you named her what?

When we decided not to find out the gender of this last baby, it kept us from diving in to the baby name game. In fact, I sort of found myself avoiding the conversation. We’d literally used all of the names we’d hoped to give our children. The twins alone took four names out of our arsenal! We decided to give this baby the name Lee regardless of the gender, after Chris’ mother. After that, we weren’t entirely sure. I’d throw one out every now and then and we’d have lighthearted chats, but we decided to just go with the flow once he or she arrived.

The day she came, time slowed to a crawl for me. I was in heaven in the hospital. I didn’t care about anything other than holding her. I just kept calling her “the baby,” and I figured her name would come when it needed to – which apparently was soon, as we had to sign the birth certificate paperwork before discharge from the hospital. Chris sent me text messages that night, after he put the kids to bed and got a chance to process the day. He wanted to name our girl, and he began running down the (very short) list of girl names we’d shared. When I say short, I mean… there were only two or three options at that point.

He knew that I liked Esther, but we both liked the Hebrew version better. Hadassah, pronounced HUH-DASS-UH, was Esther’s given name. She’s one of the big heroines of the Bible, a queen famous for saving her entire race with her smarts and patience and self-control. I like the self-control part; she waited until the time was right, nearly ten years, to speak up and have her people spared. That’s where people get the phrase, “for such a time as this.”

I want that kind of patience and self-control for my daughter. I want to raise a woman who’s assertive and graceful, smart and compassionate, fierce and faithful. So when Chris got to the hospital the next day, Hadassah Lee became official. One of the definitions of her name is “myrtle tree,” a representation of righteousness to the Jewish people. We’ve since planted six of them in our yard, a gift from my grandfather.

Haddie Lee is okay for you folks who feel weird about big, heavy names. It’s Southern and familial and it rolls off the tongue, like her big sisters’ names. But I’m pretty fond of her given name at this point, and this little queen will grow up hearing it spoken often.

22 thoughts on “you named her what?”

  1. I think it’s a beautiful name, both shortened and not. All of your kids have awesome names though so I wasn’t expecting anything less for this baby! (And those pictures…she’s gorgeous!)

    Holly xx

  2. I love baby names (definite hobby of mine)… I wondered if we would ever get an explanation (without asking rudely, because you know, who wants to ask rudely? not me)…. I didn’t know that was the form of Esther (my Aunt’s name, very pretty)… but I DID know it was Jewish and so I was scratching my head pretty hard. I love Haddie, it’s so cute and fitting with the other kids. We’re doing this dance now. We have 2 or 3 names for boys (since we have had 2 girls it’s like uhhhhhh) and our other ‘good’ GN name went to the one we miscarried last year. So .. you know. We’ll see. We want to balance everything out with the 2 we already have (that happen to have Irish-French names, btw)… So many pretty biblical names or old timey names have been resurfacing with so much popularity that all those names got scratched for us so we’re sticking with Irish and ? for the middle name. Might not end up being French we’ll just have to see… and everyone wants to know our names, but we aren’t telling either!!!

  3. I gave my daughter a Hebrew name as well. The meaning describes her perfectly because she is quite the adventurous child. Never a dull moment. People butcher it though when they try to pronounce it, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

  4. Honestly I have loved that name for years and was only slightly green eyed you have a Hadassah. I met a Hadassah and college and her personality was infectious and who couldn’t love Esther/Hadassah?!

  5. Esther is one of my top girls names but the husband isn’t a fan. I love that you guys put so much thought into your kids names! We’ve always been like “does this sound good? Sweet.” :)

  6. My name is Esther. i’m german, so its pronounced differently than you guys do in the englisch speaking countries. i love my name and always connected with the original hebrew name oft esther, which is persian.
    i’ve got three sisters andall four of us have hebrew names with a beautiful story and strong women charcters.
    now i’ve also got 2 identical twingirls , :-), and the meaning of their names was a big thing for me. hadassa is a beautiful and strong name.

  7. I loved her name when you first shared it with us. And when I told my husband her name, I’m pretty sure he loved it even more. His response: “YES, AWESOME! Now why can’t more people name their kids meaningful names like that?” He’s pretty picky with names…

  8. I love her name! Believe it or not, I’ve been hearing the name Hadassah quite a bit lately…your little girl is the 3rd I’ve heard of just this year! Esther is definitely a role model of women in the Bible who I would love to name my own daughter (someday…if the Lord wills) after, but I’ve never liked the name Esther. I never even considered Hadassah until I heard it early this year. Now I love it! Your daughter carries quite the namesake. :)

  9. Love the name!!! Very fitting for your sweet little bundle.


    Have you read the Mark of the Lion series?!! Best books of my life. And the heroine’s name is Hadassah!!! Her heart in the book seriously rocked me..for days! You’ve got to check them out.

  10. One of my friends from school had twins Esther (Essie) and Hadassah(Haddie lyn) I always looooved the names and they are five and very strong loving little ladies as I am sure yours will be as well…

  11. Love the name, we too have friends with a daughter named Hadassah (Haddie) and I have come to embrace Esther as you state. Wanted you to know there is a Myrtle essential oil through Young Living you may be interested in for her at some point too :)

  12. I though for sure you would call her Laurelei as you said it was one of the top names for the twins. However i love her name!! do the other girls go by Isaiah and Honor or by their full names? do any of the kids have nick names or shortened versions of their names that you call them?

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