Like all the other parts of her story, this isn't just about a simple name. It's about several pieces of a puzzle that came together to form a picture of a miracle girl whose life was so clearly meant to be.
So what's in a name? Well, a lot. It's hard to name a child. Much harder than I thought it would be. Joel and I had a difficult time agreeing on names. I'm more of a hippy and wanted to name my son something like Jagger August. Joel was more traditional and wanted to name his son something like Timothy John. In the end, for our son we agreed on Milo Andrew. Milo was short for Emilio which is my husband's middle name and his fathers first name. It also had a meaning we loved, Soldier. Andrew was the traditional part of the name that also had roots in both our families along with another powerful meaning, Warrior.
All that to say we both struggled over naming our son, but most important to us was giving our child a strong name of purpose.
The story of how we got our daughters name is quite unique. It actually started when I was pregnant with Milo. Before we had his gender confirmed we both had a feeling he would be a boy. But a week before the ultrasound I had a dream that Joel and I had a baby girl and her name was Ellis, a name I had never heard before. I don't always have dreams I remember but this one I did and it was clear as day. I remember waking up the next morning and telling Joel about the dream.
"Hmmmm" he responded. "Well, what was the name?" I hesitated knowing that we rarely agreed on names. But when I told him the name, Ellis, he said he actually liked it. We decided if the baby ended up being a girl and not a boy this is what we'd name her.
The ultrasound came and revealed we were having a boy. The name, and the dream were soon forgotten. That is until a year and a half later, the night Joel had his stroke after his cancer surgery.
As I was praying for Joel's healing the Lord reminded me of the dream and of the name. He lead me to look up the meaning of her name. I had no idea what it had to do with what I was praying for but decided to do it any way. When I looked up the meaning my jaw dropped.
Her name, Ellis, meant Jehovah is God.
Her Daddy's name Joel, means Jehovah is God.
Their names had the same meaning.
My husband even actually had Jehovah is God tattoo'd on his shoulder many years prior. What are the odds? This was no coincidence.
I shared the story earlier with you all about when Joel was in rehab and how emphatic he was that we would have one more child and it would be a girl.
That day he also reminded me what her name was supposed to be, Ellis.
We chose Claire for a middle name because of the meaning, bright and shinning. We both just knew the purpose of her life was to be a bright shining light.
Throughout my decision of having a baby I went back many times to this dream.
To her name. To the meaning of her name. To the conversation with Joel. It was all weaving together as one to become an incredible little story. One that, by the grace of God, Joel and I got to share together. One that, by the grace of God, I can share with her.
I love that Joel knew his daughter by name before she even came to be. And I love that we got to dream together about the purpose of her life before it even came to pass.
Even though Joel's not here with us, I will always be able to tell her how much he loved her and how he knew her life would come to be. I will be able to tell her what a huge part of our love story she is and the last piece to complete our family.
But most of all I'll be able to tell her how much she was loved. How much she was always wanted. How through some of our darkest hours, the thought of her, kept us pushing forward. And what a miracle her life is in every way.
Your Daddy and I love you so, Ellis Claire.