A Gift from God

I promised an update on Tuesday, and I did not deliver.  Sorry! In fact, Tuesday ended up being a completely uneventful day.  We stayed home, we did school, we went to small group Bible study.  But I’ve gotten ahead of myself.

Last Monday morning, I woke up to an email from our agency, simply stating: It looks like we may be okay for Trevor to travel without you (?!) Below that was a forwarded chain of correspondence between our agency and the US Consulate in Guangzhou.  While parts of it were unclear, it does seem that there is an exception for Trevor’s type of residency visa, and we have it in writing now that he can complete the adoption without me.  This was an answer to prayer, a gift from God beyond what I had even hoped for (though Trevor was praying for exactly this)!

And now, I want to tell you a story about a little boy with no name.

We found out about our newest little man from my dear friend Kelly, whose son came from the same orphanage.  She came home with her boys two years ago desperate to find a family for little “DiDi”, back when we were just at the start of our process to adopt Lewis.  Adopting a second little boy with Down syndrome wasn’t even on our radar yet.

We found other adoptive moms and agency advocates who knew him, always by the name of DiDi, the word in his language for “little brother”.

One mom shared with me that her husband had asked an orphanage worker what his name was, and she had answered, “He doesn’t have one.  He has Downs.”

Let that sink in for a minute.  The people looking after our boy did not even think he was worthy of having a name.  Words cannot express how this broke my heart.

When we received his file, we discovered that his name is, indeed, just Di – also the character for little brother.  It seems that when his file was prepared, they just wrote down the name he had always gone by.

Well, we aim to give this boy a name.

We are calling him…

Thaddeus Merit Young

We will call him Teddy for short, to echo DiDi, the name he has so long been called.

His “Di” is still in there (he WILL be a little brother, after all!) but his new name, Thaddeus, means “gift of God”, and that is exactly what he is.

His middle name was my grandfather’s.  An English word denoting worth or value.

This boy, once deemed unworthy even of a name, is a gift from God.  He has immeasurable worth.  He is worthy not only of a name, but of a family, of a home, of love, and we cannot wait give him all of those things.

9 thoughts on “A Gift from God

  1. This post made me tear up. What a beautiful thing you are doing, giving this little boy a family. I wish you every success.

  2. In tears…oh how this boys life is about to change! To be loved and cherished for who he is,for the first time in his life. Absolutely beautiful and amazing! You guys put so much thought into each child’s name,I love it! It fits him perfectly,and he looks like Lewis’s little brother ???

  3. What a lovely story. He looks so sweet. And I agree that the name you have chosen seems perfect for him–the meaning is perfect and the nickname sounds like the name he is used to hearing and, really, he just looks like a cuddly Teddy bear! Best wishes to Trevor and the kids who go along on the China trip and to all of you as you add another lovie to your beautiful family.

  4. Oh my goodness. Jodi, you’re choking us all up. I love, love, love the story of his name. He seems like an amazing boy-so worthy of his name and the family he is about to join! I am so thankful that God brought him to you, at just the right time. We celebrate this journey with you. Always a special spot in the Young Family.

  5. First of all, major congratulations! I’ve been checking in with your blog occasionally ever since I read on Appellation Mountain (or maybe it was You Can’t Call It It) about how you named Pippa, Romilly, Beatrix, and Juniper. I hope I’m not causing a problem when I ask — didn’t Trevor used to have a rule that if you called your child by a nickname, the full name had to be the common full name for that nickname? I seem to remember him arguing against naming a Teddy anything but Theodore, so I guess I’m wondering, if it’s not too personal a question, why you went with Thaddeus instead of Theodore, especially given that they both mean “gift of God.” Either way, he seems super sweet — all the best!

  6. Wow! You have been paying attention. I’m so impressed. So, yes, that was a rule (or maybe let’s call it a preference 🙂 ), and we did also consider Theodore. There were a lot of factors. For one, I think the rule had already been broken by Delia for Delphinia. And that brings me to thing two: naming an adopted child is hard, and something’s got to give! We always want to keep or somehow reflect the birth name, but we also want to choose a name we really love, AND a family name somewhere is also a must. Trevor’s “Bennett rule” kind of had to take a back seat. In this case, Teddy’s given name was just that one syllable “di”, and I wanted that to still be there, which it is in ThadDEus, but not in Theodore. Plus we’ve always loved Thaddeus, and Theodore had gotten a little too popular for my liking. Thanks for asking! I’m always happy to go deeper with name discussions, but wouldn’t want to bore my readers :). Thanks so much for hanging in there and reading for so long!

  7. Ahh cool, thanks for answering! Heh I just really like names, and I’ve always admired your naming style. That rule in particular stood out to me because when Ted Kennedy died, my brother (who is not a names person) found out that the senator’s full first name had been Edward, and my brother said his parents should have gone with either Ted/Theodore or Ed/Edward. I brought up Trevor’s rule and it was one of the few times I’ve successfully pulled my brother into a discussion about naming haha.

    Anyway, ooh I do really like the link between Teddy’s old and new names. And it makes me happy that you chose the name you loved better for this cute little guy. (Now I have another question, actually, if you don’t mind — since Delia/Delphinia also broke the “Bennett rule,” why did you choose that nickname rather than, say, Della, or Dinnie, or another nickname with no default full name? I quite like the Delia/Delphinia combination, by the way — I’m just asking out of curiosity.) Thanks again for your reply and congratulations again on your new son!

  8. I guess I never really thought about it specifically like that. I mean, I know it was me who mentioned Delia/Delphinia as the original rule breaker, but at the time we didn’t really think of Delia as having a default full name. Like, if you met a Delia, would you assume it was short for Cordelia? Or for anything? So, we didn’t really feel like we were breaking a rule at the time, but in hindsight, it did set the precedent or using an unconventional nickname/full name combo. Does that make sense? Delia/Delphinia all kind of came to me all at once, and I never really considered any other nicknames. Dinnie is so cute, though!

  9. Hmm I think I would assume Delia was a stand-alone, but if I knew it was a nickname then I would probably assume it was short for Cordelia. That does make sense though! And haha I’ve never met a Dinnie, but I’ve had a soft spot for it since I came across a character in a children’s book who was called by that nickname (her real name was Gardenia).

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