I thought it appropriate to introduce this blog with the story of how Zealand Gabriel Beck Speer became a boy of 4 names.
First, an introduction to our name board. A dry erase board that hung in our kitchen. Either of us could write any name we chose on the board and erase any name on the board. Therefore, any name that remained on the board, were names we both agreed on. Our girl name was chosen and secured from the very beginning. However, boy names were harder to come by. They came and went. From Liam to Daniel, Wyatt to Rhys. Some returned and still never remained.
Beck had been an idea from our pregnancy with Luke, starting out as a first name. Then came Gabriel. Gabriel came out a couple of times by Zac but I was afraid kids at school would call him "Gay-briel" . Zac and Mary Ann, however, assured me that if that's the worst thing that happened to this child, then his life will be pretty darn good! And Zealand. Two weeks before I went into labor, Zac and I were enjoying a quiet night together. Out of nowhere he just shouted "Zealand". I loved it! I even went to work the next day and mentioned it to several people. Everyone agreed that it was different, but everyone thought it was great! Zealand made it to the board. Two weeks early, I went into labor. After midnight, Zac arrived just in time for my epidural. Realizing the baby could come any minute, I convinced Zac we needed to decide on a boy name. We remembered we both really liked the name Gabriel Beck and suddenly the nurse told us it was time to push. Our baby boy was born.
A couple of days later, I brought our precious son home and introduced him to his new big brother Luke. In those first days home, Zac nicknamed him Zealand. In each passing day, the name grew on me and I started seeing him as Zealand more than Gabriel. I started to contemplate how we could make this work. If we called him Zealand at home, but his official papers read Gabriel Beck, wouldn't it confusing once he got to school and teachers insisted on calling him Gabriel or Gabe, or on his drivers license, etc. Not to mention, every time I called his pediatrician's office they referred to him as Gabrielle.
That weekend, a friend of ours, Deanna, came over with her son Elliott. In casual conversation I mentioned that we were calling him Zealand. She told me that in Maryland, a baby's name can be legally changed in their first year without having to go through the courts or paying any fees. All you needed was an affidavit signed by a notary. "Oh, and by the way," she mentioned, "I'm a notary." I got excited! I called Zac immediately to tell him and we spent the next day pondering the idea and decided it was official! At that point, 4 weeks old, Zealand had been called Zealand since birth and was in fact Zealand. And I didn't have the heart to let go of Gabriel or Beck. Thus, our notarized affidavit was submitted and it's official.
We are thrilled to announce the birth of our son