A friend asked about Hamish's name, so I figured we might as well record that process for posterity.

First of all, Hamish's name is not Hamish. And we don't call her Hamish now that she's here. Hamish is her internet identity. (ha!) So now let's see if I can write a blog post about her name, without typing her name...

For nine or more months (I think we started before I was actually pregnant!) we called this baby Hamish. Kyle came up with it based on Back to the Future III. Except, it wasn't IN Back to the Future III. That name was Seamus. Details...

When we chose not to find out the baby's sex before the birth, Hamish was a fun stand in. And then since every single little old lady in all of Singapore was convinced that the baby was a boy, Hamish was an appropriate stand in.

So while we always had Hamish in our back pocket for a boy, we needed to come up with a girl's name.

Enter, the lists.

I searched the Social Security Administration's top 1000 baby names. We had vague intents of trying to stay away from the most popular names, but it turns out the top names are popular for a reason. They're great names. And some of my favorites were among them.

I scoured a list of ancestor's names that my grandmother compiled: 827 names dating back to pre-Mayflower times. The list had a good showing of classic names (34 Mary's, 32 Elizabeth's) and some not-for-this-century options: Deliverance, Devotion, Lettice (yes, Lettice as a girl's first name), and Thankful.

We had a hand-me-down (pre-marked!) baby name book. That helped quickly identify Tracy's favorites, but didn't seem to help us.

The middle name for a girl was a given. Hamish shares her middle name with both me and my mom. I hope she'll choose to pass it down too. We love the name and I have intended to use it for my first daughter for as long as I can remember. So although we came up with some first+middle combos that we loved, they didn't work with our middle name. Maybe if we ever have a second daughter?

In November I started a shared Google document with our rotating favorites. We added and crossed off names. We thought we had a winner in New Zealand, but as our due date got closer, neither one of us was fully sold.

When the due date had come and gone, Kyle made a suggestion. It was a name I'd added to the list on February 23. And it met all of the bullets on our name wishlist:

It was old fashioned and feminine.

It honored my grandfather.
It had well-loved literary connections. 
And it had a Godly meaning: Jehovah increases

(She doesn't look much like a Hamish, anyway.) 

Genesis 49:22-26
"Joseph is a fruitful bough,
A fruitful bough by a spring;
Its branches run over a wall.
"The archers bitterly attacked him,
And shot at him and harassed him;
But his bow remained firm,
And his arms were agile,
From the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob
(From there is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel),
From the God of your father who helps you,
And by the Almighty who blesses you With blessings of heaven above,
Blessings of the deep that lies beneath,
Blessings of the breasts and of the womb.
"The blessings of your father
Have surpassed the blessings of my ancestors
Up to the utmost bound of the everlasting hills;
May they be on the head of Joseph,
And on the crown of the head of the one distinguished among his brothers.