Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Saturday, June 10, 2006

The Name Stealer

By Sariah S. Wilson

So apparently in addition to stealing husbands, Angelina Jolie has started stealing names. Well, I suppose she didn’t technically steal my name since I’ve never met her (or Brad Pitt or anyone from Namibia for that matter).

I love the name Shiloh. If I ever have a girl, that’s the name I’ve picked out. But now I worry - if I ever actually have a daughter, will everyone think I’ve picked the name because some celebrity chose it? That I was trying to be trendy? If I name a child that, will they be picked on because of the supposed connection?

While pregnant with my oldest son, my husband and I decided to carry on some naming traditions from our families. Our children have scriptural middle names (all the kids in my family have names from the scriptures - Rachel, Jared, Rebecca, Elizabeth, Jordan, Adam, Stephen and Charity) - and in my husband’s family all the other kids’ names start with D (except for my husband, named Kevin. Go figure). We decided to give our boys names starting with K like their dad and our girls names starting with S like me.

I celebrated my tenth anniversary this week, so I’ve had a very long time to pick out a girl name. (Pondering over names for children not yet born is either something you do yourself or think people who do it are crazy.) I love the name Shiloh because I think it’s unusual but not too strange, it starts with the requisite S and I love the meaning - “gift from God.” I think that would probably describe how I would feel exactly if I did have a daughter - that I got a special gift from God.

*WARNING* - I am probably about to over share, so if you don’t want to get too personal with me this would be a good point to stop reading.

All this worry over a name may be moot - it doesn’t seem that I can have any more children.

As a woman, that is something that is so painful to admit. It’s what my body is designed to do. It’s what I was meant to do. Procreation is something so basic, so innate, so instinctual. I feel almost ashamed, as if I’m somehow less than. And I don’t want to feel that way.

I’ve found that when I’m open about it, when I can say to someone that I’ve been through a gazillon tests and procedures and I can’t get or stay pregnant and the doctors have absolutely no idea why, that I’ve miscarried more times than I can count and had more hospital stays because of it than you can imagine, it creates this immediate bond with women who have experienced the same thing. I’m shocked by the number of women in the church I have met who have suffered in the same way that I suffer now, who grieve over the failings of their body and their inability to fulfill one of the earliest commandments, who long desperately to have a house full of children.

People outside the church can be sympathetic, but even they don’t truly understand. “You have two sons. You should be grateful for that and go on.” I am grateful each and every day for the two boys that I have, children that the doctor tells me are nothing short of a miracle. But it doesn’t stop my yearning for more. When I had my second son, while at the hospital I felt a little spirit there waiting. It was as if I was being told that another one was coming. I assumed it meant soon. Four years later, I’m wondering if I’ll ever get to meet them.

I think that’s why the Angelina Jolie Name Stealing Incident feels so personal and painful - it makes me grieve all over again for the children I still want and may never have.

My only options at this point are adoption, which I am open to but may take years. There are also more intensive medical procedures that my insurance refuses to cover and I simply can’t afford.

I started writing books because of my oldest son’s medical needs. Those needs were met and taken care of before I ever even finished the book. It was strange - I felt very prompted by the Lord to write and when He arranged for the money necessary for Kaleb’s therapies, I wondered why I still felt compelled to write.

Now I wonder if this is the reason. If my book does well enough, I’ll be able to afford the procedures to try to have a baby.

So a special pre-thank you to everyone who will buy my book and maybe bring me a little bit closer to getting to meet my own Shiloh.


At 6/11/2006 12:15 AM, Blogger oshee said...

How brave of you to share this. I hurt for you. And as wonderful as faith is and trusting God knows what He is still is so hard.

At 6/13/2006 12:31 AM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

oshee said it so well that I'll just say Amen.

And what a beautiful reason for wanting to write and publish a book!


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