Wednesday, July 4, 2012

What's in a name...

I remember when I was pregnant with Lucy, one of the first things people would ask (and I'm the same way!) was, "Do you have a name picked out?" It was always funny to me how people had no problem at all letting me know how they really felt about the name we had chosen. Whether through actual words or just a mere facial expression, it was evident how people really felt. No one was probably quite as vocal about their true feelings as my father was though! I remember one of my last phone conversations with him, he said "Well, I don't really care what you name her, because I'm still going to call her Lucy!":-) After my father passed away, there was no question that our little girl needed to have the name that her Pappy knew her by, so on November 1st, 2007, we said hello to our precious baby girl, Lucy Shea. After a rollercoaster year--DH being diagnosed with cancer, being blessed with a pregnancy we were told was unlikely for us to be able to have, the sudden death of my father, and then the birth of our beautiful daughter--we were able to close out a year full of many dark moments by welcoming a true light at the end of the tunnel. You see, the name "Lucy" means "bringer of light," and from the moment she was born, our Lucy Shea has truly lived up to her name of shining light into the lives of everyone she comes in contact with.

I say all of that to lead up to how we came up with the name for our son...

(Wow...our still just amazes me and fills my heart with so many emotions that I get to type those words!)

We had a few names picked out that we really loved. (Come on girls, you know the drill: when you are TTC, you keep a sheet of paper with all your favorite names written down, right? Well, I definitely had a few of those on hand from the past several years!) Lucy had been praying for "Chuck" for months, so we began to think baby brother's name was going to be Charlie. But after thinking more about it, Charlie just didn't seem to fit. I'm not exactly sure how the name Gabriel first came to mind, but when we thought of it and I looked up the meaning, I fell in love with it. The name Gabriel means, "My God is my might," and the name Paul means "little one." (We really wanted to use the name Paul because I'm named after my mother who is named after her father, so I really wanted to keep that name in the family. Also, our daughter shares a name with her Daddy-Shea-so I thought it would be special for me to share a name with our son.) As we looked at our adoption journey, it was so evident of the power and might of our amazing God being weaved through all of the pages of our adoption story. Throughout our struggle TTC, my journal has been filled with many thoughts of total helplessness. There was nothing I could do to change the situation-it was all out of my control. But God reminded me how "when I am weak, then I am strong," (2 Cor. 12:10) because the weaker I realize I am, the more I am able to realize God's power, and what a blessing it is when we get to see our Lord at work!

The other thing I love about the name Gabriel is I immediately think of the angel Gabriel in the Bible. He is one of only two angels mentioned in the Bible, and get this--the other one's name is Michael! He is mentioned several different times, but two of those times really stuck out to me: Gabriel came to announce the birth of John the Baptist to his father, and Gabriel came to announce the birth of Jesus to Mary. He came bearing such good news-the BIRTH of two very important people, and the coming of both John the Baptist and Jesus was certainly an example of God's power and might in so many ways. And when I think of our little baby boy, I'm filled with a reminder of God's might in our lives, too, and what good news God brought to our family when we heard of our baby boy's coming, and how our son truly feels like an angel that has been brought into our lives.

After Gabriel was born and his birthmother had presented him to us *insert major defining moment in my life...I can't wait to share all of that with ya'll!* after awhile she said, "He really does look like a Gabriel, doesn't he?" And I couldn't agree more!

Then came the day after his birth. I found myself extremely emotional on this particular day, and at one point I was in the room just watching this precious little boy. I was overcome with love for him, but once again in our journey to expand our family, I felt so very powerless, and I realized his lack of control in the situation, too. Here was this beautiful and innocent little boy, so helpless and with no say whatsoever regarding his life. Once again, I had to come to terms with not being able to be in control, but being able to trust the One who was.

So, my dear Gabriel Paul, my prayer for you is that you would always embrace the "little one" that you are. That you would know that though you may be weak, our God is ALWAYS strong, and HE desires to be your might and show His strength through you. I pray you will be a display of His mighty power and that others will draw near to the Lord because of your life and your witness. May you live up to the name you have been given and bring glory to the Name that is above all names, Jesus Christ!


  1. Beautiful :-)

  2. Yes... I have always loved the name Gabriel. It can also mean "strong man of God." When I started writing letters to my future husband, when I was 14, I eventually got tired or writing to a nameless person and started addressing them to "Gabriel," because the meaning of the name is a quality I knew that he would have. So he has always been Gabriel, in my mind. A name is not just a name!