“She named him Samuel, for she said, “I asked the Lord for him.” – 1 Samuel 1:20
When I was pregnant with Jackson, we landed on his middle name long before we agreed on his first name. His middle name is Cecil – in tribute to three great men in our families: my maternal grandfather, Josh’s paternal grandfather and his dad as well.
When I was pregnant with Elliott, we wanted to give him a family name as well. We considered Samuel (from my side) and Orion (Josh’s middle name). Ultimately, we thought Elliott Orion flowed a little better. Josh was concerned Samuel Sewell would be a mouthful.
When we started the adoption process, we immediately began talking about baby names again. I threw Samuel back into the pool of names, but Josh wasn’t sold on it, still concerned it didn’t flow well with our last name. We also had the following conversation, which still makes me giggle:
Him: I’d really like it to be a Biblical name.
Me: What?! Samuel is a Biblical name! He’s got a whole book! Wait. He’s got two whole books!
Anyway, we ended up narrowing it down to Judah (Jude) or Samuel (Sam) for the first name and his Korean family name for his middle name (probably shouldn’t share yet due to the confidentiality agreement).
With Josh’s clear concerns over Samuel, I assumed it would be Judah. I was even calling him baby Jude when thinking of him. I told Josh during church one morning that I thought his name would be Judah, assuming Josh just wanted to know I was really okay with it. He still hesitated.
A few days later, after no shortage of badgering, Josh said he felt it should be Samuel. Our child would have a family name, just as our other boys did, and it had a strong Biblical precedent with the story of Hannah and Samuel.
The same week we decided this, both of our boys ended up learning about the story of Hannah and Samuel at school. Josh’s own Bible Study reading ended up being on Samuel. And without knowing any of those yet, I also began reading Samuel for the first time in a couple of years. As usual, all small signs of affirmation that baby boy is indeed Samuel.
Elliott was the first to know this. The day we showed him the referral picture, I asked him what this baby boy’s name should be. With all the confidence in the world, Elliott told us, “He’s Sam.”
We will call him Sam.