Most of you know that name meanings matter to our family. We have always chosen our kiddos' names with great care - and we have been asked many times, "Where did Malia come from?"
Well... it's not because we're copying President Obama. In fact, we didn't know he had a daughter named Malia until Erik's brother informed us the other day. :)
When we went into labor, we had a fairly long list of names, still. We narrowed them down to two while I was still in early labor and could think straight. :) We loved the way Malia sounded - and we knew we wanted to use Gabrielle (which means 'devoted to God'). But I struggled with using Malia because the technical meaning is "bitter." It is the Hawaiian variation of Mary. As we talked - about twelve hours after her delivery when she was still nameless, we decided that the meaning of Mary has been overcome by the personhood of the biblical Mary. Mary was the Lord's handmaiden. She declared, "Let it be to me as you have said," and she proclaimed the Lord's greatness in song as He filled her womb with His essence. She sang, "My soul magnifies the Lord."
So, just in case you were wondering, our little Malia carries, not the burden of bitterness, but the song of glory. Her name, to us, means, "My soul magnifies the Lord."