Many people have asked us if there is meaning behind Eli’s name. There is! When we first found out he was a boy we already knew he had Down syndrome. We knew he would be a special boy so he’d need an extra special name. We tossed around some names and then I counter referenced their meanings and if they were in the
Bible. Because we believe that God chose our son especially for us, it was important that our son’s name had a biblical meaning (if possible). The list we compiled was short. All were in the Bible but one jumped out at us. When I looked up Eli in the Bible I found that he was the priest who raised Samuel. When Samuel’s mother approached Eli she told him, ‘For this child I prayed;…’ (I Samuel 1:27). That one line screamed at us. I actually fell to my knees in tears. We DID pray for this child. God gave him to us with Down syndrome. He answered our prayers, we had to accept His gift, just the way he is.
In the baby name books Eli means ‘ascended’, ‘uplifted’, ‘elevation’, ‘high’, or ‘my god’ (apparently the baby books don’t agree on exact meanings!). We felt those were all words that would describe our boy. We will hold him up to God. He will uplift many.
If our baby had been a girl, she would have received my mom’s middle name as her middle name – Elizabeth. After we found out we were not having a girl, we still really wanted to be able to honor my mom in some way. ELI is the first three letters of Elizabeth (it’s the best we could do)! His middle name, Michael, is after my dad. Our firstborn son, Cody Charles, has Chuck’s dad’s middle name as his middle name (Leland Charles, he went by ‘Chuck’) so we always knew if we had a second son, he would be named after my dad in some way. Both men are/were very important and influential in our lives. Chuck’s dad taught him how to be an amazing husband and father. My dad modeled what to look for in a husband and father (Luckily, I found someone who is close to perfect at both in Chuck! 😉).
So there you have it. The meaning behind Eli Michael’s very beautiful name. The two people he’s named after, my parents, are wonderful people. I know our son will be just as wonderful. He’ll have their resilience, perseverance, and faithfulness. I know their grandson will constantly make them proud. In fact, I think he already has.