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July 19, 2008

Jonah Sequoia Lundquist d'Alessio

On the eighth day of our baby boy's life, we have given him his name. Here is a letter we read to him at his bris:

July 19, 2008
The eighth day of your life

Dear Jonah Sequoia Lundquist d'Alessio,

Though you have been with us only eight days, we have already been so blessed by your presence. On this day, we choose a name for you that represents your heritage and symbolizes qualities we hope will be meaningful in your life.

In Hebrew, Jonah means dove, reflecting the message of peace that you shall always carry with you. It is also the name of a famous Biblical character. The Bible is filled with stories of great and wise men, but Jonah is a man who is known primarily for making mistakes. He makes a poor choice and ends up in the belly of a giant fish, where he is given three days to contemplate what he has done. In the end, he reverses course and does the right thing, sacrificing himself to save his shipmates and eventually an entire city. We do not expect you to always make perfect decisions, but we hope you will be inspired by your namesake's example to learn from your mistakes and correct them, and to face challenges instead of running away. We also want you to know that you will be loved no matter what you do in life, just as Jonah is loved by God throughout the story.

Sequoia is the name of a great California redwood tree that symbolizes power and majestic wonder. Like Sequoias, you have strong roots in California as the sixth generation in your family to be born here. These trees become mighty only because they spend many years making tiny steps of sustained, persistent growth. The ones that grow largest are the ones that keep growing even through fires, droughts, and lightning strikes. May you grow and prosper in life with the persistence and resilience of these beautiful trees.

We have given you two middle names in order to honor the names of both your mother's and father's families. As you carry the names Lundquist and d'Alessio through your life, we hope you will feel the love and the warmth of your ancestors supporting you as you go.

We love you more than words can say, and we look forward to watching you share your presence with the world.

Love,
Mom and Dad

For clarity, Jonah has Lundquist as a middle name. His last name is just d'Alessio with no hyphen.