So a few people guessed it, but our new daughter's name will be Johanna! Yes, Liz and Aunt Kathy, you'll be getting a prize from China! Anyway, here's the story on our girl's name...
Zack came home one evening and said he had a name idea from a song he had heard in the car...Joanna. I immediately dismissed it, claiming that it sounded too much like an "old-lady name." But the next day, for whatever reason, I looked up the name's meaning and realized it had the same meaning as Jonas, which is "gift from God." Some websites also say it means "God is gracious." So that was pretty cool and appropriate.
Joanna is one of the only named women in the New Testament of the Bible. She was one of the first to witness the empty tomb and declare the resurrection of Jesus. And she's a saint. But what I soon noticed and got kind of excited about was a form of the name Joanna...Johanna. Hannah was one of my very top name choices, but I don't like how it seems to have become pretty popular in recent years. Johanna has the "Hanna" in it without being too overused, and it has the "Jo" part to go along with her brother's name, Jonas.
I researched the name Johanna a bit more and found out that Bob Dylan has a song called "Visions of Johanna." Dylan is probably Zack's favorite musical artist ("Dylan" was even in the running for a boy's name before we chose "Jonas"), so I knew that was a plus. The next day, I told Zack that I was on board with the name Johanna instead of Joanna, and I found out that he actually already knew about the Bob Dylan song (of course!). We also looked up the original song he had heard in the car, which is called "A-Punk" by a group we like called Vampire Weekend, and go figure, the lyrics are actually about a girl named Johanna, not Joanna!
So, with all of these "signs," Johanna it is! I do worry that some people will spell/say it wrong, getting it confused with Joanna, but such is life. For those who don't know, it's pronounced like Joe-Hannah. We can't wait to get our little Johanna home!