experience you have had with a person in your life, every ex-boyfriend or crummy boss, all equals a name you would not give your children. So you finally come up with a list of maybe names and then you have to run it by your spouse. He has also got names that he will ax because of his experiences. So the list gets smaller. You don't want to choose a name from the top 20 most popular, at least I didn't. I'm afraid that Grace is going to have that trouble. She'll be one of a dozen Grace's in her kindergarten class. We gave some thought to family names. Grace is named after my grandmother. But the male names in my family tree were things like "Ira" and "Vito". They didn't have the ring we were looking for. You probably also give some thought to name meanings and ultimately that is what clinched it for me.

So drumroll please...Our baby boy's name will be Haven Innocent. As most of you know, Haven is the name that we picked out a few years ago for the baby we thought would be Grace's sister. We thought it could still work as a boys name and in doing a bit of name research this week, we discovered that Haven is actually considered a boys name. The meaning, of course, is "a place of safety or shelter". And that is what makes it a perfect fit for our boy. His mother took him to a safe haven in order to save his life and we will be able to provide him with the safe haven of a new family! Innocent is his birth name. We will keep it as his middle name as a tribute to his birthmother and his country of origin. In the context of his birth story, the name Haven Innocent is not just another name, it feels like it was divinely inspired. God has his hand on this adoption.

And so I get to keep my blog because in my house there will be an "Amazing Grace and a Safe Haven". And here he is. The long awaited photograph. We are absolutely in love. Look at those beautiful eyes and eyelashes. And the lovely long fingers. A friend said she thought he would be a basketball player, but I think a piano player like his Daddy Brian. This is the only picture we have so far and still very little detail about anything else. Apparently, everytime our lawyer or Pastor Loma, Haven's foster parent get in contact with us, they have to go to an Internet cafe and pay to send us emails. There are so many things we take for granted in our lives! We had our first court date on Monday and we don't know how it went yet. Hope we get an email soon!

Update #1: So I didn't want to have to retype the whole post, but we just found out that we have to change Haven's middle name. Something about having to have a Congolese surname for the purposes of adoption paperwork. So we have decided on Haven Loma. Our lawyer in DRC recommended it. Pastor Loma is Haven's foster parent so it seemed a fitting name. Not sure if we will keep it after we bring him home or not. We can change it again when we apply for his Certificate of Citizenship.

Update #2: Last week Haven was diagnosed with malaria. He has been seen by a doctor already and is being treated with medication, but please, please pray for his health. Malaria can be treated, but the symptoms sound like you are having a horrible case of the flu. Haven is so young to be attacked by such a painful illness so I worry about stress on his little body. The real danger from malaria, especially in 3rd world countries is dehydration because of no access to clean water. But God has placed him in a good place for now. In Pastor Loma's home he will get all the treatment, food, and water that he needs. But he can use all your prayers to bring him home soon.

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