Sunday, June 29, 2014

Extracting Humor and Joy



"Yes, Henry.  You have a problem with Henry?"

"Why do you want to call him Henry?"

"Because then I can call him Indiana!"

Realization hits me.  My son's biological father is actually arguing for fan service when trying to decide on our child's name.  The child who ten minutes ago we decided we should place for adoption because that's the best thing that we can do for this kid still living in my belly.  We're famous for doing things backwards.  So, of course, we decide to place our child for adoption and then we start arguing about the name that he should have.

"We're not naming him Henry!"

"Then we're naming him Indiana!"

"No!!  This is not happening!"

This argument went on like this for about ten minutes before his mother came out of her bedroom to determine what we were shouting and laughing about.  After adding her disapproval to the pile of objections I had just spouted, he finally asks,

"Okay, fine.  What do you want to name him?"

"The only name I've ever had for a boy is J. P."  He thinks for a second.

"Why do you have that name?"

"Because every girl has done this at some point and because that was the name I was going to have if I was a boy.  J. P. is my great-grandfather's name."

"I like J.  I just don't like P."

"Okay, fine!  We can compromise on this.  What's his middle name then?"  He looks to his little brother who is slumped in a recliner after laughing at us for the past twenty minutes.

"Why don't we name him after my brother?  His middle name is N."

"J. N.  Okay.  Yeah.  I like it."

"Alright, there.  We have a name."  He sits down on the couch next to me and for the tenth time that day rubs my swollen belly trying to feel our kid moving around.

"What about a girl's name?"  *sigh*

I'll save you the suspense and tell you that the hilarious part is that we decided on a girl's name in about a minute flat.  But we had a boy on our hands.  So the girl's name was never needed.

About two weeks later, I was sitting in a room at the adoption agency with my boyfriend, my boyfriend's mother, my mother, my birth counselor, J's future parents, their adoption counselor, and I believe at least one other birth counselor.  All of us packed into one tiny room with a tiny fountain that didn't work.

"We have a name picked out for him," I say with some trepidation.  "It's up to you if you want to keep it.  But we do have a name."

"What is it?" they asked.

"J. N.  It's a combination of family names; one from mine and one from his."  They surprised me immediately when they liked the name and kept it.  At the time, his future dad said,

"If we had gotten pregnant and had gone through the whole process, we probably would have thought of something.  But I like that name.  It's good.  It's a good name."

A few weeks prior I had said to my mother after a particularly long and insane wait at the car rental place,

"Mother, you have to extract joy from life where you can!"

So, after making the most painful decision of our lives, we laughed as we argued over a name.  When meeting the people who we would give our child to, we found that they were happy to keep the name we had so hilariously argued over two weeks ago.  It is still his name.  It still reminds me of a hilarious twenty minute argument and it still makes me smile.  In situations like this, you must find joy and humor where you can.  It may look crazy to those on the outside.  But when shared with those closest to you, it will bind you together and comfort you when you just feel like busting apart and sending everyone away from you.

So, yes, his name is still J. N.  And it still makes me smile.


  1. Thank you for sharing, and thank you for spreading joy.

  2. I love this! What a beautiful example of finding joy in the little things in life. Thank you for sharing!
    ~Jessica at Adoptions Together (