Monday, November 10, 2008

What’s in a Name?

Whether you’re adopting or pregnant, what is one of most the pressing issues at hand? Some might say getting the nursery ready. Others would say baby-proofing the house. For every person insisting on giving you their two cents, you’ll find a different and higher priority. In our experience, what most people want to know after the due date and sex is what we are going to name the baby. From the day we announced to the World that we had finally succeeded in conceiving a child, the pressure was on. Ten long years of assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedures pale in comparison to the perils that await the parents who don’t have a name chosen for the child at least four months before the due date. After all, no one wants a child to go into the World without a name. With this horrible thought in mind, we are happy to announce that we have chosen a name for our third son.

I have come to the realization that naming a child becomes more difficult with each successive birth. Once we decided to start a family, we began the search for a name for our future boy or girl. We threw a few random names in the hat, but it quickly became apparent that neither of us wanted to pick some random moniker out of thin air, or some other place. We were not going to choose a name that would condemn our little charmer to the spinning barf-fest that is the inside of a garbage can for most of his high school years. We weren’t going to fall into the temptation of making up some unique name; as is the fad these days. The thought of our child going through life with a name that sounds like the latest female oriented pharmaceutical sends shivers up our spines. We wanted our child to have a strong name; one from which he could be proud and draw character. Giving a child a name of substance definitely ups the level of difficulty.

By the time our first son was given to us, we had already chosen a girl’s and a boy’s name. We had a lot of time in between rounds of clomid, IUI, IVF, EIEIO and all the rest to think about such things. We had chosen the girl’s name with our grandmothers in mind. We chose to name our son after my father. On that wonderful day in Mobile when we were handed our most wonderful gift, we declared our first son to be named William John Lucas, II. Being as I go by my middle name, we thought we would do the same with our boy. John is a popular name on both sides of our family, but the name Jack (a nickname for John) seemed to be inspired.

Naming our second son proved to a bit more difficult. With the aforementioned strategy firmly in place, we forged on to search for a noble name. Our biggest hurdle was the many names we couldn’t use. The names that came to mind were either too popular, too recurrent in our families or were those belonging to an unsavory character one of us knew personally. With the delivery date of our second son looming just seven days in front of us, we were finally struck with an epiphany. On June 5th at 2:47 pm, Michael Ian Lucas was brought into the World and placed in our arms. The name Michael is that of the patron saint of warriors, law enforcement officers and fire fighters. Ian is a name that Pam had always liked.

For a third time, we are facing the paralyzing fear of a nameless child. With our next son possibly arriving at any moment, we scrambled to find a name. And like his older brothers, we wanted his name to mean something; not just some name pulled out of a book. This time we went through all the names we couldn’t use in hopes of narrowing down the possibilities. We started running names together to see which combination struck our fancy. We even held a blog poll. Thanks for all your input folks! In an act of desperation I sent out a plea for suggestions from just about everyone in my email address book. I received many replies all with various suggestions; some good, some bad. One suggestion struck a chord with me on a very deep level. A friend of mine, whose son had served in Iraq and lost three dear friends, suggested that we use the name of one of the three young Marines who had died in the line of duty. After careful consideration, we have chosen two of those three names to memorialize the sacrifices that the defenders of our nation offer every day, all over the World.

L/Cpl Nathan Windsor

( was shot during combat operations while acting as a sniper in Al Anbar province, Iraq on March, 10, 2007. He was stabilized in Iraq and transported to a hospital in Germany where he later died.

Here is a picture of Nathan's final journey home.

L/Cpl Blake H. Howey

( was killed during combat operations while driving his HMMWV, in convoy, across an explosive laden bridge in Fallujah, Al Anbar, Iraq.

Both of these men are described as intelligent, loving and dedicated friends, sons and Marines. They made the ultimate sacrifice to help a nation, and her people, change from one of oppression to one where each person has the freedom to choose his or her own destiny.

We know that our baby will have a character and personality that is all his own. We hope that his name will memorialize two men who honorably represent all who serve, have served or will serve or died in defense of freedom all over the World. It is our humble pleasure and reverent privilege to name our third son Nathaniel Blake Lucas.


  1. Love the name and the background behind the name. Thanks for making me cry, lol.

  2. The perfect name! Happy homecoming!! :)

  3. I found your blog through one I read and wanted to tell you I think you've chosen a fine name for your son to grow up with.

    As a military wife, I can think of no greater honor than that of which you've chosen.

    Be well.

  4. That is one of the most wonderful tributes anyone could do. Thank you so much and I know Nathan and Blake are proud. Feel free to contact me at

    Semper Fi,
    Robert Windsor
    Proud Father of Lcpl. Nathan Windsor USMC

  5. Mr Lucas, what a wonderful thing you and your wife have done. I read about it on Jake Wood's blog. An outstanding young man, himself. Thank you.

  6. Thank you....this means so much both Nathan and Black are missed everyday and knowing that a baby has been blessesd with these two mens names is a testement to their honor.
    Not ever meeting Nathan but knowing him well through family, he was Loved and is missed. The gifts of their lives continue to bless everyone they touch.
    Thank you.

  7. Mr Lucas, your choice of a name for your third son is certainly inspired. By chosing the name of two of this Country's fallen heroes, you have certainly given him a "a strong name; one from which he could be proud and draw character." Many blessings to you and your family, and may your sons (all three of them) grow to have the strength and character their parents seem to demonstrate. God Bless.

  8. What a touching and meaningful thing for you to do. May God bless your son's life in many ways.

  9. It was a pleasure serving with and knowing these Marines, they were the very definition of Semper Fidelis.