Monday, August 6, 2007

The naming of Isaac Xavier Dean Chen

Isaac means "he laughs" in Hebrew. Isaac was promised by God to Abraham and Sarah in their old age. Abraham laughed when God told him this would happen. His name is a reminder for us to live by faith and God's promises, and not just by the things that we understand. Abraham also was willing to sacrifice Isaac when God asked him to, though in the end God provided a ram for him to sacrifice. P.S. During our first visit to church on Roosevelt Island with Isaac on August 12th, the message was all about faith and the story of Abraham and Isaac (Hebrews 11)!

Xavier was Dan's godfather's name. His godfather was a French diplomat to the UN. He lived in New York City, but had extended "family" all over the world. When Dan was little, Xavier brought the Chen family to Haiti, a memory Dan holds dear. Dan loves this name, and Su has come to love it as well. In Basque, Xavier means "new house" as in a "new home" for the Lord. St. Francis Xavier was one of the first missionaries to East Asia.

(Contrary to what some of you have surmised, "Xavier" was not inspired by the professor in X-Men, though Dan does love X-Men.)

Dean represents Isaac's Chinese name, 定安 or "dìng ān". "Dìng" is part of "ān dìng" means "stable" "settled" or "calm and orderly." "An" is the word for "peace." We condensed the name into an Americanized version (and to prevent our son from having 5 words in his name).


Anonymous said...

ISAAC IS TOO CUTE! Thanks for having us over last night Sudan! And thanks for the pizza. I think I could stare at Isaac's face for hours. We'll miss you guys! -Kara

maxthecat said...

Isaac has really big eyes, which means his sibling may have eye size deficiency, since he sucked eye bigness out of his mother's womb.

James said...


we're gonna have to get out to the island to see you all soon

ohh great chinese name as well - if i ever get around to having kids, i'm def. gonna hit you up for some idea of how to incorporate a chinese name in my babies' name;-)

cpark said...

I love your explaining IXDC's name - great entry, great pics. See you soon, Neighbors!