Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Meaning of a Name

Choosing our children's names has always been one of my favorite things to do during the planning process. Ryan and I have honestly tried very hard to give deep meaning to each name. We love the biblical aspect and at the same time love family heritage. Each child we have not only prayed for, but we specifically prayed for their name.

Noah Wagner Doyle is our first born child. Did you ever have names stuck back in your head that you would name your future children? Well, I did (crazy I know)-and Jacob was supposed to be my first boy's name. And I LOVE the name Jacob, but when we prayed and prayed-Jacob somehow didn't fit. In Hebrew, Noah means comfort and rest. In the bible, Noah, for a lifetime walked step by step in faith as a living example to his generation. He wholeheartedly loved and obeyed God. This is my prayer for my Noah. Wagner is my maiden name. Thus-Noah Wagner Doyle.

Bella was a little trickier in naming. Bella's actual name is Elizabeth Victoria Doyle. Elizabeth in the bible was John the Baptist's mother. She was known as a deeply spiritual woman who was the first woman besides Mary to hear of the coming Savior. In the Greek rendering it means devoted to God. Both our grandmothers had Elizabeth in their names. My middle name, my mom's name, my great grandmother's name is Victoria. Thus-Elizabeth Victoria. During a prayer time, I felt like the Lord revealed to me that she would, "radiate His beauty." Bella means beauty. We made Bella a nickname for Elizabeth. And she is a Bella! Our prayer is that all the days of her life she would indeed reflect Christ's beauty.

Emma Lynn was easier. Emma is the beginning to Emmanuel-also spelled Immanuel. Emmanuel means God is with us, as predicted by Isaiah the prophet. We took the "Emma" from that phrase. Lynn was my daddy's name. He passed away a few years ago to a brain tumor. He got to hold Noah before he died-I have precious memories. He never got to hold the girls and he will never hold Judah. But, he will meet them and hold them all one day-in glory! It's a double name-southern-we call her both- Emma Lynn. It is our way of saying Lynn is with us.

We are still praying over Judah's full name-probably going to be four. I LOVE this part of the process. We really want him to ALWAYS have a part of his culture-continually taking our family back to Uganda-to serve other orphans and families. We would love to find out more about his tribe once we are in Uganda so we can include an actual African name from his tribe. Tribes are so important there so we want to honor his heritage. We picked Judah for several reasons. There were twelve tribes of Israel. Judah was one of these tribes and is often mentioned separately from the other eleven. There are several reasons for this. Judah was the largest tribe, and would be one of the few to return to God after a century of captivity under a hostile foreign power. Judah would also be the tribe through which the Messiah would come!! (Jesus came from this tribe-Judah)
Judah was also the name of one of Jacob's sons. Judah's story is a story of redemption. His life was full of mistakes yet they were redeemed. He suggested to his brothers they sell one brother, Joseph, into slavery. Yet, later in life he offers his own life in substitute for Benjamin's. This is a picture of what his descendant Jesus would do for all people. Yes, Judah was the fourth son of twelve, through whom God would eventually bring David and Jesus, the Messiah.
Our sweet Judah is already a picture of sweet redemption.
At the orphanage, they have been calling him Marvin. We are praying if we should keep this as one of his names. Honestly, we know he was not born to us-but he is ours. Having three children already that end all the same-Noah, Bella, Emma-Marvin doesn't flow too easily, whereas Noah-Bella-Emma-Judah follows the pattern. We want him to feel a part of us immediately. They are so wonderful at the orphanage they explain to the little ones that when you get your "forever family"they often rename you. They tell them that Jesus issued Simon the new name Peter based on who he was to become. Once the orphanage has received our homestudy, the staff will begin to call him "Marvin Judah"-then after a while "Judah Marvin."
I love the name "forever family" that the orphanage uses. If you break it down-we will be his family forever!!!!


  1. glad you and ryan are experiencing the dream come true .... adoption is a wonderful real life example of how deeply the Father knows and loves will ache in a different way, and love in a different will pray in a different are receiving a wonderful gift...and his name, judah, will be on my heart and in my prayers always...i know what it's like to bring a new little boy into a family...the sweetness of the days and the sometimes sadness of the nights...hold tight to him and each other...we love you ... for so many reasons ... and hold you both in our hearts and prayers ...we will be praying for you to be safe as you travel to bring judah are surely held....
    donna d.

  2. Just found your blog and enjoyed reading it.
    I hope you will stop by and visit me. The May give away has started....and next week I will be blogging from Disney World.

  3. love you radiate the love of Jesus!!!

  4. I am missing the Doyles, so I decided to turn to the blog and get a "fill" of our dear friends! If you get a chance, call me! I have some news to share with you...We love you and pray for you daily!

  5. i love picking names ... Each of our sons (and yes you are right on our newest son) have biblical names and each daughter is named after a mission minded young woman that God has placed in our lives ... Names are truly gift !!! I just can't wait till all our lil guys are home !!! Have a happy mother's day !!!

  6. I am just starting to read the blog so I am starting at the beginning. I was doing well holding in my tears of joy until I got to the part about him receiving a new name for what he was to become, just like Simon Peter. Amazing! God is so good and I am trilled for you guys.


  7. Oh Wow!! I was just typing in the names I like for our children and your blog came up. We have a almost 3 year old daughter named Emma and a 10 month old son named Noah. And we like Bella or Judah for our next baby. Wow-we have a lot in common with names:)