Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What's in a Name

I never mentioned why we picked the name Zoë. It had been on our short list since we were married for potential girl names and I had thought of it now and then, but never fully committed myself to it. My entire pregnancy I was set on the name Elizabeth. It's such a great classic name with so much versatility. (Liz, Lizzy, Beth, Betty, Betsy, Ellie, Elle...) But as my due date came closer and closer it just wasn't feeling right.

During the brief stint that my parents were visiting from Russia last Christmas, my mom and I were in the kitchen getting dinner prepared and we were talking about names. I mentioned the name Elizabeth to her and her reaction was neutral...which as a daughter, was a good thing. (Better than giving it the axe like she did when I wanted to name Lucy "Mazy". Thank you, mom! It was a momentary lapse of judgement for sure. Nothing wrong with that name, and no offense to anyone with a Mazy or named Mazy...just not right for me and my family.)  I find I crave my mother's approval much more than I realize sometimes, and I am very much influenced by her opinions on things--whether consciously or not. Luckily, my mom has great taste, an open mind, and a great world view on things.

I casually mentioned we were thinking of Zoë as a name (yes, complete with umlauts over the e. This is done by pushing OPTION and the letter U at the same time, then releasing and typing E--just in case anyone was wondering). My mom reacted with such joy at the name, complete with a little gasp and said, "Oh...I just LOVE that name!"

That's when I decided to walk over to the lap top and google the name Zoë to find its meaning. I've said it before, but the meaning of a name holds a lot of value for us. I'm so grateful for the meaning of Lucia/Lucy (light) and all that it has symbolized for our family. And that Peter means "Rock"-- a little boy who grounded us and gave us a new foundation after our family was shattered. So when I saw the meaning of Zoë I knew Vic would love it. I already knew he liked the name, but again, when I saw the meaning not only did I know he would like the name even more, I KNEW THAT WAS HER NAME.  I got chills. In fact, I got teary. It was a powerful moment for me. I had no doubt whatsoever that Zoë would be her name.

It simply means this:    LIFE

Life after death. Life to be lived. Life to look forward to. New life. Life back into our family. And every other connotation of the word life.

I needed this new life.

P.S. This happened before I "knew" the gender of the baby. But I always "knew" it was a girl. Just had to prove it to Vic a few weeks later.


  1. Perfect meaning for rainbow baby.

  2. I love it!! My sister named her baby Zoe before she placed her for adoption, She had given her "life" and now she was giving her a new "life" with her adoptive family! It is beautiful

  3. Loved reading this Molly. I feel you... And I love you and thank you for your example to me so personally.

  4. So amazing and sweet. I'm glad she brought "life" to your family...and joy....and happiness....and last of all, she brought some of her sister with her. All 3 of your children are very lucky to have you as their mother and Vic as their father.

  5. Thank you for sharing your story and the meaning behind your little girls name. Zoë. Precious life!


  6. Thank you for sharing that. I got teary just reading it. What a beautiful name for a beautiful girl.
    I truly feel we are inspired to name our children. Gabriel means "Devoted to God" not a day has gone by that I have ever thought we just casually named Gabe. I Know his name was inspired from a Heavenly Father who knew him better than I did.

  7. oh, and ps. i am a big fan of umlauts. or however you spell it.
    pps. we are big on name meanings, too.

  8. That's beautiful. Love the meaning and the's nice when that happens. She's adorable and that's a beautiful picture of you both.

  9. One of the many reasons that I love my name!!! Congrats on such a beautiful baby girl!

  10. I love when a name is chosen because of a meaning. Zoë (you can also do the "e trema" by holding alt and typing 137--writing in French means you use the accents a lot ;) is a beautiful name and an even more beautiful meaning. What a special moment it must have been to find the name and the meaning of your third child.
    She is loved beyond measures.
    Can't wait to meet her eventually--and Mr. Pierre ;)

  11. OH! I love this story! I only wish picking a name for our baby girl was so obviously inspired!!

  12. I got chills. It's a perfect name for both your darling daughter, and for your family.

  13. That is a beautiful photo of the two of you- and such a great story! I've got a bit of a baby name obsession, and it's always fun finding out meanings and origins.

  14. I love Zoë's name and think it's perfect for her. I can't say congrats enough. She is beautiful and I'm so happy that she is in your life!


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