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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Batterson

More Than a Name

We've always been the type of parents that choose names for our children based on their meaning. We don't try to be trendy (often we try *not* to be trendy), we don't try to get all the kids' names to have the same first letter - we just pray and talk it over until we settle on a name we feel is just right. We also knew we wanted a name that couldn't be shortened. Neither one of us are fans of a kid being named one thing, but called another - like my hubby Bill (William), lol (to each his own though, no judgement here if that's you!).

For about six years, after our first child, we tried to grow our family. In 2014 we had our first loss. For an undetermined reason, we had a missed miscarriage and heaven gained it's first Batterson baby around 12-ish weeks gestation. We were all devastated by the loss, but eager to try again. Then in 2016 we lost our second Batterson Baby at 14 weeks, whom we named Bean. This loss took a lot more recovery time, and we questioned whether or not we should continue trying to have kids, or stick to our original plan of adoption. In late 2017 we were surprised to find out we were pregnant again. This baby, Malachi James, also went to live with Papa in heaven, at about 14.5 weeks. This loss seemed to compound all the others, and really took its toll on us emotionally and physically. Then, beyond any rhyme or reason, we found that pink plus sign on the stick again just eight months after losing Malachi. It left us completely astounded. Unfortunately, it didn't quite make it where it needed to be, and I ended up in surgery to remove the ectopic pregnancy. Around April of 2019 hubby and I finally felt a peace about not growing our family with more biological kids. Between the physical toll it took on my body and the emotional toll it took on us, it just didn't seem wise, and we were okay with it. For the first time in 6 years, we were in a really good place about it all - emotionally, physically and spiritually.

So when I pulled a dusty test out from the back of the cupboard and watched that plus sign appear yet again, in June of 2019, an expletive may have escaped my lips that was worthy of the room I was sitting in (and the seat I was sitting on for that matter, ah-hem).

When we made it past the 15 week mark with lots of good reports, we decided to tell our eldest son, who only knew about two of the losses we'd endured. When we shared the news that he was going to be a big brother, the very first thing he said (even before asking about gender!) was, "You have a baby? I prayed for one!"

We knew that

would be the perfect fit for this sweet little boy. Judah means "praise the Lord."

The answer to his brother's (and so many people's) prayers. A testimony that God is my healer - after all the trauma my body has been through in the past six years, He restored it, and I was able to grow a beautiful and perfect life in my womb for nearly nine months. A testimony that God delivers on his promises. He placed a promise in our little boy's heart when he was just three years old that he would have a sibling some day, and that day finally came.

Not long after settling on Judah, the middle name came to me in a dream and I knew it was absolutely perfect. When I shared it with hubby, along with the reasoning, he agreed.

No, it's not about the city. And it's not at all a Harry Potter reference. Though, if you've seen/read the books, you'll have an idea of what the mythical bird represents: new life, reborn from ashes. Our little Judah Phoenix is a testimony of what God can do, but also a reminder and a tribute to the siblings that came before him, who are relaxing in the Father's arms and being loved on by saints and angels while they wait to meet us on the other side of eternity.

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