We have had a lot of people ask us why we chose the name Uriah. While uncommon, it is a little more traditional than Lisanna and Arrow, and definitely a much older name.
Lisanna and Arrow’s names were much easier to come up with because we really only chose one name. Lisanna’s middle name and Arrow’s first name were both family names, Robert and Elaine. When it came to Uriah, we had two names to come up with. We wanted to make sure that his name was particularly meaningful. We chose Lisanna and Arrow because we liked the names, but not really because of their meanings.
I’ll start with Scout because it’s an easier explanation. Scout is less meaningful, but took longer to come up with. I read “To Kill a Mockingbird” last year with my English students and was really amazed by the main character’s dad. We liked the name Atticus, but it is too hard to say in Japanese and sounds awkward with a last name that starts with “s.” We liked how Scout sounded with Uriah, so it became the middle name!
As for Uriah, this time in our life has been different in so many ways from the time when we had the other two. We are older, further in our walk together and with God, and, of course, we live on the other side of the world. At this current time in our lives, we have been relying on God as our light. There is so much darkness in Japan and so many more variables to our lives than we ever had in the States. Over the past two years, God has shown himself again and again, shining in the darkness and lighting our path. We wanted to choose a name that reflected that light for this new gift that God was giving us.
The other thing we wanted to make sure of was that his name could be easily pronounced in Japanese. We plan on living here for the long run, so his name should work in both English and Japanese. That brought us to Uriah. Uriah can be pronounced (you-rye-uh) in Japanese and it means, “God is my light.” Our prayer for this little boy is that he would grow up embracing the truth of God’s light in his own life.
So tell me – what’s the story behind your own kids’ names?