The name Judah didn't come as an a-ha moment and we didn't finalize it on a certain day, it just kinda happened over time.
In my pregnancy devotional, I stuck a sticky note that Jordan brought home from work one day back in the fall. He had written some name suggestions that had popped into his mind, and "Judah" was on that list. We had already discussed how we like Biblical place names, especially because Jordan is one, but I hadn't thought of Judah as an option yet.
When thinking about a name, there were three categories we were trying to choose from. We could have used a family name, a Biblical name, or a name we just simply liked for no particular reason.
We decided to go with a family name for the middle name which was an easy decision. William is Jordan's middle name and is the first name of both of his grandfathers. William was probably number one on the list of family names contending for the first name, but ultimately we chose to use it in the middle. Here is a picture of William Harvey Shelley, Jordan William Shelley, and Judah William Shelley.
As Jordan would tell you, I over-analyzed every name suggestion. I was very picky about how I wanted it to sound. For instance, there were several names we liked that ended in "s" or "sh" but I didn't love how they flowed into "Shelley". One example is the name Silas, which I really like but that would make for all kinds of ssss-ing when saying the full name. Others may love that but it seemed difficult for me to say.
I also wanted it to be easy to say and spell, and not have terrible nickname potential (though you can't really prevent that, hence the nickname Trashley). We liked the nickname Jude, so that was another plus.
We loved how Judah got his name in the Bible. After much frustration, Leah chose the name Judah and said "this time I will praise the Lord". (Gen. 29:35) Judah means "praise" and we LOVE that. His grandparents quickly made up a song about it after he was born and now that's the song that makes him light up or cheers him up. Our prayer is that his life will be one of praise to the Lord.
Judah was a complex person in the Bible -- he did some great things, and he did some terrible things. Ultimately even though he made some huge mistakes, God used him in great ways and he was even in the line of Jesus. I pray that Judah will know that God doesn't use people based on performance, but gives unlimited grace.
Since there were so many reasons we loved the name Judah, it's hard for us to think about a name for this new baby. We just worked hard to decide and now we have to decide again! Haha. It may take a while. We lean toward Biblical names in what we like, so we'll see if that's what we go with. I was pretty set on a girl name, but not a boy name. That's how it goes I guess. :) I had a dream the other night that I had the baby early and we had to pick a name, and I was still uncertain in the dream. We will continue to pray about what we should name this little guy and that God will make it clear.