“Do you have a name for her?”
I’ve been dealing with this question for months now, and I am glad we have finally settled on it.
Girl names have been hard for us. It took us until a week before Adele was born to settle on hers, and even then, we didn’t share it until we were sure we wouldn’t change our minds – which was when we saw her. Adele is a family name, named after her great-great-grandmother on the Van Sciver side of the family. Her middle name, Joy, is a family name on my side – shared with her great-grandmother, aunt, and cousin.
Arthur’s name came pretty easily for us. We knew we would name our firstborn son after his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. You can read more about his name from a post I wrote shortly after we found out his diagnosis here.
We gave our first two children meaningful family names, and we wanted to have something special for this girl. But going through the family trees, nothing was sticking out for us, and as I poured over thousands of names on lists online, there were few that even seemed like distant options. In my reading of the Bible over the years, there are instances of parents naming their children based on the circumstances of their life at the time (for example, Leah in Genesis 29). For us, this girl’s name was born out of the journey we just walked through with her brother.
In this past year, we have learned more about this virtue than we ever have before. We just had to. It’s all we had left when our world came crumbling down with the news of our precious son having a condition that was fatal and could not be fixed. Jesus, the one who we follow, has given us the hope of heaven with him. “We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf…” (Hebrews 6:19-20 ESV)
One of the most influential Christian women of the modern age, Elisabeth Elliot, is where we chose this name from. During the months of carrying Arthur, I read her book, “A Path Through Suffering: Discovering The Relationship Between God’s Mercy And Our Pain”. She wrestles with the pain she experienced with the truth of God’s Word, and it brought great encouragement to my soul during such a dark time. No stranger to suffering herself, she offers a helpful perspective of why we can trust God even in the hardest things of life.
We pray that this little girl will cling to the hope that is offered her in Jesus, and that no matter what this life brings her, she would be confident in her God’s goodness to her.
We love you so much already, Miss Hope Elisabeth Van Sciver. It’s a privilege to be your parents, sweet girl.