Skip Nav

How I Named 11 Children

How I Named 11 Children

We didn't set out to give  our chlidren "weird" or "crazy" names, but it always used to drive me crazy in school when there were two Sarahs and three Michaels. Since the whole point in a name is to differentiate one child from another, something a little less common was in order. 

We avoided the really crazy Rainbow and Moon Beam and Fruit Salad.

Our first born was named Adalia (poor choice in spelling, since we pronounce it Ad-a-lie), Iris (the Greek word for "rainbow") Netanya (a city where we  honeymooned which happens to mean "gift from God). 

Next up, our firstborn son, Judah Shere-Khan. We were looking for something masculine, and I'm a big fan of Bible names. The Shere-Khan means "king of the jungle" and can be found in Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book.


Tilly Virtue came next. Tilly, a sweet innocent sounding name that happens to mean "ready for battle". Paired with Virtue, something we hope our children are filled with.

Almanzo Enoch, named, of course, after the beloved author Laura Ingalls Wilder's husband. My husband loved the book Farmer Boy growing up and Alamanzo was industirious, clever and always one step ahead of every one else. Enoch is another strong, Bible name, referring to a man that so pleased God, he never died, but was "taken up" to heaven.

Almanzo was, shall we say, a difficult baby. He cried all the time. And then some. When I found out I was pregnant when he was just three months old (in fact, baby #5 shared the same due date- one year later) we decided to pick a name more on the mellow side.


We chose Kalina, a beautiful Hawaiian name that means "pure" and Nalani, another Hawaiian name that means "calm as the heavens". Guess what? It worked! Kalina was the most calm, mellow baby one could hope for. With sea-blue eyes, fitting her name.

Next we adopted a beautiful newborn baby boy with some special needs. We chose the name Mordecai, for the man who helped save God's people in Old Testament. His middle name is Courage, something we knew he would need in his life to overcome his disabilities.

Our seventh baby was born in our seventh year of marriage, at seven o'clock at night and weighed in at seven pounds exactly. We named her Jubilee (in the Old Testament every seven years was a year of rest, after seven cycles of seven years, came the Year of Jubilee). Born in the fall, under a full moon, we gave her the middle name, Harvest.

Next came Hezekiah...another strong Bible name from a king who was said, to "do everything will all his might and pleased the Lord". His middle name, Zendnai, is my mother-in-law's maiden name. It was a fitting choice, since Hezekiah's paternal great-grandmother died just two weeks before his birth. 


Avi Providence was next. A beautiful three day old baby we adopted. Avi means "God is my father" fitting, we felt, for an adopted child. Providence was to remind us, and her, about how God brought her into our lives.

Tucker Beniah was our tenth baby. His name Tucker was one my husband and I loved and one his 9 year old brother, Judah, also loved and begged us repeatedly to name the baby. Benaiah, you guessed it, is from the Bible. He was a godly man of courage who helped protect the mighty King David, and once killed a lion with his bare hands.

After having these ten kids, we adopted three teens from Liberia, West Africa.

When I became pregnant with our 14th child, we joked at the table one night about naming him Apollo 14...and the name grew on us. Low and behold, one day while reading the Bible I came across Apollos, who was one of the early disciples of Christ. And so we ended up naming our last baby, Apollo XIV. A fitting end indeed.

Our kid's names may seem "a little out there" to some. But each one was selected with thought and care.

And so far, they've never had to share a class with someone who shares their name.

Image Source: Little Earthling Photography (Renee Bergeron)

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.

Latest Family
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds