What’s in a Name?

Picking out the ‘perfect’ name for my children has always sounded like an impossible task to me. I was never one of the girls that could confidently pick out names while growing up and dreaming of my future family. Naming our lost baby last year, Brighton, was a tough task in a short amount of time after losing him/her at 12 weeks pregnant – but the meaning of Brighton is what made it such a clear decision: the one who is loved and/or bright spot. That’s what Brighton was to us – a bright spot amidst a stormy season in life; the one who was so loved by the countless friends and family who had prayed for him/her to exist in the first place.


This pregnancy, I couldn’t bring myself to making a list of possibilities until after we found out the gender. Losing Brighton was so hard last year, I couldn’t bear the thought of starting to pick out names again until we were further along. Following our Gender Reveal Party in May, we began to dream. We made lists. And then Jarrod made a Google Sheet to track the options, their meanings (because this matters to me), and any significance (such as a family name). Four weeks later we had it narrowed down to two final options….until we decided to add a third.

I was traveling in Philadelphia for work at the time; one night I started to work on our registry so that our baby shower invitations could go out in the following weeks. We’re going for a woodland/tribal theme in the nursery for our little man and while searching for wanted items…I stumbled upon the cutest little bear rocking horse! I fell in love with it. I sent it to Jarrod who responded, “WE SHOULD NICKNAME OUR KID BEAR!’


He was I think maybe halfway joking at the time, probably under the impression I would never go for such a name! My response was a simple suggestion though, name him Barrett and Bear could be his nickname. Barrett means strength and I love that. Over the next week, the other ‘final two’ name options seemed to lose their luster as we fell in love with Barrett.

For the middle name, our favorite option had been Matthews for quite some time. My late grandfather, Jerry Matthews Henson, was a major influence to both of us while we dated in college. A wise man of the Lord, my Papa loved and served others selflessly, devoted his life to Kingdom work, and loved my grandma so very well for 60 years before the Lord took him home in 2009.


Sometime in the next six short weeks, we’ll have the privilege of cuddling with Barrett (Bear) Matthews Kingston for the first time. I plan to treasure every snuggle the good Lord chooses to give us. Bear – I’m blessed to be your mama.

3 thoughts on “What’s in a Name?

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