Friday, August 28, 2009

Announcing the Birth of Elsa Lynne McDade

She’s finally here!!! ¡Por fin ha nacido! At long last, little Elsa Lynne McDade has arrived!

STATS: She was born today, August 28, 2009, in Hospital Ángeles at 3:08 AM Puebla time (4:08 AM Eastern) and weighed in at 3 kilos, 120 grams (6 pounds, 14 ounces). It was a LOOOOOOOONG process, but after 31 hours of labor and/or surgery, our long-awaited little one was born by caesarian section. You can all be really proud of Erin – she was incredible the whole time. Little Elsa is beautiful. I don’t have any more words right now. Oh and nobody had the 28th in the international office pool, so no prizes will be awarded for that!

MOM: Erin is doing great. She was totally exhausted by the time we decided to go to Plan B (the epidural and medicine to elicit more contractions) after about 29 hours of labor, but once she got it she was full of smiles and energy. And then when the baby still refused to come out as planned (apparently she had her head turned to the side in a way that about one in five hundred babies does), and we had to move on to Plan C (-section), she chatted with the anesthesiologist all throughout the operation. She’s amazing, but y’all already knew that. I’ve never been prouder of her.

NAME: A little about the name for those who are interested… We have never really agreed on a boy name, but we decided on a girl name a couple of years ago, nothing to it. In one of those date night conversations long before we were even pregnant, much less knew our first child would be a girl, we just kind of stumbled across a name that we both instantly loved.

“Elsa” works great in both English and Spanish (and, as Erin points out, even German… We have lots of German friends.), so she can cross borders without worrying about changing pronunciations and whatnot. After all, as soon as we get the paperwork done, she’ll have dual citizenship. It starts with “E”, just like her mom’s name. Elsa is also neither weird nor extremely common, which is a balance we really like in a name. And of course it’s a name shared with a very good friend of ours down here – Miss Elsa Hurtado – the first person ever baptized as a result of the ministry of El Pozo and a great young lady with many admirable qualities that we’d love for our daughter to share as she grows older.

“Lynne” is Erin’s mom’s first name and “Lynn” is my mom’s middle name. We went with Lynne with an “e” on the end so that they’d both be included. Obviously, this part of our daughter’s name pays tribute to the two amazing ladies who loved us and raised us and will now relish and certainly excel in their new roles as grandmothers. Mom and Lynne – we love you so much and are honored for our little one to carry on your name into the future. Hopefully she’ll represent you well! I’m confident that, with your help raising her, she will.

We also really like the fact that “Elsa Lynne” sounds nice and Southern. You can totally drag out that first “E” and turn “Lynne” into a two-syllable word. I know that I have mostly been referring to her using both names together like that, but you all are of course free to call her whatever you want. For example, I always giggled when Charlie called Aaron “Turnip Head” on LOST. So be as creative as you want! She can take it. (Sorry, though, Donovan – looks like we’ll have to save “Mavis” for the next one!) And this was a later development, but when we realized that her initials would be ELM, we added a special elm leaf to the tree that we painted on her bedroom wall, which is kind of a fun little extra feature, we think.

NEXT: Erin is required to spend at least two nights in the hospital. Both while here and once we’re back at home, we’re anticipating lots of visitors – students, alumni, and other friends in Puebla and Mexico City who have been eagerly anticipating the arrival of “la McBaby” – and we can’t wait for them all to meet her. Thankfully, Abuelo Kim and Abuela Lynne are here to help, as well as our wonderful teammates. We’re also eagerly anticipating visits from the other four abuelos, as well as Tio Britt and Tia Candace and possibly some other loved ones. Erin now officially begins her maternity leave, which will last the rest of this Fall semester, at which point we’ll reevaluate her role in the ministry. In the meantime she’ll be a full-time mom and continue to be an important resource, encourager, and friend for the rest of the staff. She also plans on continuing to attend our weekly staff “family time and Bible study” and doing some informal counseling and encouraging of students out of our home. Just as it has during her pregnancy, her influence on the ministry will be felt and appreciated, even as she is physically absent from la Casa Verde most of the time. I, likewise, will be taking a little time off in order to spend it with the newest member of the family and take care of the new mom. I get two weeks of paternity leave, during which I may or may not have some preaching responsibilities. And I still have to keep up with my online Hebrew class. But other than that, it’ll be all baby, all the time. I plan to help Erin as much as I can and just enjoy holding and staring at little Elsa Lynne as much as possible.

SONG: A song that has meant a great deal to us during this pregnancy is “Magnificent” by U2. It’s on their latest album, “No Line on the Horizon”, and it is simply beautiful. It’s a song of praise that takes on even more beauty and meaning when heard through the ears of a first-time parent. Thanks once again to Bono and the boys for enriching my life and growing my faith through their music. Y’all check it out.

PRAYER: We want to thank, from the bottom of our hearts, all of you who have been praying with us and for us throughout this process. We are overjoyed at the blessing and overwhelmed with the responsibility of being entrusted, for a few years anyway, with guiding this human being into adulthood. We know that it’s going to go fast. We ask for even more prayer now as we embark on the journey called parenthood. We know that we don’t know diddly squat about what we’re doing, but we give thanks for so many fine examples and resources in our life, and we rest in the confidence that if so many other people can figure it out and do a good job, well, by golly with God’s help so can we. We’re totally excited about the adventure that lies ahead and THANK GOD that each of YOU makes up part of the village that it will take to raise her up right. We welcome your advice and don’t mean for you to take it personally if we don’t always follow it. We love and appreciate all of you more than you know, and can’t wait for each of you to meet her and begin to make your unique impact on her life and her story. We dedicate, from day one, little Elsa Lynne McDade to our great and gracious God, and to His glory. May she begin even now to understand His love and to grow into a person who will love and serve Him and others with every breath and every heartbeat, every word and every deed.

We’ll keep you posted on all of the latest developments. In addition to your email, stay tuned to Erin’s Facebook and my blog ( for photos and updates and whatnot.

Okay, back to staring at the baby!

Nathan for the (now THREE!) McDades


  1. Hey Guys!! Congratulations! Just wanted to say that David and I have been praying for you guys during the pregnancy and will continue to pray for you now that little Elsa is here. I love her name and what it means, both Elsa and Lynne. I love that she will be able to cross borders and follow in her parents' footsteps. You guys are great and so is your little girl!!

    Becky Norvell

  2. Congratulations McDades! 29 hours, I always knew Erin was the toughest McDade. Now that the McBaby becomes the cutest McDade, what does that leave you Nate? Best jumpshot? I love the Elsa naming details. Great job McFamily!!

  3. Congrats! Her name is just as beautiful as her sweet little face! Hugs to all three of you! What a blessing to have another warrior for Jesus Christ!!