Back to our son's name: We came up with Holden because we really wanted to keep an H-name. We initially planned to keep our child's original name as their middle name, but in our son's case, this would have left way too much room for jokes and poking fun. His name is super cool in Hindi, but... not so much in English. So, in order to honor his given name, we wanted to at least keep an H. We both love Holden, so it was a pretty easy choice. As for Anil, we wanted to keep some level of Indian heritage involved. I mean, our last name is not going to help AT ALL. I think our last name alone is going to make people look at our son and ask, "So what are you, exactly.......?" Sorry, baby boy, blame it on Daddy! I really wanted to use the name of one of the darling kids from the orphanage in order to honor how much those children touched me and changed my life forever. We went through a big list of all my favorite children, and we settled on Anil.
So let me tell you about Holden's namesake. Anil was full of life and energy. He was so funny and engaging that he always had a little posse of boys following him around. He loved to make goofy faces, ride down the steps on slats of wood, and play cricket. He was a natural leader, and at 11 years old, already had a faith that would put grown men to shame. This little boy wanted to be a missionary to all of India, as he put it. He told us of going back to his small village of farmers in the state of Madhya Pradesh to see his family, and telling some villagers, "this rock is not a god. There is only one God." Anil still had two living parents, but was sent to the orphanage for a chance at an education and food every day. Apparently, the state of malnutrition in Madhya Pradesh is comparable to that seen in Ethiopia. Here is part of what Anil wrote in his testimony that he shared with us: "In this world people need money diamond or richness. But I need only Jesus christ. I thank God for he love me." Anil would be 18 years old today. It's hard to imagine him grown up, and possibly out on his own in the world by now. I pray that God will protect and provide for him. Knowing the faith that he has, I'm confident God will use this young man to do amazing things. If our Holden is anything like Anil, I will be one very proud momma.
Below are some pictures of Anil. I love how well my friend at the orphanage captured his life and personality in these pictures. Here's to you, Anil, please know that you will never be forgotten. You touched my life forever, and I know you will continue to touch the lives of thousands.