After taking about 12 steps backwards, it seems that we have things going in the right direction for Miss Briar. I’m working hard to eliminate dairy and soy from my diet as it appears to help a lot with her reflux issues. It seems that every few days she has a flair up and I add something else to the do-not-eat-unless-you-want-to-have-a-screaming-baby-and-never-sleep-again list. Things like tomatoes, orange juice, broccoli are now on there and I’m sure there’ll be more soon. I did ask Jeff to get me some dairy free ice cream since that is my go-to comfort food, but I discovered that it contains soy. 😦 We went to a pediatric chiropractor today to consult and see if an adjustment might be able to help. And if you are leery about that, I understand. I was too. But I have read a lot about the benefits and talked to a number of people who recommended the one we went to. She was extremely knowledgable, gentle, and kind. My fingers are crossed that we see some improvement. I’m really hoping to avoid medication, however that is our next step.
But what I really wanted to write about today was how we arrived at Briar’s name.
Many people have asked about our draw to the name Briar and where it might have come from. Some suggested the ice cream, Breyers, umm no. Or the princess, Briar Rose, double no. (I am not a princess girl by any means and actually have to defer to Jeff when Odette asks about specific ones.) Briar’s name came about randomly. We heard the name a couple of years ago and just liked it. It was a “normal” name but unique. We tucked it away in the back of our minds to use if we ever had a biological girl.
Briar actually has two middle names. This is because Odette does and we wanted them to have that in common. Odette’s second middle name is what we consider her family name. It was her middle name in Congo and we wanted her to carry on that piece of her African background. Briar’s second middle name is also a family name. Joyce was decided on years ago. Our first born daughter was always going to have the middle name of my grandma. And while she passed away before Briar was born, I think she would totally understand us not going with her first name, Mildred. I did tell my grandma some time ago that we would be using her middle name. I’m so glad that I shared it with her. Briar is our joy just like she was.
Our girls’ first middle names were both completely chosen by us and have a lot of special meaning behind them. It took quite some time and discussion to decide on Briar’s, which is Neema. As most of you know, our pregnancy was a complete surprise. We were/are in the middle of our second adoption and our lives were consumed in preparing for that. We were scrounging together every penny to fund it, working on putting together a room for our son and getting everything in order to have two preschoolers. God had different plans. It was just days after my grandma’s passing that we found out that I was pregnant. In a time of deep mourning, we were blessed with a most special gift from above. Instead of looking at the past and being brokenhearted, we instead could look to the future in hope. God gave us His grace. Of course He would. Amazing Grace was the song that always made me think of my grandma during her long time of illness. Amazing Grace is what I sang to her in the hospital her last days and even in my personal time with her as she ran into the arms of Jesus. As Jeff and I were talking about what it would mean to have this baby and began to prepare for her I couldn’t help but think about how blessed we were that God would see the hole in our hearts before it was even there and fill it for us in a way we never imagined. We talked about how fitting the name Grace would be for our baby girl, but didn’t think it was the best fit for us. We wanted something more unique. On a whim I looked up the Swahili name for Grace since Africa is so near and dear to our hearts and instantly we loved Neema.
Briar Neema Joyce is such a blessing to our family. We all love her so very much. While we are still adjusting to being a family of 4, we can’t wait to be a family of 5 and share with you A’s full name.