It’s hard to believe that I am half-way through this pregnancy already! I had my 20 week ultrasound last Friday.
I am amazed at the quality and resolution of ultrasound pictures these days! Hello baby!
As I share pictures with friends, I’m having a lot of them asking me if we found out the gender of the baby.
The answer is, “no”. We have never found out the gender of our babies through ultrasound. The only time I ever regret this decision is when I visit a garage sale that has, say, an entire rack full of adorable baby girl dresses in near-perfect condition for $1 each. (I resist the temptation to buy them anyway).
We much prefer the surprise–not just for us, but for other people, too. Somehow, I feel, the excitement gets lost when the whole world knows the baby’s gender and name four months before he or she is born.
But maybe that’s just me.
One thing we don’t wait until the last minute for is to choose names for the baby. Although we generally don’t share them with others until we’re announcing the birth, we do ponder the decision frequently and, usually, make a choice well before baby’s birth date.
I have been particularly fascinated with nomenclature ever since I was a young girl. Whenever my family and I would walk into a bookstore, I would head straight for the stacks of baby-naming books to see if I could find my name in any of them. I usually didn’t. When I did, I encountered a variety of meanings. Some books declared that Tiana meant “fairy queen” in Russian. Others said it meant “beautiful” in Chinese. Still others gave it a Greek origin, and a meaning of “princess”.
While my name is gaining popularity (no thanks to a certain Disney character), today’s baby name books now tell me that my name is a completely made-up name of American origin, with no meaning whatsoever. Nice.
Try telling that to my parents, who named me after Tsar Nicholas II of Russia’s daughter, Grand Dutchess Tatiana Nikolaievna, (remember the legendary Anastasia? Her older sister.) They figured, probably correctly, that it was a little long for an American girl, and so “Tiana” I became.
I have recently learned that Sam Houston’s second wife was a Cherokee woman named Tiana Rogers. While she doesn’t seem to be as noble of a namesake as the Grand Dutchess, it is intriguing to me, since I have a Native American heritage that I know very little about.
Having spent almost my entire life pondering my name and its meaning, I have come to take the process of naming babies very seriously. An ordinary or trendy, “everybody’s doing it” sort of name won’t do, but neither will a completely newfangled, nouveau, totally-made-up name.
We want our children’s names to give them a sense of identity, a great meaning, and a strong, honorable namesake.
So, we’ve turned to the Bible.
Picking baby names sends me to parts of the Scriptures that I might otherwise neglect–lists of names in Numbers and Nehemiah. Obscure, passing references to godly people in the books of 1 and 2 Kings, or at the ends of the epistles. While I have yet to choose a name off of one of these lists, reading these passages reminds me that God’s redemptive history has included many more people than the “major players”. Multi-generational faithfulness necessarily involves many generations of people who are called according to His purpose.
Over the next week, I’d like to share the story of how we chose the names of our first three children, and maybe even some of the thought processes we are going through as we seek God’s wisdom in naming this fourth child.
How did you choose your children’s names?