Friday, August 13, 2010

A Name and a Promise (Part 2 of 3): Guest Blogger Diana DePriest

We started talking about names for our unborn baby. I learned a long time ago, that biblically speaking the meaning of names was very important. Since I had somewhat failed in naming my firstborn “the deceiver” because I wasn’t aware of it, I didn’t want to leave my second child in the lurch too. (No worries about our oldest, his middle name means “God is my Judge” so in the big picture, it all panned out.)
We quickly decided that if the baby was a girl, we would name her after my cousin, who has a beautiful name that she’s never used. She’s gone by a cute nickname since she was in the bassinet and although I am not a huge fan of naming people after family members (I am named after two, and the one I share my first name with always seemed sort of annoyed about it.) But for an adopted child I thought it might be nice to bestow a family name. But I wanted to make sure it had a good meaning as well.

I always knew I liked the name “Elijah” if I had another boy, but I had no idea what it meant. So I sat down at my desk at work and brought up a website on baby names. As I clicked through links, finally a page of boy names starting with the letter “E” began to scroll down the page. As I skimmed the column on the left, a name on the right jumped out at me. Now, this may sound a little unbelievable, but “jumped out” is actually sort of an understatement. In my memory it was more like it floated out into 3-D with neon arrows pointing at it from every direction. Truth be told I had never heard the name before and I sat at my desk and read it out loud.

“Ethan.” I said.

And then, “Ethan Mitchell DePriest.” It flowed off my tongue like it was meant to be. In the moment that I said it, I knew the baby we were waiting for was a baby, and I knew that was his name. It was one of those supernatural moments. God was with me and speaking and I had heard Him, so I ran downstairs to tell Neal.

“Honey,” I said, “the Lord just gave me the baby’s name. It’s Ethan Mitchell, I know he’s going to be a boy.”

Neal true to form looked at me and smiled, “OK,” he said, because he never really questioned me when I told him I felt I had heard from God. “What does it mean?”

And that was the really cool part, on the page that I first saw the name, the definition was listed as “Permanent.” How cool is that? Our adopted son, permanently ours. And Mitchell, my grandmother’s maiden name, a family name for our adopted child means, “Who is like God.” I loved it! Still do.

A couple nights later I got my regular call from G. That night she wanted to talk about baby names, she was curious if we had made any decisions. Knowing her faith and her understanding of God was different than ours, I didn’t want to freak her out by telling her God had given me the baby’s name and that I already knew it was a boy.

So I told her the choice for the girl name (Adriana Yvonne, in case you’re wondering.) And she told me it was pretty. Then I told her the boy name, “Ethan Mitchell.” After I said the name G got really quiet on the other end of the phone. Really quiet, uncomfortably quiet. Finally, I asked her, “Do you hate it?” And then I held my breath.

Her answer came slowly, “No,” she said, “I don’t hate it at all, if I had kept him, I was going to name him Ethan Michael.”

I felt the Holy Spirit fall. It was absolute confirmation. As it happens, Mitchell and Michael mean the same thing and come from the same root. God had put this little boys name in both our hearts.

“Permanent.” I didn’t know it at the time, but it was more than an encouragement, it was a promise. It was a promise we would hold to for more than the next three years. It would be my prayer more times than I care to recall, “Lord, You gave me his name, You told me he was permanent.”

Diana DePriest is wife for nearly 20 years to Neal, and mom to Jacob, 16, Ethan, 9, and Victoria, 8. Since giving her life to Christ in 1992, she has served in various ministries, including pro-life, post-abortion, women’s and youth ministries. With a passion for the Lord and her gift in writing she has been an avid blogger since 2008 when she felt the Lord called her to it as a new avenue of ministry. She writes regularly about her faith ( and her family (

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