A Couple of Crazy Kids

See these two? This was us circa Easter 1999, just a few months before we got engaged. These two had no idea they’d be married in about a year (much less all the craziness that would follow that!). I thought it would be fun in honor of today, our 21st wedding anniversary, to share a little piece of the story of us: a little episode I like to call The One Where I Got Deported. (If you’ve ever played two truths and a lie with me or asked me to share a random fact about myself on your wall, you’ve probably already heard it, but it’s a tale that bears retelling, I think.)

Trevor and I fell in love the summer after I spent my junior year in Edinburgh, where we met. It might have been handy to do it while we were both there, but when have we ever done things the easy way?

We spent my senior year (his sophomore!) dating long distance with a few transatlantic visits thrown in. That spring, I began applying for teaching jobs in England, hoping to secure a work permit and live and work within commuting distance of Macclesfield, where Trevor would be doing his internship the following year.

I interviewed at a secondary school for girls in Manchester that summer, and to my delight, they offered me a job teaching science starting in September.

The rest of the summer was a frenzy of excitement and packing and planning, including emailing the school regularly to check the status of the work permit they were working to get me.

By August, they assured me that all they needed to finalize my paperwork was to see my stamped passport. In hindsight this should have raised red flags, but I was 21 and naive and had no idea how these things worked. (Apparently neither did they.) I bought a ticket and got on a plane on a Thursday afternoon.

And finally I was there: in England, Trevor waiting a few hundred yards away, the rest of my life opening out before me.

After waiting in the immigration line, I was greeted by the usual question: “And what brings you to the UK?”

I cheerfully and confidently told the man that I’d been offered a teaching job that I’d be starting in a couple weeks.

His response will echo in my ears for the rest of my life. “Well, I don’t know what made you think you were allowed to work here, but you’re not.”

I remember my heart racing and my mouth going dry, but at this point, I was still pretty sure the mistake was his. I gave him the details of the school and explained that they had applied for my work permit and told me to come, and that I wouldn’t start work until the finalized work permit was in hand. He left me in a chair, fighting terrified tears in front of a sea of jetlagged strangers, while he made some phone calls.

It felt like he was gone for hours. It was the summer holidays, so there were only maintenance staff at the school to answer his call. They knew nothing about me. I assured the immigration man that I would never take a job illegally, that if things didn’t work out with the school, I would just visit for a couple weeks and then go home. Nothing I said mattered. He took and kept my passport and let me come through to rest for two days before traveling home. I was to buy return tickets at my own expense and fly home on Sunday.

When I finally came through the gate and found Trevor, I collapsed into his arms and said, “I’m not here.”

I spent most of the next day calling every authority all of my family’s collective resources could think of. No one could help. Immigration is a law unto itself, and no character reference can get you off the hook with them once you’re on it.

Early early Sunday morning I was escorted onto my plane in one of those blinking, beeping airport golf carts. Once checked in and seated on the plane, I was given back my passport, complete with a stamp, but not the one I (or the school) wanted to see: DENIED ENTRY.

The return journey felt like an ordeal, complete with a long layover in Canada, but eventually, I was home. A place I hadn’t expected to see again so soon. A place where, though I was surrounded by so much love, I felt hopeless and lost and alone.

I cried a lot that night, and the day or two that followed. But then a glimmer of hope came from the most unlikely source.

It was Tuesday, two days after I got home. My sister Paige, six at the time, hated to see me so sad. “I don’t know if this helps,” she offered, “but I think I heard Debbie say she was picking Trevor up from the airport.”

I looked at my mom, pleading with my eyes for her to confirm this rumor. She quickly made up a story about my cousin Jill’s boyfriend coming to visit and called Debbie for her to confirm it, which of course she did.

Of course Trevor wasn’t really coming. Why would he? He had to start his internship in a week. He’d never spend the money to fly over… unless… But no.

I burst into fresh sobs and fell to the floor (if you think I’m being overly dramatic in my telling of this, just ask my mom. It was rough!)

My step-mother Debbie may still be slightly annoyed to this day at my mother’s lack of resolve and spoiling of the surprise, but Debbie wasn’t there. She didn’t see me. My mom did the only thing she could do. She came to me, wrapped her arms around me, and whispered to me, “He is coming. Trevor’s coming.”

On Wednesday, Trevor and my family did manage to genuinely surprise me by having him in an unexpected restaurant a day earlier than I had guessed he’d come.

We couldn’t focus on our appetizers, so we paid for them and drove to a nearby park. There, with a $25 placeholder ring and only geese for witnesses, Trevor asked me to marry him.

The rest, as they say, is history. 22 Easters later, those two crazy kids with the baskets on their heads watched their beautiful oldest daughter get baptized. And today, though we hardly saw each other between work and therapies and church commitments, we remember all that God has blessed us with and we rejoice. (And don’t tell all of these amazing birthday kiddos I’ve been blogging about, but their Daddy is still my favorite.)

2021 Birthday Post 5 of 13: Annis

Our little Annis Octavia is 7 today! This spicy little miss is so hard to put in a nutshell! I thought I’d give you a little peek behind the scenes of planning for her birthday to give you a bit of the flavor of her personality.

This year I’m making each of the kids a mini-me doll wearing an outfit of their choice and complete with one “accessory”. Everyone so far has chosen a favorite stuffed animal for their accessory, and worn a favorite casual outfit. This is what Annis chose:

The notebook is a beloved hand-me-down, and Annis tells me that the R stands for “Ro’s Sister”. She has worn this dress at least once a week on average since Christmas, so it really was the only obvious choice.

This was her birthday wish list. I think it speaks for itself.

Annis prides herself on being the only Young kid to look just like me. In fact, according to her, you can really only tell us apart by the tiny white dot on the tip of her tongue that she was born with.

She might tell you all this herself if you are lucky enough to be one of her people, but she is very selective about who she lets into her rich inner thought world. Our backyard neighbor Miss Pam is one of her chosen ones, and Annis sneaks out to chat with her as often as possible when she sees her out working in her garden.

Annis loves drawing and writing. She wrote a series of short books last Fall about her concerns on various topics. This was one of my favorites (a close second being “Annis’s Concern about Chili” which consisted of one word: “Beans!”)

She had a long-standing penpal relationship with the tooth fairy, which I recently felt convicted to clarify with her. When I explained to her, fearing a most dramatic display of tears and mourning, that it was actually me writing her the letters, she told me matter-of-factly, “well, I knew it couldn’t be a real fairy. The writing was way too big!” (Rookie mistake!)

When she grows up, she wants to be a ballerina, a mom, a pirate missionary, a diver looking for treasure under the sea, and a vegetarian (“cause I just realized…I might be eating a unicorn!”). I think it’s safe to say it’s a little too early to call it 🙂

When I look back at pictures of little Annis, I realize her seven years really have been a bit of a blur. Annis was born just three months after Delia came home in what was probably the most intense period of time our family has ever been through.

And yet she has emerged this feisty, clever, hilarious, loving little person. She is a picture of God’s grace in our lives, of how He gives us good gifts even in the midst of hard trials (and I hasten to add that Delia is a good gift, too! But you’ll have to wait until July to hear more about her.) I am having so much fun watching this girl grow up. She is such a character!

We love you so much, our sweet and spicy girl. Happy birthday, Annis!

2021 Birthday Post 4 of 13: Lewis

Lewis Christian is 14 today! As I completed Lewis’s final post-adoption report a couple months ago (5 years home already! Can you believe it?!), I marveled at just how far this amazing boy has come.

Despite having undiagnosed hearing loss for his first 8 years of life, this boy is an excellent communicator. He can almost always make himself understood using a combination of signs and gestures and approximate words. He works so hard in speech therapy twice a week, and he is loved by all who know him there.

He loves math! He has mastered counting to 20 and is working on adding and subtracting and simple skip counting.

He knows all his letters, can copy anything written, and even has some sight words and words he can spell independently. One of his favorite pastimes is to sit and type text out of a book. He takes great pride in his work and even gets spacing and capitalizations right.

Lewis still loves his old favorite hobbies of Lego, crafts, and puzzles, but he has also learned to crochet this year! I wasn’t sure how crocheting would work for him at first, since he isn’t able to read a pattern. But it turns out he has a remarkable knack for shaping pieces into what he wants, so he really doesn’t need much help at all. As soon as he finishes a project, he gives it to a sibling, every time.

Lewis likes things to be neat and organized, and he is a very willing helper. He loves to sweep, vacuum, rake, and shovel snow. And he’s good at them, too! He’s also the most recent addition to our team of dishwasher-emptiers. Monday is his day, and he won’t even mind doing it on his birthday 🙂

Lewis makes us laugh (or roll our eyes!) with his cool guy moves. He is forever slicking his hair off to the side, wiggling his eyebrows at us (or at himself in the mirror!), or showing off his latest dance move.

And of course he has great moves on the court, too:

He definitely has his stubborn moments, but on the whole, this boy is sweet and enjoys life. He is creative and hardworking, and will definitely be a ray of sunshine in the workplace someday. I look forward to seeing how far he will go.

Happy birthday, Lewis! We love you!

2021 Birthday Post 3 of 13: Niko

Happy 15th birthday to Niko today!

If you’ve been around my blog for a while then you know that Niko was the first to join our family by way of an airplane rather than mommy’s tummy. Would you believe that was NINE years ago? I still remember my heart melting and tears springing to my eyes when I caught my first glimpse of him through the orphanage window almost ten years ago. There he was in the flesh. My boy.

This boy, the one who made me a boy mom after five girls: He has my heart.

Niko hit the ground running in our family at 5 and a half. He found the well-hidden garbage disposal switch, turned the thermostat up to 87, and took a flying leap from his top bunk, all in his first 3 days home, and he hasn’t stopped “helping” and “fixing” and moving ever since.

But let me tell you about this young man now! Niko is so incredibly smart and resourceful. With all the challenges he has faced, we are always extra amazed at what he achieves. This boy is blowing Algebra 1 out of the water this year. (He is limited only by his insistence that 2 and z are written exactly the same way, much to his math teacher’s frustration!) Although written language has always been a challenge for him, we are seeing steady improvement across all areas of his schoolwork. At his last neuropsych evaluation at CHOP, we were told he can absolutely be shooting for college if that is his goal.

In his free time, he enjoys crocheting, writing stories, and learning to code using Scratch. He occasionally still dusts off his Lego, although for the first time ever he didn’t ask for any for his birthday this year (sniff!) He’s also become quite an accomplished baker over the past several months.

He has an engineer’s mind and loves figuring out how things work. He is an avid learner and loves sharing what he’s learned with us.

He is absolutely smitten with his baby brother. Although he has always been really sweet with his little sisters, there is definitely a special bond and fascination with Milo. The admiration is 100% mutual. Can you blame either one of them?

Niko and I may butt heads sometimes, but he has a deep and growing desire to do what’s right. He tries hard, he says sorry when he’s wrong, and he’s quick to forgive me when I am (which is a lot.) He has a ready and infectious smile and gives me hugs throughout my day.

His fierce tenacity may get him into trouble, but it is also what drives him to accomplish anything in life that he puts his mind to. He’s currently interested in pursuing a career in engineering or inventing, and I have no doubt he’s up for the challenge if that’s where the Lord leads.

Nikolai Dickson, you bear the special distinction of being the first child that we got to choose, and I would choose you all over again a hundred times over. I love you, and I’m so thankful God gave you to us.

2021 Birthday Post 2 of 13: Juniper

Our beautiful Juniper Lucy burst onto the scene 12 years ago in my first of two amazing homebirths. She surprised everyone in the room by weighing in at 10 lbs 6 oz, and she was 3 days early!

Junie was the baby of our “original four”, and yet no one ever really remembers her being a baby. She has always been wise and mature beyond her years.

There is a famous story of June, just after her first birthday, trying to fix our broken heating vent. Seeing it was missing a screw, she crawled around the corner, through the living room and into the guest room where she remembered seeing a bucket of odd screws. She chose one and crawled all the way back, where we found her trying to replace the missing screw.

Nowadays, she is the organizer of the family. She is one of our only naturally tidy children, though they all do their part when needed. She is also our Great Finder of Lost Things, with an uncanny knack for locating missing schoolbooks, remotes, and cell phones, usually in the very first place she looks.

She is a bit of a perfectionist in everything she does: her baking, crocheting, cross-stitching, and drawing are all meticulously beautiful.

She is my most faithful running buddy, which is gracious of her, since she would naturally be quite a bit faster than I am. I’ve taken to telling passing strangers on our runs who comment on how far ahead she is that I’m about to lap her. The truth is that with every run she’s getting faster and I’m getting older!

This lovely girl will succeed in whatever she sets her mind to. She has said for several years that she’d like to be a missionary. In particular, she has a heart for Russia, and has been learning the language on Duolingo. But who knows how the Lord will direct her steps? I can’t wait to see!

Happy birthday, Juniper. We love you so, so much!

2021 Birthday Post 1 of 13: Romilly

Once upon a time, I had time to blog about every little thing. My posts were (occasionally) deep and reflective, but most of all: frequent! Over time, as our family grew and life became busy, my blogging spaced out a bit to the point that it mainly consisted of baby and adoption announcements.

As the kids and I were discussing what my birthday crochet theme for the year should be, I began trying to find an escape route. Something equally thoughtful and meaningful I could do for each child that wouldn’t take quite so many hours to prepare. Romilly reminded me that I used to do a blog post for each child on their birthday, and suggested I resurrect the idea for 2021. I loved the idea! I have long been wanting to give a snapshot of what each of my amazing kiddos is up to, and this would give me the perfect excuse to brag on them. (At some point, we also came up with a crochet theme for the year. I’m not sure what happened there.)

So, without further ado, let me tell you about our first birthday girl of 2021 (and every year!) Romilly Alice.

Romilly turns 15 today. Actually, fun fact: she turned 15 at 9:20 pm the night before her birthday. Because she was born at 2:20 am Greenwich Mean Time in the UK, she has the unusual distinction of having her birth *time* not being on her birth *day* when we are in the US, which we almost always are.

Our beautiful second-born daughter spends her days reading, writing, drawing, running, crocheting, and catering to Freya’s every whim. I mentioned her first novel, The Land of Elorien, in a previous post. While she is working on getting that edited and worked into publishable form, she is also well into writing her second novel. She’s also working on an illustrated children’s book about a family of were-creatures, and she blogs at www.theyoungpages.com/romillys_blog/ (and more often than I do at that!)

She has developed an interest in Myers-Briggs personality types (she is an INTP, I think?) (Edit: INTJ! How could I forget the J?!) Having analyzed everyone in the family old enough to test, she often offers us little insightful tidbits about ourselves, like, “hey, dad, did you know you have the personality type most likely to drink multiple cups of tea a day?” It’s a little eerie!

She has her dad’s extremely dry sense of humor and analytical mind, along with a creative flair we don’t quite know where she got. She thinks and feels deeply.

She has an aversion to embedded things, like teeth and eyeballs and little pebbles in concrete, that reminds us that she is still the same quirky little girl who could only wear one certain pair of furry crocs and was terrified of raised playground equipment for years.

We are ever amazed at who that little girl is growing into: this funny, smart, articulate, talented, beautiful young woman. Maybe she’ll be a vet, or an architect, or a writer, or an artist. Definitely not a teacher, she says, although she has a regular gig helping Lewis and Teddy with their math, and she’s good at that, too, so we’ll see.

Happy birthday, Ro (although she doesn’t want to be called Ro anymore, and definitely not Ro-ro, or Rombelina, or Toodle.). I am so blessed to be your mom, and I cannot wait to see what God has in store for you!

One Joyous Day

On the one day of Christmas, this stuff entered our house:

12 pairs of gloves,

11 Pez dispensers,

10 lego sets,

9 balloon creations,

8 scented play-dohs,

7 nesting dolls,

6 bags of marbles,

5 pairs of jeans!

4 pencil sharpeners,

3 crocheted wise men,

2 off-brand Fitbits,

And a mouse named Huckleberry!

* * * * *

But these weren’t the real gifts this Christmas. The story that I can’t begin to quantify is one of peace and thoughtfulness on Christmas day. While some recent Christmases have felt a little bit rushed and chaotic, sprinkled with occasional jealousies and disappointments, this Christmas felt warm and relaxed. Any mom (and especially any adoptive mom) will tell you what a rare and precious gift that is! Here were some of my favorite highlights of Christmas 2020:

  • Everyone pausing on Christmas morning, after only one or two gifts had been opened, to listen to Trevor reading Freya the story book Pippa had written for her.
  • Coraline running upstairs the moment she saw she had received a smart watch (before even opening it) to get Teddy her old watch. I think he was almost as excited about his new watch as she was about hers!
  • Delia having a happy day on Christmas. Because she came home just a week before Christmas seven years ago, this can be a tough and emotional time of year for her. The two weeks before Christmas were rough. Lots of big feelings and trying to retreat into herself. But on the day, she was happy and peaceful. Annis helped her sing along to her new mp3 player. She had a good day, which is something we never take for granted.
  • Niko confiding in me privately and excitedly that he knew the friend he crocheted an army tank for had loved it, even though that friend didn’t give a hugely excited reaction on opening it. (And he was right!)
  • Time with family near and far.
  • Every moment of this boy’s first Christmas. He still feels like such a miracle!
One happy boy and one sleepy one 🙂
  • My six big kids totally surprising me with a beautiful crocheted nativity set! Apparently there were quite a number of near misses over the last couple of weeks, but I was oblivious enough in the busy-ness of Christmas prep to keep the secret safe!

I could go on and on. Despite two not-fully-functional vehicles and at least four Christmas packages that haven’t arrived yet, this Christmas may go down in Young family history as the best ever. It was a perfect storm of happy, thankful kids that doesn’t happen every day and can only really be explained as a gift from God.

I wish you all joy and peace this Christmas season and in the year to come!

The Thankfullest Thursday

This morning began with a slightly rainy Thanksgiving 5-mile run with our six “big kids” and my sister’s family and a few friends. If you had told me a couple of years ago that I would ever voluntarily leave my home at 8 am on Thanksgiving morning to run 5 miles in the rain, I’m not sure I would have believed you. And yet, amazingly, we all did, and enjoyed it as well! I still have a bit of a love-hate relationship with running, but increasingly the love is winning. I love the energy I have for my kids now, the feeling of pushing myself to do something hard, the fresh air and time to think. I’m not sure I will ever be the marathon (or even half-marathon) type, but I’ve settled into a happy little groove with running, and I’m thankful for that.

I’m thankful for kids that willingly helped peel sweet potatoes even after running five miles in the rain, and for my mama who watched the rest of the gang at home this morning and had all the regular potatoes peeled before we even got back.

Thanksgiving dinner was smaller this year without our usual out-of-state cousins, but it was joyful nonetheless.

I’m thankful to be surrounded on all sides by family who truly see our children for the blessings they are, no matter how many come along.

I’m thankful for laughter and fun as we draw near the end of the stangest year of all of our lives.

(These were our “serious Puritan faces”, about which it was said, “Mommy’s serious face looks silly, but Daddy’s looks real!” Truth.)

Above all, I am thankful for the God who has given all of these good gifts. He becomes realer and truer to me the longer I live and walk with Him, and this year has been no exception. Happy Thanksgiving!

Routine and Refreshment

We are now over two months into our new school year with everyone home, and a good six weeks into a full load of necessary therapies. By God’s grace, everything is fitting!

When Delia’s ABA therapy abruptly ended on March 13th, we had no idea that it would be seven months until they reopened for home visits. This time has been tougher on Delia than anyone else in our family. While she certainly didn’t mind the break, after a couple months of limited accountability and engagement, the cracks began to show. She retreated into herself and spent her days engaging as little as we would let her get away with over the summer. It was time to get back to business.

The day after I emailed to say that we would be willing to drive (almost an hour each way) to the therapy center for one session a week, they called me to say they had just reopened for home visits. Delia is now receiving 12 hours a week of much-needed therapy, all without interrupting anyone else’s school day. Although there has definitely been an adjustment period for her, it has been an incredible blessing to get back to this with her.

Lewis and Teddy are currently (as in, right now as I type this!) receiving private speech therapy twice a week, which is significantly more than they received in school. I’m excited to see how far they will go with this more intense, customized therapy. They are both bright and enthusiastic, and they love coming here. Also, I get an hour to myself in my car, which is just… ahhhh….

Everyone else is doing well, too. Pippa and Ro are both almost completely independent with their school, in 11th and 9th grades respectively. Pippa is also learning to drive and preparing to take the SATs in the spring, and Ro is working on editing the 470-page fantasy novel she wrote mostly during quarantine. Niko, Bea, and Junie (and Delia, when she’s available) are in “Trevor’s class” learning about the history of science this year, while I am teaching early American history to the younger set: Coraline, Annis, Teddy, and Lewis. After lunch we try to have some structured reading and math time for the kiddos that are less-self-directed. Everyone is making progress in their own way. Annis, 6, has become a great little reader and spends much of her time writing little stories. If I don’t keep an eye on her, actual school work can sometimes slip off her radar from time to time.

Annis has now written six books in her series “Annis’s Concerns”. She absolutely cracks us up.

Verity, 4, has been learning her letters and numbers, and Freya, 2, is talking up a storm and slowly getting the hang of potty training. Milo, 4 months!, continues to be a delicious little smoosh who makes everyone around him feel happy.

About a month ago, we got to have a wonderful week long break as a family. We began with 3 nights of tent camping with a few other homeschooling families. Trevor find himself unexpectedly in charge of leading a couple of hikes for a larger than usual number of kids. He seems to be a bit of a pied piper! All lost and wandering children were eventually found and returned to their parents 🙂

We spent the next three nights, just the fifteen of us, in a delightful little rental house in a state park. The first full day was rainy, which was just perfect. Trevor took a small but intrepid contingent on a very wet hike, while most of us stayed home reading, crocheting, doing crossword puzzles (so addictive! I had no idea!) and sipping tea. The next day was beautiful, so we explored some of the local attractions, including Gravity Hill, where objects, including our 15-passenger van, appear to roll uphill! We were unconvinced at first, but the second location we tried certainly did what it said on the tin!

The final leg of our trip saw us at the Weavers’ homestead in central PA. It was cold camping for most of the kids, but Trevor and I and the little ones were fortunate enough to get a spot inside the house. It was the perfect end to a perfect week, a familiar home away from home with dear friends.

As we enter this season of thankfulness, I find myself having more to be thankful for than I can even put into words. Life is good right now. We seem to be, for the moment, finding that perfect balance of busy-ness and calm. I’m so aware that this season of still having little ones and also having everyone all under one roof will be over before I know it, and I am savoring every moment.

On Naming Milo

It occurred to me in thinking about how to share Milo’s name story that I have only ever told you half of each of our name stories. Since we have never (except with Freya, by accident) found out what we were having before the birth, we have had to choose a boy name as well as a girl name for each one. Some have asked me if we’ve kept the same “boy name” in reserve for all of our babies. I wish I could tell you it was that simple. In fact, the boy half of the name story has almost always been the more dramatic and contentious, and this time was no exception.

So let me start you at the very beginning of our naming journey. Pippa would have been Miles had she been a boy. And that was probably the last time we agreed easily on a boy name. For Ro, Bea, and June, we remained gridlocked until the bitter end, me pushing for the nickname Gus with any and every full name option under the sun, and Trevor loving Barnaby.

By the time we were naming Coraline’s boy alter ego, there were a few more names on the table, but we had kind of settled into a routine of not taking the boy name discussions quite as seriously as the girl ones. In fact, Trevor admitted after she was born that he didn’t really like the name he had agreed to (Felix) but was sure enough that it wouldn’t matter that he was willing to risk it.

And so it went with them all until this pregnancy, which definitely felt (boyishly) different to both of us.

For almost all of our children, the one guiding force in naming them has been the honor name. We have gotten more creative with this over the years, and we have increasingly been trying to name each baby after more than one person as it has seemed increasingly likely to be our last baby. (See: Freya Poppy, who was named after her grandad Peter GodFREY, and her POP-pop.)

This time we hoped to honor as many of the three remaining great-grandfathers as possible. Teddy’s middle name, Merit, was my maternal grandfather’s middle, which left my father’s father (Harvey Asa Gilbert) and Trevor’s two grandfathers (Peter Young and William Munro). Remarkably, we came up several girl combos that successfully nodded to all three!

There was much brainstorming on the boy front. Names were dissected and reattached in every possible way, and early on a namey friend suggested Walter as a combo of William and Peter. I loved it, especially because Walter was one of my favorite characters in the Anne of Green Gables series.

Very early in the pregnancy, we had a scare that sent us to the emergency room. I thought I was likely losing the baby. I asked Trevor if he’d be up for one last name discussion while we were waiting in the ER, and he happily obliged. It was then that I first suggested Walter, which we both really liked and strongly considered as a first name. Thankfully, we saw a happy little heartbeat that night, and all continued to be well. And there were many, MANY more name discussions.

I know you will believe me that this name-obsessed girl exhausted every possible way to honor all three grandfathers, but at the end of the day, after fifteen years, I really still just wanted a Gus. By about the halfway point, we abandoned all the name acrobatics and agreed on a combo from my original list that only honored one of the grandfathers, but it got me my Gus. With that settled, I stuck a pin in it and focused on girl names for a few months.

I’m not sure what shifted in Trevor’s mind about two months before Milo was born, but he suddenly seemed to realize that the baby might actually be a boy and that he needed to pay more attention to the boy name situation. On closer scrutiny, he didn’t think he could live with the name we’d chosen. I may or may not have cried. Pregnancy hormones and all.

We avoided the subject for a couple weeks, but time was short, so we needed to get back on the horse. I sent Trevor back to my original list of five or so boy names I had written down (the same one that HE had chosen our first option from, I might add).

He chose Milo, and happily, I realized it was my favorite of the remaining names, too. I loved the simplicity of a name that needed no nickname, no explanations, no engineering to get all the pieces to fit. I loved that Milo, the Latin form of Miles, took us right back to the beginning of our boy name story and the name that Pippa would have been. Our name style has changed over the years, but apparently not that much!

Milo’s middle name honors his Daddy’s two grandfathers and will always remind me of that night in the ER when I thought I was losing him and had him graciously given back to me.

Onesie compliments of his gran and grandad in England.

And that is how the Youngs name a boy completely from scratch. I told you there would be drama!

(If anyone is curious and has a LOT of free time, I’ll link the other name stories here. Maybe get yourself a nice cup of coffee first! Pippa, Romilly, Beatrix and Juniper share one post here. Then click each name to read stories for Coraline, Niko, Delia, Annis, Lewis, Verity, Teddy, and Freya.