**I totally wrote this around Easter (hence the Easter egg photo), and I’m just now finalizing and posting.**
Naming a child seems like such a challenge. It was no different for us. We had years to pick a name, but when we got the call that we would be parents to a little girl, we didn’t have a girl name chosen. In adoption, birth parents sometimes want to choose the child’s name or want to collaborate with the adoptive parents. We were given the opportunity to name this little girl who was going to call us mama and daddy. Of course, Chris disliked almost all the girl names I have ever suggested. At best I’d get a “maybe” out of him.
Last year, a friend let us borrow her collection of the tv show Friends. It may have taken us 7 or 8 months to finish, but we loved it. I had seen most of the later seasons, but it was fun to see the earlier years. When we watch any tv show or movie, I’d have an ear out for names. I’d even watch the credits and say the names I liked out loud. Again, I was mostly met with “maybe.” Until Ross and Rachel named their baby…Emma. Chris liked it. I can’t remember exactly what Chris said, but I don’t think “maybe” was part of it.
We mentally filed it away and didn’t set the name in stone. When we got the call that we had been chosen, I mentally decided we wouldn’t talk about a name until we were on the plane. We’d have plenty of time then. That’s exactly what we did. We threw some names out there. I finally remembered a list I had started on my phone. None of them were hitting us as the “one.” And then I remembered “Emma.” I said it. And Chris didn’t say “maybe.” He said he liked it, and we just stopped suggesting names. I asked him, “What if she doesn’t look like an Emma.” He said, “We’ll have to wait and see.” We didn’t know what she looked like at all until we met her. If she had a head full of hair. If she had dimples. Or the color of her eyes. I guess that’s similar to most parents, but now with ultrasounds, you have some idea, right?
When we arrived at the hospital, one of the first things the nurses asked was if we had a name picked out. We said we were trying it on until we committed to it. Emma’s primary nurse had nicknamed her Jojo after an aunt she was fond of. I think the other nurses had teased her and thought we might be upset, but I thought it was so sweet that she thought so much of Emma to give her a nickname until we could get there. Of course, we finally did decide to name our little girl Emma.
At some point, I looked up the meaning of the name Emma. According to the website Behind the Name, it means “whole.” That’s so fitting. She made us and our family whole. We were always meant to be parents. It’s all I’ve ever wanted to be, and she made that a reality. She made us whole.
As I type this post on my phone with Emma sleeping on my chest, I think about all the things that led us here, and I’m so grateful. Grateful for our social workers. For our friends. For our family. And even complete strangers who helped us reach this point.