Behind the Name: August Isaac

Even before we were pregnant, J and I talked about names for our kids. Honestly, I think we hadn’t even been dating three months when we started talking about names we liked for kids. What can I say, we knew we were meant to be from the beginning. Anyways, there were a few names that we’ve had our eye on to use, and as soon as we found out we were pregnant, names became a hot topic of conversation.

We had all sorts of “rules” for a name: preferably a saint name or a name that could point to a saint, a nod to family, gender-specific and easy to pronounce, maybe a name that pointed to our child’s Mexican (my side) or Italian (his side) or German (both sides) heritage. A boy’s first name was pretty easy to agree on, but we went back and forth on middle names.  A girl’s name was trickier, and it took lots of conversations and compromises to come up with a few names.

When we found out about Baby’s cystic hygroma, we realized Baby needed a name and fast. We knew the rest of the pregnancy could very likely be an uphill road and that there could be other findings in future ultrasounds. In our minds, our Baby needed a name so we could pray and know this child by name. Isaiah 43:1 says “I (the LORD) have called you by name, and you are mine”. In my mind, our Baby deserved the dignity of a name, even if we were never going to hold this baby in our arms or take this baby home. We settled on a boy name and a girl name, and waited until we knew the sex of the baby from the results of the genetic screening.

After we found out Baby no longer had a heartbeat, it changed things. We didn’t have the results of the genetic screening back. But the two names we had chosen didn’t feel quite right. We decided to just stick with the nickname of “Asparagus” and trusted the right name would come along, if at all.

When we found out he was a boy, we went back to our chosen name and decided it no longer seemed to fit this baby. But we still felt a longing to call him by name. Since the nickname for Asparagus had become “Gus”, we looked to names that could have this as a nickname: Augustine, Augustus..? But neither seemed quite right. It was then I remembered that August was the name of J’s great-great grandfather. I floated the name by J, who liked it. And with that we had his name: August.

We felt that a first name was fine, and didn’t feel like we needed to choose a middle name for him. But a few days later, I was surprised when J announced the perfect middle name had come to mind. He recalled the Bible passage where Sarah was told she would have a baby and laughed, later naming the son Isaac, “laughter”. He related that to the joy we had at discovering our pregnancy and the laughter we shared over the name of “Asparagus”.

His names together mean “magnificent laughter”. This combination means two things to us: one, that the Lord will turn our sorrow to joy; two: when we meet again there will be such laughter and joy together again.

And so, we named our son the most perfect name: August Isaac

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