I grew up in Oregon, my husband Brian grew up in Florida and it wasn’t until our mid-20’s that we found each other in California. We met, fell in love, married and started our family here. And while we curse the housing market and the heat waves with no air conditioning, we love it here. It has become home.
Four years ago when we were expecting our first daughter, Brian suggested that we connect my love of flowers and the place we put our roots down and name our daughter Poppy. The Golden Poppy is the California state flower and we have both grown to love them in our (almost) 20 years here. They are vibrant and cheerful and they pop up in places that need beauty. We tucked the name away because we loved Harper Violet for our first-born daughter and wanted to save Poppy for a littlest sister, if ever we had one.
Well, in about 19 weeks (give or take) littlest sister will be joining our family and choosing her name feels like a big step. This past year and a half has been heavy with loss and I know the fear is trying to hold me back from attaching to her and believing that we will get to bring her home in January.
But God is calling me toward His peace. He is reminding me that His plan is good and that opening my heart again is safe in His care. I hope to someday know the balance of loving wholeheartedly while also holding my precious ones with open hands, but that might take a lifetime. And so I take small steps.
A few weeks ago we announced that we were expecting a girl and it felt scary to put our excitement out there and allow others to celebrate with us. It felt even scarier to let our kids choose special gifts for their baby sister. I can’t bear the thought of their little hearts breaking again.But it also felt good to believe in the future for this baby and our family together. To live in the hope that she will get to wear her newborn hat and snuggle her soft blue elephant.
As we discussed names this time around, we thought again about Poppy and wondered if it felt right for her. One night last month I felt compelled to go back and re-read the post I wrote in May about naming our son Judah. I was thinking about how this baby I carry now was conceived around the time I wrote that post.
I cried when I read the part about the burned out field that I drive by. That the “charred places are still there but new life is fighting to rise up.” Overwhelmed that I am still aching for my baby boy and yet literally feeling new life rolling around inside my belly.
And then I realized that in the photo- the new life? The flowers in the blackened field? They’re poppies.
And so her name will be Poppy.
Poppy Marie Day. Poppy for showing up in places that need beauty. And Marie for my beautiful mother-in-law Nancy Marie.
And we can’t wait to meet her.