The Gift of Hope


Two years ago London Hope Wakefield came into our lives in the midst of turbulent times. It was a brave new world for our family then.  We were moving to a new home, I’d  just lost one of my dearest childhood friends to cancer, my wife and I were both transitioning into new jobs.  Times were uncertain and just like that, in stepped hope, in the form of London Hope Wakefield.

Funny thing about London’s name, everyone in our family has a name that fits their personality.  Riley, our oldest was partially named after Riley Poole (the character from the National Treasure films).  Samantha and I liked his whimsical character, and we wanted something unique for our first child.  Her middle name though, we wanted to point to her leadership.  So we named her Riley Claire.  There are variations on the meaning, but it boils down to clarity.  When we think of our firstborn and her future leadership, clear and bright seems to fit perfectly our vision for her life.

Olivia Grace, our middle daughter (with all the familiar characteristics of a middle child) we named grace.  Not simply because we would need grace in raising her (she’s definitely our most spirited child), but also because again, when we vision her impact on the world, there’s something about grace that has the power to change lives.  Olivia is also our most empathetic child, and if anyone will be in a position to extend grace to others, it’ll be Olivia (one so familiar with it’s effects herself).

Which brings us to London.  I’m not exactly sure at which moment we settled on London’s middle name, but I know that when we did it just felt right.  London Hope.  There’s something about the season of life that we were in that we needed a bit of hope, and has she ever delivered.  London is by far our most cheerful child, folks are constantly impacted by her outgoing nature and friendly personality.  But I think it’s her smile that wins the room every time.

Not to put my girls in a box, but if Riley was pensive and Olivia was critical, London has always embraced the world as it has come, armed with little more than a tenacious positive expectation (aka hope).  She’s brought a real sense of balance to our family.  So this past week as we celebrated her second birthday, I took some time to also remember the purpose of hope.  Despite what’s happening out there in the world, hope keeps believing and marching to the beat of it’s own drum.  It’s like London, brightening up a room wherever she goes.

Happy Birthday London Hope Wakefield (aka Bunny).



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