The night that the kids and I arrived in New Smyrna Beach, and I shared the details of Xiao Xiao's file with our Aunt and Uncle, Aunt Diane ran right into their library and grabbed a book of Saint names.
Together, we looked up some of the pertinent dates in Xiao Xiao's life to see if there were any stand-out names, but nothing. None of the names jumped out at us at all. So I grabbed a yellow pad and began to jot down some of my favorite names as they popped into my head.
By the end of the night, we had some strong contenders, but I knew that I had a "Board of Directors" who would need to give me their valuable input, too.
The next day, Jimmy and I shuffled the necessary emails back and forth to submit our Letter of Intent to adopt Xiao Xiao.
Later in the day, I noticed that I had a voice mail message on my cell phone. It wasn't surprising that I missed the call, as my cell service is always sketchy up there.
The call was from a
friend sister-in-Christ who had intended to call me for a while but life got busy. She had never called me before this day, and had just come across my business card the day before. She felt the timing was right, and planned to call me soon. Shortly thereafter, she went to grab her sunglasses from a shelf, but they were stuck on something. When she further investigated, she found that they were stuck on my book, which had been sitting on her shelf for months. Interesting timing, right?
Well, she went on to say that she picked up the book, couldn't put it down, and proceeded to read the whole story that night. She laughed and cried. She felt both the joy and the pain of loving Daniel. She felt compelled to reach out and embrace me verbally the next day.
And then she said this, "Today, on the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, the Feast Day of the ultimate foster father, I went to church this morning, and I prayed for your family."
As I listened to those words from her sweet message, goosebumps flooded my entire body. In that solitary moment, I knew in my heart that the Holy Spirit had just worked through her to give our son his name:
It was March 19th. It was the Feast Day of Saint Joseph. And we had submitted our Letter of Intent to adopt him that morning.
I quickly found my yellow pad where I had been listing our potential boy names, and, to my amazement, guess what name topped the list? Yep...but I had no idea--when I first wrote it--that it would be so meaningful the very next day (pictured post-scribbles). And yesterday, when I originally posted this, I was quickly informed by a Facebook friend that Joseph means "God will increase." How appropriate.
His middle name will be Holt. It is a family name in our Danish lineage, and it belonged to my Grandfather...the Grandfather who shares Joseph's birthday. Holt also happens to be the name of our adoption agency that has now matched us with our three sons. Lastly, it is also the given middle name of his cousin, Matthew, (my brother's son), so we love that these boys will share that common thread.
And, as we've done with our other children, we will keep Xiaoxiao in there, too.
I've received the proper approvals from all of our household officials: Madi, Jimmy, Charlie (in that order)
He is Joseph Holt Xiaoxiao Murphy.
And we hope and pray we receive our Letter of Acceptance (LOA) from China soon, so we can bring him home.