What’s in a name?

What is behind hers?

For those of you who don’t know how Seeley became Seeley, I wanted to take a moment to share.

As sweet as this is, wait until the end, she is far cuter.

Long before she made our family, we had been on an epic adoption journey. We lived in Montana, a couple of times, this time we were in Bozeman. I was on the Gallatin Gateway Fire Department, and Rachel was managing spas and salons. We had built a Montana Family, lasting relationships with folks we were sure would make amazing aunties and uncles. We were working with Lutheran Social Services while pursuing anything else that would make us parents.

This was taken downtown Bozeman, and was the cover photo of our Prospective Adoptive Parents File.

At a certain point, after completing the classes and paperwork, we were at the ready and waiting status. We had completed home studies, we had furnished a nursery and we were enjoying all of the things expectant parents got to do.

Rachel sewed a bedding set and bumper for a girl, and a set for a boy. She gathered everything from antique stores, so it was soft as ever. Seeley still uses the blanket, made for her in 2011.

Through another channel, a birthmom had heard that we were looking to grow our family with adoption and she knew she wasn’t able to keep her child. This time, we made it to around 34 weeks before things changed. They always changed. As prospective adoptive parents, this is a pain, like no other.

We had shared with our family and friends and shouted from the Bridger Mountain tops for all to hear, we will be a family soon! We were rocked. We needed a getaway. For those of you who know me, taking a vacation is one of the hardest things – but we needed to get out of town.

We chose Seeley Lake, Montana. It’s the most beautiful place I have ever been. There is a sparkling lake, a sweet town and it’s all surrounded by big beautiful mountains.

Seeley Lake, Montana

We took walks, and talked. We sat, and listened. It’s here that we decided we were committed to continuing our adoption journey. Eventually, we moved back to Minnesota, and though we packed up the nursery in Bozeman, we didn’t unpack it right away. We were tired and had to reestablish before we were going to contact an agency again.

Right as we settled in, we got a call. This one would change our forever. As we shopped and unpacked, rebuilt the crib and went to ultrasound appointments, we considered names. Rachel had a list of about 100, and none seemed to be just right. I told Rachel, let me name her, and with a roll of the eyes, she agreed to let me try. I had a light bulb moment, and said Seeley.

If I had influence with the good fairy, I would ask that her gift to each child be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last through life.
-Rachel Carson

The minute I met her, I knew. She, Seeley Mikana Flanagan, was ours.

In the years since, Rachel and I laugh about how we knew she would be this remarkable, beautiful kid, but we have also learned she is as strong as her namesake mountains, and thank goodness!

Mikana is a story for another day, but Flanagan is quick.

It means, she is ours. Perfectly, magically, through the grace of God’s plan – ours.

From the proudest dad, in the land,

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