I know that there are now many of you out there reading this blog who don’t really know us very well, or at all, but are still faithfully praying for us and for Baby Girl. It is truly humbling for us to see the number of hits on this blog each day and to know that they represent prayers and love from far and wide. For those of you who do know us and were at our wedding a couple of years ago, you may remember the beautiful sermon preached by my brother. It was all about names and how significant they are.
I’ve thought about that a lot in the last few months. Robert and I actually had a name picked out for a girl even before we knew that Baby Hardy was a girl, but after learning more about her condition and all that we will face ahead of us, I wondered if it was still the “right” name for her. We spent a lot of time looking at name meanings and trying to decide how to capture in a name all that she is, all that we hope for her to be, and all that she means to us already.
As a teacher, it’s even harder to settle on a name. I’ve taught a lot of children (some I loved, some not so much) and it seems that for any name of a former student there were strong associations that I just couldn’t shake. Plus, I found myself creating additional rules that may or may not have been ridiculous: cannot be shortened to a nickname (been there, done that, makes life hard), must be called by her first name (Thanks, Mom and Dad for breaking that one too…), cannot have more than 6 letters, must be easy to pronounce and spell, etc. etc. etc. We thought about Irish names since that’s where this child was conceived. We also wanted to consider family names and history. We didn’t want a name that was too trendy or popular, but also didn’t want a name that no one would be able to recognize. Robert and I are both drawn to more traditional, old fashioned names too. Whew. This is a big task – naming your child.
We did not originally plan to announce the baby’s name until after birth. Since we were finding out the gender in advance, we thought it would be fun to still have some surprises up our sleeve to announce at the time of birth. But now we know that we’ll have enough surprises then without the mystery of her name added in. And even though we both believe that God hears your prayers for her just fine without you speaking her name, we did think it would be powerful for you to be able to begin now praying for her by name. We hope that knowing her name now will give you another sense of connection to her so that you will remain faithful in your prayers for her future.
Okay, enough stalling. Baby Girl Hardy’s name is:
Clara Mae Hardy
Clara means bright and clear. Mae is a derivative of Mary which has been a long time family name on my side of the family. Mae is also a family name on Robert’s side. It can mean beloved, wished for child, and of course is also associated with the month of the year – May (the month of Maia, the Greek mythological goddess of spring growth). We are hopeful that next May might be a time of great growth for Clara (especially those lungs!) and that it will be a bright time in the life of our family. We will call her Clara (although I expect that living in the South, that double name may get added on quite a bit too…). Of course, we are already aware of how appropriate her last name will be for her. I hope she is a hardy girl!
Mostly, I just think it’s a beautiful name. I love the way it sounds when we say it and can’t wait to whisper it into her ear.
“A good name is more desirable than great riches” Proverbs 22:1
I hope that we have chosen a good name for you, Clara.