Birth announcement: Damian John Francis!

(If you didn’t see the photos I posted on Instagram over the weekend of my parents and sister at the Beatification Mass for Bl. Solanus Casey, be sure to check them out! What an amazing experience!)

I posted a consultation for Christie and her husband over the summer, and Christie’s let me know her little guy has arrived and been given the handsome-and-heavy-hitting name … Damian John Francis!

Christie writes,

Baby Boy Collins was born on October 27th. We don’t reveal our baby names until the baptism so that was his name to everyone else at the time (fun family tradition — it remains a secret among parents and siblings for a couple of weeks!). The baptism was last night, so I wanted to write you today and let you know how it all turned out!

Firstly, we came to the realization that this fifth gift might be the last biological child we are called to have — my pregnancy was not easy on my body or on our family, and at one point I couldn’t do more than get to the bathroom and back to the bed/couch on full codeine pain meds. So then the naming pressure was ON! Last call for ALL the patrons! As a result, my husband decided to ditch part of our naming schema and not stand firm on having a British Isles reference.

Secondly, I was inspired by your suggestions and by your post on double middle names. I fell in love with the name John Dominic after John Paul II and St. Dominic, but we already have a nephew named John. Ah, but we could switch them! So Dominic John was my starting answer, but it was missing something at the end, and my husband really wanted to name the child after his favorite patron, Francis de Sales (who really had no other shortcuts/names to use but Francis). And he wasn’t sold on Dominic. But we came to an agreement- John Francis as a double middle name sounded really fun.

Given that middle name, we realized we like a D or a B up front (after eliminating repeat letters from other kids). We settled on a Final Four of naming: Dominic, Declan (still a British Isles pick), Damian (after St Peter Damian, patron saint of moral theologians like my husband), and Benedict (as in the saintly founder). Pretty quickly we realized that Benedict John Francis sounded like a litany of recent popes, so that one fell behind. Until the end, I was rooting for Dominic and my husband couldn’t decide between Declan and Damian. Once he was born, my husband decided on Damian (I have always let him have the final decision). At first I was saddened not to have a Dominic, but within two hours of whispering Damian in his ear while snuggling, I was totally sold.

So Damian John Francis became our family secret — and the other kids LOVED it. And then last night, surrounded by friends and with family on FaceTime, the priest asked us what name we give this child, and my husband quite literally beamed forth “Damian John Francis Collins” and our secret was out — he had his Christian name and a hearty 3 patrons to pray for him. Damian had already proven himself up to the name, and we are still in awe that God would give us this little one to hold and to guide.”

Isn’t that such an interesting tradition, of keeping the baby’s name secret until the baptism?! And this is such a moving story — this little guy is so blessed to have so many amazing patrons!! I LOVE all three of his names!!

Congratulations to Christie and her husband and big sibs Kolbe, Isaac, Eva, and Alexis, and happy birthday Baby Damian!!

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Damian John Francis with his big brothers and sisters ❤

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Special intention — please pray!

Our very own Grace, whose consultation I posted in March of 2016 for a then-hypothetical fifth baby, is nearly due with her actual fifth baby and she needs prayers!! She’s in the final stretch, but she’s been on bed rest for weeks (including part of the time in the hospital) because of hypertension/pre-eclampsia. She desperately wants to avoid a c-section after a very difficult time she had with the c-section and recovery after her previous baby, and she’s scheduled for an induction, but the baby’s position keeps changing. Her inability to take care of her family the way she’d like to and the worry and stress of the upcoming labor and delivery and hopes to avoid another c-section are taking their toll not only on her, but on the whole family.

Please keep Grace and her baby and her whole family in your prayers!! ❤

Birth announcement: Teresa Azelie Jane!

I posted a consultation for Colleen and her husband back in July, and I’m so thrilled to let you know that her green bean turned out to be a wee lady whose been given the gorgeous name … Teresa Azelie Jane!

Colleen writes,

You did a name consultation for us back in July and I am so pleased to announce that we had a girl on August 25 and we named her Teresa Azelie Jane. She was born as the outer rain bands of Hurricane Harvey began to hit where we live in the north Houston suburbs and we made it home from the hospital just before the serious flooding began. Thankfully our neighborhood did not flood and we were able to enjoy the extra time at home cuddling our newborn.

We really struggled with a girl’s name this time around. Early on we settled on Jane as a middle name because I have loved it for years. Also early on my husband had suggested Azelie as he had been reading about Sts. Azelie and Louis Martin and felt a strong connection with the entire Martin family. But, for a number of reasons, it just didn’t work as a first name for us so we set it aside and forgot about it for months while we continued to debate and struggle to find the name that seemed right.

August 12, 9 days before my due date, was the feast of St. Jane de Chantal. I woke that morning and during my prayer time asked St. Jane to please help us settle on a name. If we had a girl, what name would be best for her and what saints should be her patrons along side St. Jane? Later that day my husband said he had an idea. He felt strongly that the name should be Teresa, a name he was not excited about previously, but that we should also include Azelie. As soon as he spoke the name aloud, Teresa Azelie Jane, we knew it was perfect. I had not considered two middle names before! And boy does our girl have some powerful patrons! Teresa is after the three great Teresas: St. Teresa of Avila, St. Therese of Liseaux, and St. Teresa of Calcutta.

I call our little girl Tess. Her brothers call her Teresa and her sisters tend to call her Tessa Jane. My husband loves to call her Azelie or Zelie and I love that it’s his special pet name for her. All of us adore her name and we often call her by all three of her names because we love them all so much.

Thank you for the time you spent on our consultation and for your wonderful blog. Your thoughts and those of your readers over the months really helped us realize what was important to us in a name, gave us the idea of two middle names and the courage to chose an uncommon name like Azelie.”

Isn’t this all so wonderful?! I love love love the full combo, Teresa Azelie Jane, and how everyone has special nicknames for her! And I’m so pleased that we all were able to help Colleen and her hubs bring their favorite names into focus. ❤

Congratulations to Colleen and her husband and big sibs Jonathan, Elizabeth, Augustine, Clara, and Simon (and Catherine Gregory in heaven), and happy birthday Baby Teresa Azelie Jane!!

Teresa Azelie Jane at 5 days old (left) and 2.5 mos (right)

Birth announcement: Caroline Sophia!

A mama I did a private consultation for has let me know her little one has arrived, a sweet little girl with the beautiful name … Caroline Sophia!

She writes,

Sorry this has taken so long, but I wanted to share with you that our little Caroline Sophia was born on September 12! Even though we didn’t actually use any new names you suggested for us, we loved doing the consultation through you! Seeing so many different choices really solidified for us why we loved the name ‘Caroline Sophia.’ 🙂

We decided that it would really mean a lot to my mom to have a child named after her. She is super sentimental, and although we really didn’t love ‘Sophia’ as a first name, somehow it was beautiful for a middle name. It was very providential, because my mom was at the birth for our first child, and not the next three. She was always watching our older kids while I was in labor at the hospital. For Caroline, our fifth child, the other four were all in school during the day, so Grandma got a break. She ended up being born at 9:30am, and after my mom dropped off all the big kids at school at 8am, she was able to come to help and witness my crazy fast and intense labor and birth. We didn’t plan it that way, but since it was my fastest birth, I really did need another person there to help besides my husband. And, when Caroline came out and we told her the name, Grandma just lost it! 👍😂 it was perfect!

JP2 has always been someone we loved, but I just have really gotten to know him a lot more the past five years. So, after ‘trying’ out other names on the Baby in utero, we just couldn’t go with anything else besides naming Caroline after him. 😁❤️

She is just about two months old now, completely perfect and gorgeous, and smothered by siblings and everyone else constantly. 🙂 “

I love this name story so much!! I love how meaningful both the first and middle name choices are, and I love that “Grandma just lost it” upon hearing that her name is the baby’s middle name. So wonderful!!

Congratulations to the whole family, and happy birthday Baby Caroline!!

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Caroline Sophia on her baptism day this past weekend, with her blanket and St. JP2 doll her godparents made for her

Baby name consultation: Chinese (+Catholic?) names

Today’s consultation is a little different — I don’t have permission to post the family’s details, but I wanted to hear your ideas regarding one part of their “dilemma.” One of the parents is Chinese, and while the baby’s name will be an English one, the parent’s Chinese heritage is an important consideration. But the parent who emailed me is the non-Chinese parent and didn’t have a good sense of what names the spouse would like or not like. So I did a little research into Chinese naming customs, and found this article, which included this bit of info that I thought was helpful:

While we might find it strange for so many Chinese to share the same surname, they find it equally odd for so many in the West to share the same forename.

Whereas most of us know a few Janes, Johns, Jameses, Saras, and Andrews, this repetition does not really happen in China. In fact the focus is on creating a unique name for your child, which won’t be shared with others or copied from elsewhere …

The names are also designed to mean something. It could be anything from Xiao-Long (小龍), meaning ‘little dragon’, to Li-Kong (立功), which means something close to ‘worthy of merit’

I took all this to mean that (1) junioring isn’t really done, and (2) the name “definitions” that I usually caution against giving too much weight to are actually really important in Chinese naming. Do you agree? Is there more to know about English names given to babies of Chinese parents?

I also looked up Chinese saints, and found this great listing of the Martyr Saints of China, but then I also found this article about when JP2 canonized the first Chinese saints and wow — I knew that the state-run Chinese Catholic Church is at odds with the [underground] Chinese Catholic Church loyal to Rome, but I didn’t know much beyond that — what a sad article!

Based on that, just from a naming perspective, I didn’t feel as confident about my ability to suggest names that someone emailing a Catholic baby name consultant for name help, who has a Chinese naming tradition to consider, might like.

I know this isn’t a lot to go on, but if any particular names come to mind for either boys or girls, I’d love to hear them! And if you have any more information on Chinese naming, especially with a Catholic sensibility, please share!

Congratulations to the winner of the giveaway!!

We have a winner!! I had Rafflecopter randomly pick a winner of the giveaway, and I’m delighted to announce that Eliese has won the sweet little dress! It’s for her little girl who’s their first girl after three boys — aw! ❤

Congratulations to Eliese, and thank you all for entering! Don’t forget the coupon code CHRISTMAS17 for 15% off in Sharon’s Baby My Love shop, good until Christmas Day, and be sure to follow her on Instagram if you don’t already to see all her updates and new items!