As first-time parents, Rob and I had a stack of baby name books. We sifted through them, going round and round why this name would or wouldn't work and making list after list. To simplify things, and ensure the happiness of family and friends, we decided to find out if we were having a boy or a girl. Eventually, we stumbled upon - and agreed on - the name Dylan...but kept it a secret just for fun. We LOVED the name and there would still be some element of surprise for everyone!
We looked at the spelling variations and preferred "Dylan" over "Dillon". There was no particular reason. We just liked the way "Dylan" looked. When we looked at the meaning of the name Dylan, we weren't that impressed. We consulted various name dictionaries and these were some of the meanings: "from the sea", "son of the sea", "god of the sea", "out of the sea". It wasn't anything special. Many parents choose a name for its great meaning and we actually felt a bit guilty that the name didn't have one. Regardless, we had fallen in love with the name and that was that.
We couldn't wait to meet Dylan. It was exhilarating to see him for the first time. The name we chose finally had a face...and red hair! We were even more excited about the next step: to have him dedicated. As Christian parents, this meant a great deal to Rob and I. We had the privilege of dedicating Dylan when he was just three weeks old. To make Dylan's dedication even more memorable, it was done in the church I had grown up in and where Rob and I had been married. On Sunday, December 31, 2000, we had the honor of giving Dylan back to the Lord during the morning service.
When I think back to this day, it was truly monumental in shaping how I saw Dylan and his future. It shaped how I would approach my future and whether or not I would choose to be obedient to God. Rob and I stood on the church platform surrounded by family and friends and placed Dylan in the arms of our Pastor. He took Dylan and began to speak. I do not recall his words exactly, but as he shared, I realized just how great God is.
The pastor explained that in preparation of the dedication that morning, he looked up the meaning of Dylan's name: "out from the sea". He said that the Lord revealed to him that Dylan had a great purpose. "The sea" represents humanity and Dylan was going to rise up and stand out in society. Dylan was going to rise up "out from the sea" and teach people.
Rob and I were numb hearing this. We simply liked the name and felt kind of guilty that it didn't have much spiritual meaning. It never ceases to amaze me how the Lord orchestrates things...right down to choosing a name.
As the years have passed, Dylan does stand out. It is hard to miss his striking, red, spiked hair...which I find comical because throughout my entire pregnancy I said he'd be a red head. I've actually been asked if I dye his hair! Add the Down syndrome and he's definitely hard to miss. God created Dylan specifically to be a testament to His power and glory...and I suppose to turn heads.
How would I embrace this? That was the real question for me. Would I choose to shelter Dylan from a cruel world that wanted to ridicule him or even question his existence and his right to life simply because he was different? Rob and I chose to wrap our hearts around Dylan and embrace all that comes along with him. We go about our daily lives just like any other parents would do with their child. The difference is that Dylan is stared at...and we are stared at. People almost always take a second look. It's human nature so stare away! Look at my beautiful boy who walks, talks, laughs, lives, loves and enjoys life to the fullest! The world has a stereotype, but every day Dylan rises "out from the sea" to challenge the human race to re-think their definition of something called Down syndrome and the people who just happen to be living life with it.