Three weeks you’ve been with us, in the outside world. I knew it instantly, but these couple weeks have confirmed it: you are the perfect addition to our family. Your sisters are wild about you and your daddy and I can’t get enough of you. There have been claims of the other “hogging the baby,” but girl, who could blame us?
When we first knew about you, when the plus sign was bold and blue, I had a small panic attack and spent the better portion of a night praying hard about your arrival in 9 months. And the peace that only comes with God flooded my heart and I felt quite certainly God’s pleasure at creating you. I was given peace about God’s timing (your daddy and I haven’t exactly “planned” a baby yet), and honestly girl? I grew very excited to meet you.
I had a sense, even early on, that you were going to be a happy child.
For months your daddy and I searched name books and prayed about your name. Each of your sisters has a Hawaiian middle name and we asked auntie Kawehi, who named Elianna, “Ai’mokulani,” to pray with us for your middle name as well. We knew right away that your first middle name was going to be Jean. Both of my grandmas are named Beverly Jean. One goes by Jean, the other Beverly. Your tia Monica (or tortilla, according to your sisters), is also a Jean. And well, seeing as Jean is the feminine form of John (JD’s first name), it just made sense. You were __________ Jean __________ Groves.
The list of names revolved around 4 or 5 names. None of them quite right. On a Sunday morning, when the girls and I were too sick to attend church, I texted my friend Jess for ideas on mainland-friendly Hawaiian names. She gave me a few, all of which I loved. I started playing around with all of them, Malia and Maile being at the top of the list. Something wasn’t quite right about either name, so I began googling Hawaiian names. I found “Melia” (may-LEE-ah) which is the Hawaiian word for the plumeria flower, my absolute favorite flower. Plumeria, as a flower, also symbolizes rebirth, which is pretty awesome. Within days I was sold. Your dad also loved the Hawaiian names. It was clear pretty quickly that you were going to rock a name from those islands we love. Because your father is who he is (and I love him for this), it took a few more months before he agreed. Melia Jean __________ was your name.
Just prior to your birth, I emailed auntie Kawehi about your name. She asked if I sensed anything about you when I was quiet with Jesus. A few weeks before our correspondence, I had a baby shower. My friend Araya led the group in prayer about you (do you see how loved you are, baby girl?) and it was so special. One of the prayers I heard was from auntie Esther, your aubi’s youngest sister. She prayed over and over that you would show people God’s kindness. With that in the back of my head, I sat down to pray about your sweet soul and who exactly God created you to be. In bold print, as if written in stone, I sensed the word Compassion.
On the day of your birth, hours after holding you in my arms for the first time, I contacted auntie Kawehi to let her know you had arrived. This was her response:
Aloha No – Makuakane JD mea Makuhine Annie na ke keiki Melia – Ho’omaika’i Haku Ke Akua. e hoi mai-e-ho’i mai!. Welcome to this world Sweet Baby Melia and Congratulations to Daddy and Mommy.
I have given it so much thought and prayer and here after thinking about what you have shared is her name: “Kēlā mea Menemene” – “Compassion for all things.”
Sweet Kēlā, may you be your name.
Melia Jean “Kēlā mea Menemene” Groves.
Now with us in breathable air, you are a most precious baby – content and easy to please. We have no trouble consoling you, though your preference is to be held or to sleep with us. As a third baby, we easily accommodate.
Baby girl, we could not imagine life without you. Three weeks old and you have increased our joy and expanded the love in our home. Your presence brings peace to our lives, and that’s saying something, little newborn.
We are so glad you are here.
Aloha, sweet girl.
*all photos taken from Annie Groves Photography and are owned by me
**photos taken at one week old