What’s in a Name

As the summer sun makes it way slowly to the west, I pause to remember a time not so very long ago that as a brand new midwife I made my way to a home where a family was about to welcome their firstborn child. I had brand new bags, full of brand new equipment. The pregnancy had long been wanted; the child was so anticipated and so very loved. All was in readiness, and two names were chosen, waiting to see whether a son or a daughter would come to claim their name.The long awaited moment came, labor began, progressed and in a moment etched in time, life’s first cry filled the room and joy pervaded every corner.The announcement was made. “It’s a GIRL!” Tears of joy and gladness came like summer rain. There wasn’t a face without a smile to welcome this precious new life.She had come to claim her name. But the name for the son remained unclaimed and waiting.

As the years pass, I frequently make my way to this home. Each time the joy is the same. Each time there is a new name for a daughter, but the same name for the son, waiting to be claimed.Six consecutive times I came, bags in hand, smile ready to greet the newest member of the family.Six times I was not disappointed by the familiar joy that filled the room at the announcement. “It’s a GIRL!”

My car recently made its way to this home again, to join in the joy of welcoming a new baby, this time the seventh. I arrive, no longer a brand new midwife, to a well-known house, well-used bags in hand, and with a well-practiced smile ready to greet the newest member of this family. Labor progresses, the moment comes to welcome the new little one. But this time, an especially entertaining twist of events. There is the familiar room, the familiar faces, the familiar sound of life’s first cry, the familiar joy that pervades the room, but a very unfamiliar announcement. “It’s a BOY!” Delight and surprise mingle to make the beautiful picture of a family much in love with the newest member.

Beyond the privilege that belongs to the midwife of watching a baby grow within the womb, midwives also have the honor of watching families grow. Few midwives are given the honor of attending all the children for one family, even fewer are given the privilege of delivering seven members of one family. So I reflect with gratitude both to this family and to the Lord for giving me such an honor, as I add another picture in my memory of the Joy and Love of Family.

Welcome little man, we are so glad you came to claim your name.