Saturday, May 24, 2008

What's in a name?

So it occurs to me that now that I've shared the story of why we've chosen to adopt, that it's really is going to be awhile before I have any other adoption news to report! So I guess in the meantime you'll get random stories and probably some of my photography.

Today is a random story day. :) Here's the story of the name we've chosen for our daughter.

Let me start out by saying that I'm an advanced planner. Probably too much so in some cases! I don't like surprises in my life, so I try to plan things out way in advance. That generally doesn't work out for me, but it doesn't stop me from trying!

So when we got married almost 11 years ago, I started picking out baby names. We weren't even planning on having children for a few years, but it's never too early to start planning these things, right? The name that I thought I loved more than anything was Emily. I decided that whenever it happened, our first daughter would be Emily.

Fast forward a few years and I was pregnant with Josh. For the first four months of my pregnancy we called my stomach Emily until an ultrasound informed us that our son probably wouldn't appreciate that name.

Three years later I was pregnant again. I'm sure Matthew didn't enjoy being called Emily anymore than Josh did.

So here we are, we're having a girl, and I'm finally getting my Emily, right?! Well of course not, I already told you that my advanced planning rarely works out the way I think it's going to!

When we first decided that we were adopting a girl, we of course referred to her as Emily for the first little while. Then one day Shawn was going through some papers and came across some family history. We were sitting at the kitchen table and Shawn decided to read me the history of his great-great grandmother Clarissa. For those of you who are interested in the history of the LDS church, you'd probably find it interesting, and for the rest of you maybe not so much. But it's a wonderful story of a really strong, determined woman who went through a lot of trying times and did what she had to do to protect her family and give them a better life.

There was something about her story that just really spoke to my heart. Most of the family histories I read are full of stories of what perfect examples of pioneer spirit the people were, and as much as I love those, Clarissa's story was not so much that way. She was stubborn, she complained, she wasn't perfect, but she came out on top anyway. I think it was the stubbornness that endeared me to her. She's a woman I can relate to. :)

Anyway, Shawn was sitting there reading the history and I was thoroughly enjoying it when suddenly I commented on what a pretty name Clarissa was. WOW-there was the moment. I looked at Shawn and Shawn looked at me and there it was. Our baby's name wasn't Emily, it was Clarissa. Emily is a beautiful name that I love, but there's not any sort of story behind it other than that it's the name I love. Clarissa is the name that I love that has so much wonderful family history behind it. What better way to welcome our adopted child into our family than to give her a family name?

So Clarissa it is. We're probably never going to get our Emily, but I'm OK with that. I know that Clarissa is waiting to join our family and I couldn't be more excited to meet her.

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