What's in a name?

Friday, July 8, 2011


While Tony and I decided to withhold our name choice, as well as options, most friends and family knew that our short list would be limited to names of Biblibal, Hebrew or Jewish nature. My brothers and I were named this way, and Tony and I decided to do the same when naming Isaac. That being said, we really didn't anticipate anyone guessing our names.

The criteria for a name to be added to the list was: Biblical, not too popular, not too trendy, sounded well paired with Isaac and a positive meaning. Our longer list was a rehash of several names we considered for Isaac, but our short short list of 3 this time only included one recycled name, which was the name we picked over when naming Isaac. Ezra was not even in the running when naming Isaac and to be honest, I'm not sure how it ended up on the list. It just did.

Unlike with Isaac, we started to call Baby Love by name at home with Isaac. After several wishy washy conversations with Tony, I started with Ezra. It sounded odd at first when Tony used it, but was softened by baby Ezra. This is how we referred to him for several months with Isaac and before long, Isaac was saying it without difficulty when prompted.

We found ourselves in quite the predicament though when Isaac became amazingly articulate at saying baby Ezra unprompted, especially when paired with my persistent Dad and inlaws who were bent on finding out the baby's name through manipulating Isaac. There were several times we had to cover Isaac's mouth, because he would point blank be asked "What's the baby's name?" and he was all too happy to share!

This did make for a hilarious situation at my Mom's one night while working on the quilt. For several months we'd told Isaac about his upcoming birthday, after his birthday passed we told him that Tony's was next and would be followed by Ezra's. For a few weeks leading up to Tony's birthday, Isaac would sing happy birthday Daddy randomly throughout the day. And you guessed it, following Tony's birthday, leading up to Ezra's unknown arrival Isaac changed the tune to happy birthday baby Ezra.

So Isaac, my Mom and I are in the kitchen and sure enough Isaac starts to sing "Happy birthday, happy birthday, happy birthday," but on repeat without stating who. My Mom knew the potential to hear the name, so she left the room just as Isaac started to say baby Ezra, so I started to sing "La, La, La" over him. Total fail, because of course, what does my toddler do? He thought it incredibly hilarious and started to sing loudly over me! So there we are singing our hearts out, trying to drown the other out with my Mom in the living room turning Wheel of Fortune to a deafening level so that she can't hear either of us! Absolutely one of my most favorite memories of this pregnancy.

Tony and I felt about 90% sure on the name, just as we did when heading to the hospital for Isaac, only to change our minds. Due to this, even on the drive in we were discussing names and whether Ezra was really set. I was completely open to naming Baby Love something else and threw out several names, because I truly believe that a name fits a child and prayed that we would know. We both expressed a small concern that Isaac would be confused if his brother were anyone other than Ezra, but not enough that it would stop us from changing the name.

Also unlike with Isaac, in which we waited a good 5 minutes or so before naming him [which was a conversations Tony started], within seconds of holding Ezra I just exclaimed to Tony that he was Ezra. There was no other name for him. My beloved son.

Now we knew that people would either love it or hate it. And I have no issue with those who can't understand our decision, none whatsoever. Hearing the "Oh!"'s in response have subtly thickened my skin, but I know that it is the right name for our boy.

My sweet Ezra John.

Ezra meaning "helper" or "aid."

John meaning "God is gracious" and is also Tony's maternal Grandpa's first name and Tony's middle name.

We can't wait to see what the Lord has planned for you!


Molly said...

I love love love it! I think it's such a beautiful name and I can understand about the inner-turmoil of naming your child! It is a huge responsibility. And they will have it forever!

Landon was already made up in my mind even before I knew it was a boy. Brigham was a bit harder decision. I wanted a name that sounded strong, unique but could not be mispronounced. Like you, when he was born we knew he was Brigham and that was that! However, people do mispronounce his name anyway or I'm asked if I'm morman, which I'm not. ;)

Amber said...

I love your blog, Leah! Congratulations on your beautiful family. I have been reading for a few months now. Baby Ezra is adorable, and Isaac reminds me of my son, who is 18 months. We had the same reactions from people's "Oh's" when we would tell them Lincoln's name. But we love it and it suits him. Enjoy every second with your boys, which I know you will!!

Schmei said...

Sometimes I think people will act surprised/disappointed no matter what. I love Ezra's name, and I'm not sure how, but he looks like an Ezra. :-)

We're struggling with choosing a name, ourselves. It's a weighty responsibility!

Lindsay said...

I love the name Ezra! It's very handsome and pairs well with Isaac. I'm baby name obsessed and I can truly say - good job!

Randine said...

I personally, love the name Ezra! Loves it :)

AJ said...

I think Ezra is a perfect name for him. And it goes so well with Isaac.

I'm glad you don't let the comments bother you. There are other names out there that are so, well, you know. Ezra has history. It's not made up. It will grow with him. It's all good.

L.C.C. said...

Beautiful beautiful beautiful! :D

Anonymous said...

Love the story behind his name. And I think it's a perfect name. Biblical and not popular are our two criteria, so Ezra is just my style!

Jenifer said...

Love it Leah. I totally can see Isaac singing in competion with you, so funny. Ian would do the same. His name is beautiful Leah and so are you and your family. My Husband loved the photos we were in awe of them really. Ah, how I wish we had taken newborn photos. Next time for sure.

Meredith said...

I wouldn't ever have thought of Ezra, but I really like it!

Linnea said...

So beautiful! I love that you've named your son with confidence. Welcome to the world, baby Ezra! May you grow up in the godly ways of your namesake.

Julie S. said...

Ezra is a name I would have NEVER thought of, but it is so cute! And pairs perfectly with Isaac. :) I love it and the meaning behind it.

I also love the story about the singing! That is TOO funny!

Newlywed Next Door said...

I love biblical names too. Not sure I'll pick a biblical name for my future kid(s) or not.

My name is not biblical but my husband's and all his brothers names are. They are Jonathan, David, Samuel, and Elijah. :)

Sarah Louise said...

I LOVE the name Ezra! When Jared and I have children I hopt to at least name our son(s) with biblical names.


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