Twenty-four years ago we wrapped our darling baby daughter in our arms while we tried to wrap our brain around the fact that she probably had Down syndrome. It was less than 2 hours from her ceserean section delivery and the Hunk and I were sitting in my hospital room in a daze when in bustled someone wanting us to fill out information for a birth certificate. ” What’s her name going to be?”, the stranger asked? My daughter Jenny, 9 years old at the time, had been working on names for months. Just the night before she had suggested April Joy as a possibility. “We have time Jenny to come up with a name. I still have 3 weeks before my due date”, I responded never dreaming I would go into labor early. Jim and I both knew that April Joy would be a perfect name for our precious newborn. We were dazed but not defeated and knew she would bring joy to our lives.
Fast forward 24 years. My out spoken, extrovert daughter does not want to be called April Joy. After our visit to Maryland to see the Hunk’s sister she wants her middle named changed to her aunt’s name, Jean. Her older sister is named Jennifer Jean and she wants to be April Jean. All 4 of her brothers have the same middle name, James, so she sees no problem with both sisters having the same middle name. The girl has a point. I told her the story today about her name thinking she would want to keep Joy in the middle of it but she was not buying it. I told her we could use Jean as a nickname but she said, “Not a nickname Mom, my real name because it’s in my blood.” You’re right April Jean. Those relative genes are in your blood.