You guys! I posted a spotlight of Katheryn’s family and her kiddos’ *amazing* names and her experience with adoption back in September, and I’m thrilled to announce they’ve welcomed another little one into their family — a little boy named … wait for it …. à Kempis Exodus Praise!
“It’s kinda funny, because after I did that post with you about naming with birth parents, we were matched with a birthmom who wanted to be super involved with naming.
à Kempis is after Bl. Thomas à Kempis who wrote “The Imitation of Christ.” Exodus is after the story of God bringing His people out of bondage into the promised land. To me it symbolizes the love of God for His people- a powerful love that protects, delivers, and provides. It reminds us that the God who is in love with us is a God who fights for us and will part the sea to make a way where there seems to be no way if we just trust Him. My favorite quote from the book of Exodus is, “The Lord will fight for you, you need only be still.” Exodus 14:14 “Praise” is in giving praise to God for him and is also after St. Prais.
His birthmom really, really wanted his name to match her daughters’ names and start with an “a” so her kids would all have the same first initials. The name we had originally picked before we were matched if we had a boy was Exodus Praise. I read every name book I could find to try to find an “a” name we liked enough to use as a first name. I read through online name sites and discussion threads, and the catholic encyclopedia and dictionary “a” sections. We found an “a” girl name we liked enough to use as a first but not a boy one. We had pretty much resolved to using an “a” name we were ok with but didn’t love as a first name, and then calling him by his middle name of Exodus, when Matt noticed Kempis on a list of other boy names that I had. I had always loved the name Kempis, but never thought we could use it because of the double alliteration it has with our last name. He suggested à Kempis, and right away we both just knew that was his name. It just felt right. His birthmom loved it because it also has three syllables like both her daughters’ names, and has the same meaning as they do! Kempis means “brave and strong warrior,” and her daughters’ names both mean “strong/powerful.” We loved both Kempis and Exodus and felt like we could wait and see as we got to know him which name we wanted to officially call him by. To make his name even more special, it turns out that his birthmom’s name means “beyond praise,” so Praise is now also after her, which she loved!“
I’m blown away by this whole story! So many amazing connections to the birth mom and her other children and Katheryn and her husband’s name preferences — I mean, just that their solution to an “a” name was à Kempis — that is just amazing. Just amazing. Master Class naming for sure.
I wondered how it was dealt with on the birth certificate — if the full à Kempis went on there? Just like that, with the lowercase accented “a” as the first letter? Katheryn said,
“We haven’t gotten a copy of his birth certificate yet, usually that comes a few months after finalization, so I’m not sure how they put it on there. We had to hand write what we wanted his name to be on a form for the lawyers and we put the full à Kempis Exodus Praise with a lowercase à, but I’m not sure if it will come printed out that way or not.”
And regarding St. Prais, because I’d never heard of him, she said:
“I couldn’t find anything online about St. Prais besides this one line.
I saw him on a list of Black Saints, which is partly why we chose him as a patron since Exodus is African American.”
(Also note that here Katheryn calls him Exodus. Love love love.)
This little man joins his equally amazingly named big sibs:
Verity Majella Judea Hawthorne
Gethsemane Juniper Anne
Bosco Willis Yard
Hyacinth Clemency Veil
What a family! Congratulations to them all, and happy birthday Baby à Kempis Exodus Praise!! I know you’ll love to head over to Katheryn’s Instagram to catch a glimpse of his sweet little face! 😍😍😍