I am very proud to announce the birth of Elizabeth Shoshanah Giffone, on Saturday, July 6. Mother and child are doing just fine! Elizabeth is a keeper. We are very excited and very grateful that she is healthy and beautiful.
Some folks have asked us about the meaning and origins of the names we chose. For those of you who are interested:
- “Elizabeth” is Corrie’s middle name, and one of my favorite names. “Shoshanah” is my sister’s middle name, and the Hebrew equivalent of “Susan,” which is my mother’s name.
- “Elizabeth” is the English spelling of the name of two women in the Bible: Aaron’s wife, Elisheba (אֱלִישֶׁבַע Exod 6:23), and the mother of John the Baptist (Ελισαβετ; Lk 1:5ff.). Derived from the root שׁבע, meaning “oath/swear,” it means something like “God of the oath/promise.”
- “Shoshanah” is derived from שׁושׁן , “lily.” It is used a few times in 1 Kgs 7/2 Chr 4 in the descriptions of temple decorations, but eight times in the Song of Songs. (It also corresponds to the name of the ancient Persian city of Susa/Šušan, which is a fun connection to my research interests–but don’t tell Corrie!)
- “Giffone” is my surname. It is derived from the Hebrew גפן, meaning vine–no, just kidding. It’s Italian, originally “Giffoni,” but changed at Ellis Island. My ancestors are from the town of Teggiano in Salerno, and there is no connection to the town of Giffone. No Hebrew etymology here–but I can dream, can’t I?
Corrie reached 39 weeks on Friday, and we had decided with her doctor to induce in order to avoid possible conflict with my father-in-law’s surgery this Wednesday. We arrived at the hospital around 8:30am, and Corrie began to receive pitocin around 9:45. The contractions were close together, but not very strong until the doctor broke her water around 1:45. Then they quickly became stronger, and Elizabeth made her appearance at 3:45pm. She is 8 lbs. 7 oz., 19.5 in.
My mom was able to be present for the birth, and Corrie’s mom, Daniel, my sister and my brother-in-law arrived soon afterward. We had a wonderful, celebratory evening, before going home tired and happy. Mother and child are healthy, so we couldn’t ask for anything more.
Thanks for your prayers. The more joyous of our two momentous occasions has arrived; the more serious of the two will come the day after tomorrow. Please pray for Joe’s surgeons, a successful surgery, and a complete recovery. Pray for God’s peace for Joe and all of us as we approach Wednesday.
Benj, for Corrie and Daniel