How we found out we were having a BOY

What a week it's been! Tuesday we discovered we were having a SON. Wednesday we remembered how 1 year ago we stood before a U.S. Embassy employee in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and were granted permission to bring home our first two children.

Who would've thought a year ago that I'd be laying on a table, jelly on my belly, learning the gender of my baby who looks more like an alien than a boy? I didn't guess it. God's like that.

I woke up nervous on Tuesday morning. Your guesses about the gender didn't give me any clarity either. Really, it was a very even competition, though some of you had a VERY strong opinion and some of you were wrong. HA! In our gut, Brian and I thought there was a girl stretching out my flat tummy. Maybe partially because we've had a girl name picked out for ages and the meaning behind that name seemed divine for this pregnancy. Yet, we both also sensed that since nothing has gone according to plan the past 5 years in the baby area the gender of this baby probably would surprise us, too. And surprised we were!

We showed up to our appointment on time and I sat in the waiting room biting my fingernails. I prayed we wouldn't have to wait long into this 45 minutes sonogram to hear, "It's a..." But when we got into the room, our technician said she'd take measurements for 25 minutes, then turn the monitor toward us, and show off our baby to us. I asked if she'd search for gender and she confirmed. So I sat staring at Brian's face, the drop-ceiling, and studying corners of the room for about 15 minutes.

Then, as the technician rolled the wand across my 18 week, 2 day belly she abruptly announced, "it's a boy" rather anticlimactically. WHAT?!?!? She semi-rotated the monitor in our direction to show us the family jewels and it became clear. Atta-boy. Then, Brian and I stared at each other and had a brief non-verbal conversation with each other. WHOA. Not a girl. A boy. Out of nowhere, we were told we were having a boy. Finally, she turned the monitor in our direction and gave us a guided tour to our son's forming body. It was miraculous and alien and mysterious and shocking.

Our son is active. Strong heartbeat. Did I say VERY active? He was gracious enough to show us every part of his growing body - long fingers, itty bitty feet, brain, nose, between the legs. His belly is all swollen, reminding me of Judah's when he first came home. He sucked his thumb. Opened his mouth. Pulled on his ears. Posed for a few great profile pictures. Showed off a few somersaults. Crossed his feet. The whole thing was surreal, but we walked out with about 6 feet of pictures to prove we really are pregnant with a boy.

Surreal! So as we settle into the last half of this pregnancy with the knowledge of our son's place in our family, we need your help.

Names - Where are the best places to search boy names? Naming Judah and Addise was really easy. For this pregnancy, we had "the name" for a baby girl, but have no idea where to start in naming our son. And we have to come up with a middle name, too? Oh man. Seems like an overwhelming - and most important - task. Naming our son is so important to us. It's an identity, a calling, a blessing. We want his name to mean as much to us as our first two kids' names.

Also, at this point, we've decided not to share our son's name before he's born. We want some element of surprise when he arrives. And we don't want anyone's attempts to sway us if they don't like what we've determined. So, you know it's a boy and that's all you'll know until he makes his appearance. :)

Infant Items - What were your non-negotiable items for your newborn and infant? I have no idea what we must register for. Remember, I've only parented an 11 month old and older, so this newborn thing is NEW territory for us! Be simple. Be multi-purposeful. And for heaven's sake, be fashionable!

Thanks for your congrats and joy. Every bit of it I'm savoring in my heart and is growing my excitement. I cannot imagine parenting without a village.