Monday, April 23, 2012

Named: Ava Joy

I just realized I never shared the story of how Ava Joy was named. (See Anna's naming story here, here, and here. JohnAndrew's naming story is buried here.)

To be honest, Ava Joy's name was "leftover" from our girl's choice when I was pregnant with JohnAndrew.

Well, mostly.

When we were talking about names, we were having such a difficult time deciding on a first name. Since John's mother and my grandmother are named Elaine (and the name is a middle name in other family members), we were pretty sure we would use that as the "family" name component, and that it would be the middle name. Although John did try to get me to use it for a first name so that he could call the baby "E". Ummm, no.

We went back and forth on a lot of "A" names, and our baby name book was getting pretty worn. Then, one day when we were watching The Princess and the Frog with the girls, it hit me.

Source

"My girl? Ho ho ho…That’s Evangeline. She the most prettiest firefly ever did glow. You know I talk to Evangeline ‘most every night. She’s kind of shy, don’t say much, and I know in my heart some day we’re gonna be together..."

I sneaked into the bedroom where John was working on his computer and proposed the idea, and there you had it... we had a name! Avangeline Elaine.

Fast forward almost a year and a half. We pulled out Avangeline Elaine from the reserves when we found out we were expecting #4. And we were totally okay with that name for most of our pregnancy. But then, just a few weeks before I was due, I felt like something was missing... that something was wrong.

Now, at the risk of offending my mother-in-law, I am going to be completely honest with you. While we were excited to use the family name "Elaine", it certainly carried connotations with it. I love my mother-in-law dearly, but she is a bit... um, how do you say it... negative, pessimistic, glass-half-empty, not likely to look on the sunny side of life.

I believe names have meaning. The name itself, yes... but also the associations. My grandmother and my husband's mother are strong women who I am proud to have my daughter named after. But I couldn't shake that negativity.

And so, Joy.

Yes, Avangeline Elaine Joy.

To be honest, when we decided to add the third name, we didn't plan to "use" it. We thought maybe Ava or Angel for a nickname. (Well, I thought that. John still wanted to call her "E.")

But then we saw her.

Ava Joy, 30 hours old


And how could she be anything other than Ava Joy?

One of the coolest things is that Avangeline is based in the Greek word evangel, meaning good news or bearer of good news. Elaine, from the Greek, means bright light.  And Joy.

My Ava Joy. May she bring the good news of the joy found in the Light of the World.

1 comment:

Eryka said...

Aww! That's a great story! And an adorable little peanut she is too!

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