Friday, February 12, 2010

Joshua's names

[Another back-dated post. We're trying to get back on top of blogging, now that we have something super interesting to blog about!]

Joshua Gordon Keddie. It has such a nice, strong ring to it, doesn't it?

Joshua's name has roots in both Scripture and family. His first name comes from the Joshua of the Bible -- specifically because of this particular verse: "...But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD." (Joshua 24:15b) Our hope and prayer is that little Joshua will grow up to love and serve the Lord -- that he will come to know the amazing gift of grace offered freely to him, and that he would live his life in light of the eternal hope of salvation.

In the hospital, on the day Joshua was born, we had him in our postpartum recovery room in his little bassinet, with a cute sign made by the L&D nurses with his name on it. The food services woman who delivered our lunch that day noticed the sign, and remarked on how Joshua was a strong name -- and then commented that Joshua was the one who took over after Moses in the Bible. I think I must have smiled even more broadly at that comment, because she then said it was such a blessing for a baby to be born to Christian parents. It was a sweet, unexpected moment of encouragement and fellowship for us -- and what an affirmation of our choice of his name!

We also have dear friends who had a baby boy just a week before Joshua was born. Erik and Andréa chose not to know the gender of their baby until he was born, and David and I had been half-jokingly worried that they would "steal" the name Joshua (which we had settled on about a month before Joshua was born, but which we hadn't shared with anyone). We were so excited for them when they announced the birth of their son -- and doubly so when we discovered that they had chosen the name Caleb. And when we announced Joshua's birth, they sent us a sweet email noting that with their Caleb and our Joshua, we should be able to conquer the Princeton campus for Christ in no time. :)

Joshua is also named after his paternal grandfather Gordon. David and I have always wanted to honor his father by using his name as our first son's middle name. It's also a nice way to provide a sense of family continuity -- the name Gordon has been in David's family for several generations now. And we love how Joshua fits with Gordon!

We also wanted to honor my side of the family, so we've asked my parents to give all of our children Korean names. Joshua's Korean name is Bum Soo. Soo is the generational character -- in Korean tradition, all children in a generation will have one character of their names in common. The character for each generation in a family is predetermined in a set list of some sort, handed down by the patriarchs of the family (or at least, that's how I like to think of it :)). For instance, my Korean name is Yoonjung, my brothers' are Yoonsuk and Yoonjo, and one of my paternal cousins is named Yun Pil (different transliteration, but same character). The next generation in my dad's family all have Soo in their names -- my cousin's daughter, for example, is Yeon Soo.

The Bum part of Joshua's Korean name means "tiger," which is really appropriate on a number of levels -- this year is the year of the tiger (and a special year of the tiger -- once every 60 years, apparently, it's the year of the White Tiger). And of course, we're a family of Princeton tigers. :)

We like to think that we've given Joshua a number of great name options for the future. It's likely that he'll end up going by Josh, as most Joshuas do, and we're totally fine with that nickname. But in more serious contexts, Joshua is a nice strong and traditional name. And if he wants something even more straitlaced in a professional context, he can always go by J. Gordon Keddie -- wouldn't you trust a judge of that name? :) And if he decides to embrace his Korean heritage, he has a great Korean name to go by.

But for now, he's just our cute wee Joshie-bear snuggle-bug. And I'm totally calling him that until he's old enough to protest. :)