This type of ceremony can be held virtually whenever, as far as I know. For us, we had to wait for the adoption finalization and then Miranda's formal conversion to Judaism before we could "officially" name her. When all that was said and done, we decided to name Miranda's cousins at the same time and make a big ol' celebration out of it. Ella had not been named yet and once Summer was born, I think we already had the idea to wait until they were all ready.
Today, they were all ready.
We got all dressed up and met up at the synagogue. We were surrounded by family and friends and when we were called to the bimah (platform, stage), I was already beaming. The rabbi and the cantor said hello to each of the girls and my brother, sister-in-law, Gary and I introduced our girls and let them receive their names. Gary spoke to the congregation about where Miranda's name came from and I was so proud.
Shoshana means Rose. Rose was my dad's mother's name. It was also the name that M had for Miranda when she was pregnant. Liliana Rose, to be exact. So by choosing the name Shoshana, we were honoring my grandmother's memory and also paying tribute to Miranda's birth mother and her wishes.
Tova means Hope. That one was easier. That name is to remind us of the hope she has given us and continues to give us each day.
My brother went to the microphone next and explained where Ella and Summer's Hebrew names came from. From loved ones who had passed on both his side and my sister-in-law's side. I have to say, I think it is such an honor to name a child after someone who walked before us and helped shape us into the people we are today.
There was a Blessing for the Parents that all 4 of us read together. Then there was a Blessing for the Grandparents that my mom and Gary's mom and Gary's dad all read together. With our whole family standing now on the bimah beside us, it was almost magical. Not everyone there was Jewish. Not everyone standing by our side share my beliefs or celebrate my holiday's. But everyone there loves my daughter and me so much that they are willing to follow my lead and do what matters to me for her sake. Same goes for my nieces.
We all took our seats and the little ones went to the playground to burn off some of their energy. My aunt and uncle and cousin were there and they all participated in the service. My younger brother and his wife led a peace prayer. The whole morning was just so lovely.
Unfortunately, Allie's absence was very rough for me today. Most days it's just below the surface - like a scab that I know better than to pick. But today, standing there with my family and looking out upon my friends, I was thrown back to 2011. Back to a time when Ella and Allie were to be named together. Back before there was a Miranda or a Summer. Back before my heart broke into a million little pieces.
But then I looked at my husband, holding our daughter, and I came back to the present. Back to the present that he was literally holding in his arms. Miranda is a precious gift. She brings joy and happiness...and hope...to everyone around her. One day she will understand all that power she holds, but for now, she is just our little rainbow who we love so very much. I have to hope her sister was looking down upon us today, possibly with my dad and maybe even my grandmother, Rose, and I hope they were all smiling. Something tells me they were.