Wednesday, March 07, 2007

What's in a Name

So what's in a name anyway? Well, a lot, I suppose. I recall, when I was younger, I found a baby book and looked up the meaning of the names of everyone that I knew, including my own. Courtney...which was derived from the English and bore the meaning "from the Court", whatever that means. I recently looked it up again and found it to mean "courteous" from the French and, better yet, "a short nose" from the Dutch. Hmmm, well not the most exciting, but I'll take it as it is somewhat reflective of whom I am.

When we began pondering names for our daughter-to-be, I thought of many a boy name but not too many female names. I've always been drawn toward Hebrew names, for some reason. I'd always liked the name Eliza (Elyza), which I was introduced to in college, and so determined that it may be a suitable name one day if I ever had a daughter.

When we first decided to adopt, I felt strongly that we should give this child, who at the time wasn't even born yet, a name -- most significantly, to represent a tangible permanence in our life. This child, who most likely will be
named by her orphanage (a name we will also keep), needed to also be
named by her beloved, soon-to-be forever family. So, nearly 2 years
ago, we decided upon Elyza Ruby. Ruby after my grandmother and Elyza for no other reason than we just liked it.

After announcing that we'd be adopting a child from China who'd we come to know as Elyza Ruby Chinese Name Johnson, my friend asked me the meaning of the name and why we'd chosen it. She encouraged me to find the meaning, as she believed it is so very important when naming one's child.

Curious, I looked up the name's meaning and was absolutely floored! The child that we'd (and still are) hoping for, praying for, longing for -- her name meant none other than "God's Oath, His Promise"! After that, it was written in stone and upon our hearts, her name would be Elyza Ruby. The decision to adopt arose from an urging from God that we both felt was how we needed to build our family so this name that we've chosen was all the more special.

Since naming our child I've learned more about the significance of a name. In ancient times, names among the Hebrews was of utmost importance. All Hebrew names were supposed to bear a significance, as originally individual subjects were called by a name expressive of some characteristic, e.g.,Edom, red; Esau, hairy; Jacob, supplanter. They were carefully and solemnly selected, especially personal names. Read Here for more information.

So I relish the fact that this child is divinely promised -- for her name is Elyza, our precious gift, and I look forward to the day that we can explain the significance of her name and, more importantly, her life that has been promised to us.

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