After having called her Imogen for a few weeks, and after all the strange and funny reactions we got to that name ("So the baby's name is imagine?" And, "Did you say Ima Gene?" pronounced with a particularly southern drawal, or better yet, the non-reaction from my parents--I could practically hear the "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all" oozing through the phone), we decided that as cool as the name was, it wasn't right for our little girl. Which is kind of funny, because that's the name that both Jason and I thought of immediately when we found out we were having a girl!
But, after each of us had strange and uncomfortable encounters when trying to explain the name (it's like people just couldn't comprehend the sounds we were making!), Jason and I kept referring to her to each other as Imogen, and then looking towards the other--is that her name? We just couldn't ever really settle on it.
Jason and I had both picked out baby names in our youth that didn't quite make the cut, either. In my high school Psychology class, we talked about identity and personality, and we talked about names. Kind of as a joke, because I couldn't come up with any serious boy names and because I had a short stint where I was enamored by Antonio Banderas in Zorro, I decided on the name Juan D'Angelo for a boy. I'd have to marry a Spaniard, of course. (Aren't we all glad I married Jason instead, and for that matter that we're having a girl??) But my girl name was Gabriella Laine. Unfortunately, after not one, but TWO of my cousins (on the same side of the family, if you can believe it!) have already named my little second cousins Gabriella, that name is clearly out of the running for me. And I don't care a thing about the name Laine, it just went with Gabriella at the time.
And Jason had picked out a baby girl name early on he'd become attached to as well--Isabella Star. Unfortunately, we're not trying to raise a vampire/werewolf loving Twilight Saga character, and we both decided we didn't want a name that was too common for our little one, so both because of Twilight, and because the name is on the Social Security Administration's top 10 list, Isabella was out. And Star--well, we'll just say it didn't make the cut.
I began thinking of the name Adria as a name while Jason and I were still serving with Campus Crusade for Christ in Sarajevo, BiH. That whole part of the world is nestled on the Adriatic Sea, and practically anywhere you looked you'd see advertisements for Adria Airways, or Hotel Adria, or some other derivitave of the Adriatic. Folks in the Balkans aren't quite Mediterranean, but they are darned proud of their Adriatic. Adria is also the name of a town or region of Northern Italy. In itself, the name doesn't literally mean too much--it refers to a region. But it was in that region that Jason and I truly fell in love, it was there that we were engaged, shared so much of ourselves, and, cliche as it sounds, where we shared our hopes and dreams with each other. And those were hopes and dreams of a life together, and hopes and dreams of a family together.
I think we could very easily say that our daughter, Adria, is among the firstfruits of seeing our hopes and dreams coming true. Our Adria is the fruition of a lot of love, and an extension of our very important time in Sarajevo and that part of the world. How beautiful a name. How treasured an epoch in our lives. How greater to honor and call our daughter?