But we knew that even though we'd chosen a name for our son, we would consider keeping his birth name or part of his birth name depending on his exact age and all surrounding circumstances. So when we finally got the official referral, we had decided to go with Silas John Coleman instead as a way to incorporate a part of his birth name and honor his birth mother. Some of you may have noticed the change in his middle name from the picture announcement I shared on facebook to one of my blog posts titled, "Becoming Silas Wade Coleman".
You see, in the hour leading up to meeting Silas, we had to meet with his workers at the orphanage. We'd read a lot of his history and information from the file they gave us earlier in the year, but there were a lot of minor details they needed to tell us, as well. Nothing major - just small things to fill in and accompany what we already knew.
I will never share the details of Silas' history. That's his story and it's his alone to share when and if he wants to. But I will tell you this in regards to his name...he didn't have one for the first 3 weeks of his life. He laid there...a nameless orphan for 3 weeks. His name was randomly chosen from a list kept by his assigned attorney. It was just two words used to identify him. It wasn't his name...his identity.
When they told this to us...I couldn't breathe. My chest and my heart and my stomach hurt so badly. I wanted to vomit. I thought I seriously might. I couldn't hold it together. I knew his entire story and this final added detail...it was too much. To know that my precious boy was nothing to anyone for 3 weeks, and then what felt to us like a random call sign for the next 2 1/2 years was more than I could bear. Jacob and I looked at each other with tears flowing and simply nodded yes. We knew without having to talk about it. His name would be Silas Wade...fully chosen by us.
I shared this story with my friend, Mary, a few days after returning from Colombia. I told her that was the one thing I couldn't handle. I could process the rest of his story. It made me angry and sad, but I could handle it. But not this.
Mary: "So, remind me when you started the process and when you chose the name?"
Me: "We started January 23, 2013 and had already chosen it when we'd started."
Mary: "And when was he born?"
Me: "April 14, 2013."
Mary: "So he had a name. He. Had. A. Name. He didn't know it. His doctors and attorneys and caretakers didn't know it. But his mommy and daddy did. And Jesus did. He had a name. Jesus knew his name."
Again, I couldn't breathe. How sweet is the Lord to have my friend bring this insight? My son was never nameless. And this takes me back to October 2014, standing in a town, "F", in Colombia - listening and learning in a Colombian church as I served alongside 3 very close friends and my former pastor. I don't remember the circumstances of why he did it, but towards the end of our time in the church, Stuart (my former pastor) got up and sang a song, "He knows my name." He sang it in English first and then Spanish. It was beautiful and I knew it was Silas' song.
I have a song for each my kids that I sing for them whenever they're sad or upset. I chose each song when they were all just tiny babies. I'd sing it over and over until they settled down. It was also my prayer for them. So when Stuart sang that song, I knew it was the perfect song that I could sing in prayer for Silas as he waited for Jacob and I to come get him, and anytime after that when his tears were flowing. The song is so simple, but the lyrics I sing for Silas are so full of truth...
I have a Maker
He formed my heart
Before even time began
My life was in His hands
He knows my name
He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls
And hears me when I call
Beautiful, right? It is no coincidence that this is the song God showed me for Silas. It is no coincidence we had chosen his name before we even began to process and that he was born almost 3 months after we began and was nameless to everyone he came into contact with. That is purely the work of the Lord on Silas' behalf.
And when we're both in tears down in the trenches of adjustment and attachment...and I sing this song to him...I can sing it for myself, too...and Anna Beth, Lynnsie, and Creek...and Jacob. Because none of this rough adjustment stuff is brand new to Jesus. He saw it before we ever looked at the first picture of Silas. And he sees how beautiful and completely adjusted our family will be in time.
Because He knows all of our names.