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Crazy Baby Name Parents

So an odd thing happened when we named our youngest son Enoch.

We thought, “It’s a Bible name. It may be a bit obscure, but most people can pronounce Bible names regardless of their religious background, because they filter into culture.”


Even those nearest and dearest to us couldn’t pronounce it.

Before we brought him home, my mom was talking to Isaiah about “baby EE-nick.” Isaiah somehow had snagged the correct pronunciation from the beginning and corrected her, “GRANDMA. It’s EE-nock.”

I was completely mystified how I had grown up in this woman’s home and somehow still came away pronouncing a Bible name differently than her (you might not think that’s shocking until you realize how MUCH Bible she read to us).

I didn’t even know “EE-nick” was a potential pronunciation.

But it became an increasing problem. I heard our friends at church stumble over his name the first few times, because they knew it wasn’t supposed to have “nick” on the end, but old habits die so hard.

People who met Enoch, after only seeing his name written under his Facebook pictures, called him EE-nick.

Even the guy that reads the audio version of the ESV Bible on YouVersion says, “EE-nick.” For the love!

I was starting to feel insecure about our pronunciation. Maybe they were all right and I was wrong. I mean, there is no “I” in Enoch, so phonetically, I couldn’t see how they had a leg to stand on. But it was so prevalent.

Then Chris’ mom completely brought awareness to the issue.

She was visiting a few weeks back and asked, “Did your church people have a hard time learning to say Enoch’s name, since they were used to saying EE-nick?”

I mean, she just assumed that all “church people” said EE-nick. And people that aren’t church people don’t even know the name exists (trust me, I’ve painfully discovered this as well). So church people are pretty much the pronunciation plumb-line on this one.

I started to wonder if I was one of those parents. You know, the ones who name their kid Ann, but spell it “Ayhn.” Or they name them something gender neutral that really isn’t so neutral any more, like Leslie for a boy. Or they name them after whatever they just ate for breakfast: “This is my daughter, Toast.”

That’s when kids start going by J.D. or something.

So, fearing for Enoch’s future name pronunciation self-esteem, I decided to google the correct pronunciation of his name. This typically should be done BEFORE the baby is born. Not 8+ months into his life. Because there’s not much we can do about it now.

But turns out. YOU ALL ARE CRAZY!

We’ve been pronouncing his name right all along! Told you so.

Someone even took a poll:


In case you’re still in doubt, here’s a video:

If you can’t see the video, click here.

OK, I feel vindicated. We are not those parents. We aren’t like people that name their daughter Brian and claim you say it “Bree-Ahn.” Nope.

I realize I’m going to have to include pronunciation guides for his name on all his school forms and camp forms and VBS forms, world without end. But at least I know I am right.

We’re normal people, with a normal baby name, with a normal pronunciation. Now if I could just convince everyone around me…

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Baby FAQ

IMG_4666Basically, when you have a new baby, everyone asks the same questions. Which is fine, because at least I know what to expect. Like, if they asked me math problems or something, it would totally throw me off.

So, to save everyone time, I’ll just cover the most common baby questions.

How are you adjusting?

I’m not sure. But then again, I don’t even know what day it is. I mean, I never sleep straight through the night and I don’t even know what “personal space” is anymore.

None of this comes as a shock, since I’ve done it a couple of times before.

But there’s no adjusting about it. You don’t get used to having an infant puke down the INSIDE of your shirt (there’s a reason Jesus makes babies so adorable). It’s never really enjoyable to clean poop off of someone’s butt.

You just survive, wishing he’d stay small forever and hoping he’ll potty train in the next week or so.

Is he a good baby?

What EXACTLY makes a baby good? He doesn’t rob banks or anything. So yeah, he’s pretty darn good.

Has he reached ______ developmental milestone?

OK, just don’t ask this one. It basically giving me a recipe for something to worry about.

When Enoch was about a month and a half, we went to the pediatrician. The nurse quizzed me from her developmental list:

“If he wakes up crying in his crib, and nothing is wrong, does he calm himself down and go back to sleep?”

Um. No. Does any baby? I’ve certainly never had one that did.

My kids have all been very goal oriented people, so when they wake up, it’s because they need something done. And they will not relent until it’s accomplished.

“Does he follow you with his eyes?”

I… I don’t… Um. I haven’t noticed. OMG. MAYBE HE’S BLIND.

(He started following us with his eyes about a week after the appointment, so I’m breathing again.)

“Is he giggling and smiling?”

No. No, he just stares at us with huge eyes and a serious face. (Yes, I realize this should have negated the blindness question.) So, if he’s not smiling, maybe he doesn’t like us. Maybe he’s not happy! Oh dear.

(He is starting to smile. I guess he’s planning to keep us.)

“Is he sleeping through the night?”

Don’t. Just don’t.

Now that I’ve covered the basics, you don’t have to bother with them next time you see me. You can just walk up and ask the question you’re REALLY dying to ask:

“Can I hold him?”

Yes. Yes you may.

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I was Mad at God

When our first adoption match failed, I was mad. Really, really mad at God.

It’s not that I think I’m some entitled person who should never have any hardship. But God had specifically spoken to both Chris and I that we were to pursue that match. Even when our very wise Adoption Consultant cautioned us against it, we didn’t feel released to back out.

So I was angry. Because God made me walk down a path that He knew would end in pain. I didn’t have a road-map for that kind of God. It’s not a side of Him that is usually talked about on Sunday mornings. He’s scary.

In 2 Samuel 6:1-9, David was bringing the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. He was doing it to honor the Lord. As they were traveling and worshiping, the Ark almost tipped, so one guy put his hand up to steady it. And God killed him. For doing what seemed like the right thing.

It says David was angry with the Lord. And it says David feared the Lord. I think he was angry and afraid because he didn’t have parameters for that kind of God.

Because God is beyond us.

He does things in a way we never would. His methods of being good are different than our ideas of goodness. But He IS good.

At the end, that was the only place I could land. God’s goodness was different than mine, but I had to trust that He is good. Reading the Psalms that David wrote, I think that’s where he always landed too.

A month and a half after the first mom decided to parent her baby, we found out about another situation. A situation where all the pieces fell into perfect order.

We were matched with an expectant mom who was due in only a few weeks. We loved her from the moment we talked with her on the phone. She was steadfast and committed to her adoption plan. We all became like family.

When the baby was born, she included us in every step of the process. We were amazed at how beautiful the experience was and were so honored to share it with her.

After 5 days, papers were signed and Enoch Irvin Warrior Davis was our son.

None of that beautiful story would have been ours if the first match had happened according to the plan.

I can’t necessarily say it all makes sense, even now. But I am convinced that God’s goodness led us to where we are today. The path was twisted, hard and confusing, but I can rest that He led us.

And that’s all I really need to know.

Our little warrior:

enoch1   enoch2  enoch3   enoch4

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Grief Therapy

When we started the adoption process, we had at least an idea of the risks involved.

We knew that nothing was for sure until the mom signed. The baby wasn’t our baby until that happened.

But when the expectant mom we were matched with decided to parent her baby, all of our emotional preparation didn’t keep us from being devastated.

We were thankful she made the decision shortly before we actually met the baby. We were thankful we didn’t bring the baby home and then she change her mind. It could have been so much harder.

But that is small consolation when you were expecting a baby and you end up with nothing but air.

I think everyone grieves loss and disappointment differently. For us…

We got a puppy.

Really, Chris probably would have done anything to make me happy again. Except getting the kitten that I suggested. He always draws the line at cats.

But when I jokingly said something about settling for a puppy, he was on his phone faster than lightening, looking at puppy listings.

I weakly protested the idea. However, when we met up with a lady in an Indiana Chick-Fil-A parking lot to see her 7-week-old Yorkie puppy, I lost all will power.

We brought home the little ball of fluff and named him Oliver.

And he’s kind of like a therapy dog (which I think means I can take him in the grocery store, right?). Because I’ve been pretty much okay since we got him.

Basically, it’s prep for when we DO adopt. Because he’s about as high maintenance as a baby.

I just hope I get him potty-trained before that happens.

image  image(2)

image(1)  image(3)

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Leah: On Adoption

I was telling Leah how much I liked her and how glad I was she was in our family. Then I asked, “Are you glad you’re in our family?”

She said, “Yes, because if I wasn’t in our family, then I wouldn’t get to adopt babies with you.”

Then she said, “Because, then, what if the family I was in loved Jesus, but God didn’t tell them to adopt? That would be sad… Then I’d want YOU to adopt me.”

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Under Your Skin

In case you missed it, we’re adopting! And our family is open to babies of any ethnicity. So on the way to school the other morning, I asked the kids what they would do if something mean was said about our babies having a different skin color than them.

Leah said indignantly, “I’d just tell them, ‘You be nice to OUR FAMILY.”

Doing a little positive reinforcement, I said, “Does skin color make us different or are we all the same on the inside?”

Isaiah piped up and said, “No. We’re different. Because of behavior.”

Inside, I started to freak out a little, thinking he had absorbed some wrong concept about certain races having certain behaviors. But before I pulled the car over for an emergency intervention, I asked him to clarify what he meant.

He explained that some people were naughty or mean on the inside and others were kind and nice. And that was what made us different. We are different on the inside.

Somehow, he turned a conversation about ethnicity into a conversation about people.

It made my original question feel childish. Like:

“Are we really talking about what people look like on the outside? That’s so last year.”

His answer seemed 100% bigger and truer than what I had asked. He completely bypassed “do looks matter” and went after what makes us… us. Our hearts.

And Isaiah is right. Who cares how your outsides look? What is your heart like?

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