18 October 2013

Naming a baby...

"D/O" = "Daughter of." No one ever asks the name of the baby in the hospital. Interesting, huh?
It's always interesting to me to hear how parents come up with their children's names. You'll very rarely hear that it was super easy to choose or if it was, the reason and meaning behind the name chosen. The why's and how's of getting to just the right one are different for everyone and important to every parent.
We had our "requirements."
1. Had to be an "i" name - the boys were a coincidence. Isaac and Isaiah were our top two boy name choices. But then once we found an I-name for Immanuelle, we couldn't NOT give one to #4. Who wants to be left out??  There are actually LOTS of I-names out there...we just had to find the right one!

2. Couldn't be an adjective or noun because our last name is a noun- "Peace Rivers" (I hear all y'all from my hometown chuckling from here!), Indiana, Rocky, Icy, Blue, Glory, India, Italy, Jordan, etc etc.

3. We tried to find a Malay-word or name-  but the one I LOVED for a girl ended up making a rule of it's own. "Indah" means "Beautiful" in Malay. It's easy to pronounce and doesn't sound TOO foreign. But "Indah Rivers" (ie- "In The Rivers") would never get through childhood and her teenage years without hating us. In case you are in the market for a pretty little girl's name, I highly recommend it. Other contenders were Iskandar- the Arabic form of Alexander and Istana- the Malay word for "Palace/castle."

4. There had to be a family or heritage element- 
Isaac JOSEPH- named after Anthony Joseph and several men on both sides.
Isaiah KINGSTON- Isaiah's birth father's family is from Jamaica where the city of Kingston is the capital.
Immanuelle MARIE- gets her version of "Mary" from Anthony's Mom and Grandma.

 5. There had to be a biblical element- Our faith is an essential and everyday part of our lives.  I don't think a biblical name makes the name more important, but I do love that my kids have all heard a part of their name as we've taught them from the Bible.

6. It couldn't be too popular- Immanuelle and Isabelle. Don't those sound lovely together? Isabelle is popular for a reason...it's a gorgeous name. And "Isa" is Arabic for Jesus and "Belle/bella" is "beautiful" in French. "Beautiful Jesus." It was hard walking away from that one, but I just couldn't let her be Isabelle #12 in her class. Plus, she has a cousin with that name.

When all was said and done, here's why we chose our daughter's name...

* First, there were no (normal-sounding) little girl names starting with "i" left in the Bible. We checked.

* Second, before she was even conceived, we had joked if #4 was a girl we could call her Ivy because the Roman numeral for 4 is "IV." That's how we roll. History jokes. So in a way, it started as a nickname.

* Third. Going from the "IV" thing, I thought it would be nice to maybe name i4 after my sister Veronica (who passed away 10 years ago and was also an October baby) if she were a girl. The only problem was finding an I-name that worked with Veronica. VERONICA. It's got presence that's for sure. It's no wallflower of a name. But nothing sounded right with it.  Maybe because we speak English?  If we spoke Spanish or Italian the names we found would sound good together ...say these with your best Antonio Banderas voice-
"Idania Veronica"
"Illiana Veronica"
"Isla Veronica"... nice, no?
Now go back and read them again like Susan Serandon, Homer Simpson, or any of the cast from Duck Dynasty. Sounds more like a clucking hen, doesn't it?
So making her initials be I.V. was a no-go. Oh well.

* It should be noted that Ivy is actually a popular name right now in Australia.  Those Aussies. We like 'em and actually run into them a whole lot over here.  Also, because I take care of little people all day (sometimes not showering til mid-afternoon <-- real talk) and don't follow celebrity news, AFTER we had settled on Ivy, I found out Jay Z and Beyonce named their daughter Blue Ivy. {sigh} SO, though it's no Isabella, I have wondered if we have the first of many Ivy's to follow? Immanuelle is used in France regularly...so maybe my girls' names will both keep to their "foreign" country boundaries? Fingers crossed! (or "thumbs tucked!" if you're South African)
* The more we looked for alternatives to Ivy, or fillers for I.V., the more and more we liked the name Ivy itself. It's got spunk in an earthy sort of way.  Once we paired it with her middle name, it was the winner.

* My Great Grandmother was Rachel Louise (Louise has already been taken by another cousin). I actually have lots of memories of my Great Grandmother and am thankful to have known that generation of my family. She was a classy lady and a gifted musician...maybe our Ivy will inherit that gene!?

* My Grandmother is Rachel Ernestine. Neither of us were too keen on the Ernestine part...but love that the Rachel is repeated in her name. Grandmother has been a huge influence in my life.  If I ever write a novel, she will be a character in it.  I am so glad to get to honor her by naming one of her Great Granddaughters after her. It's a privilege indeed. Our first 3 phone calls from the delivery room to announce her arrival were Anthony's Mom, my sister, and Grandmother. "Oh, I'm so tickled y'all would name her that!" was every bit the response I wanted to hear.

* Rachel is also a biblical name and her story is told in the book of Genesis in the Bible.  It's quite the soap opera...but I love that aspect!  That the Lord works in our lives for His glory despite our shortcomings and circumstances.  She was the favorite wife of Jacob, Mother of Joseph. She was beautiful enough that Jacob considered her hand in marriage worthy of 14 years of labor working for Rachel's dad, the price named for her betrothal.  The name means "Lamb" which is a lovely nod forward to Jesus who is known as the "Lamb of God" who takes away the sins of the world.

So there you have it. Our Ivy Rachel.


  1. Great story. Love her name. And that is a great family photo!

  2. She is beautiful and so is her name! I think it suits her so perfectly.

  3. SHE makes her name precious!! We love her and her family dearly!

  4. Love the story! Ivy Rachel is a beautiful name for a beautiful baby girl! Congratulations!!

  5. Thanks for sharing how you named her :) Very neat! Great family pic and we look forward to seeing you guys sometime in Polk County ;)

  6. love the story behind it. I'm a sucker for name stories!!
    and the picture of big brother Isaiah and Ivy is PER.FEC.TION. Framer right there.