Kevin and I struggled for a name for our little “festus the fetus” for almost my entire pregnancy. We couldn’t agree on anything, .  He would say something, and I would hate it, I would say something and he would wrinkle his nose.  It was a serious point of contention in our house and finally I just gave up on naming him.

I was really unsettled about not having a name for him, especially as we neared the point in my pregnancy where we lost Ireland.  I needed a name for him, especially if something terrible happened again, he needed a name.  I think I had posted on my facebook that we were just going to call him “No Name Hanson” and shortly after I posted that, a good friend of mine called me.

She said, “Jess, I don’t know what you’ll think of this, but I really think you should name this baby Potter.  You know, like your blogs name.  So someday when you are telling him, his story, and why he is such an important piece of your family you will be able to give him a name that reflects the huge hole that Ireland left, and the bright hope that his arrival brought to you and your family.”

I was floored, the name for him should have been obvious, but it wasn’t.  I don’t know why it wasn’t plain as day what he should be called….but when I went upstairs that night, and told Kevin what I wanted to name him, he looked at me and said, “You’re right, that is his name, it always was right there wasn’t it.”

We have had some mixed reviews on his name, but when I look at his sweet face, I know that he is most definitely a Potter.  He was in God’s plan for our family since before he was even a thought in our heads.  He was hand picked for our arms, and a healing salve for the hurts we have faced.

Jeremiah 18:1-4 is the reason behind his name and for this blog, and the verse that has come back to me several times over the course of this last 11 months.


1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: 2 ‘Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.’ 3 So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. 4 But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.”
Even when I haven’t wanted to, I have trusted that God was using our tragedy to help form us into something that is beautiful to him.  If that means that Ireland’s purpose, was to give us Potter Joseph, I can appreciate that and be thankful for her sacrifice.  I know deep down inside my heart of hearts, that she picked him out especially for us, and that she has seen him and loved him too.  That is so healing and such a great picture of family and of   Love.
So his name, is really a tribute to Ireland, to her memory and for giving me the ability to trust beyond what I can control and to come to a place where happiness can happen again, and where I can again see the blessings that I have been so abundantly given.
Thank you sweet girl for your gift to us.  We love our precious Potter Joseph, and we love you too, more baby girl than you’ll ever know.  Our hearts still ache for you, but you have given us a sweet gift and your gift has blessed our broken hearts more than words can say.  Thank you Ireland Elizabeth. Thank you.  I hope your first Christmas in heaven is incredible, I love you.  Mommy.
Merry Christmas to all of you, and I hope that this season brings you blessings beyond measure,  that you feel the love of family, friends and more importantly the love that Christ so freely gives us.
Potter Joseph Hanson
6 pounds 7 ounces, 19 inches

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