You know, sometimes I feel guilty doing an update column, because, well, the new parents are the ones doing all the work for me. But they’re so much fun and so satisfying.

Here’s an update to Unlikely Inspiration:

Dear Duana,

Thank you so much for the baby name advice!

When you suggested we use our top 2 first name choices as a first and middle name, we wondered why we hadn't thought of such a simple solution! Why were we contemplating middle names that we didn't love as much as our top contenders?!

Estlin Simone came into this world late, after a marathon 82 hours of labour, and screamed before the doctor could get her shoulders out. "One who is heard," indeed.

Our parents were perplexed by the name choice and said some odd things in response, but ultimately are accepting and in love with their granddaughter. Our friends understand the cool-factor of the name we love so much.

Thanks again. You truly are a baby name wizard.

Then, there’s this incredible answer to Inspired By Childhood Heroines:

Hi Duana,

Thank you so much for responding to my email. You have no idea the frenzy you caused in my household when my sister called to scream into the phone "DUANA ANSWERED YOUR LETTER! DUANA ANSWERED YOUR LETTER!" And it was a great response! It was so nice to have Ramona confirmed as a great name, sadly there was absolutely no convincing my husband. I'll tell you off the bat that we went with June. You can imagine my relief when, 4 days postpartum, you didn't tell me it was an awful name. However, you totally nailed my reservations about the name in that it feels unfinished compared to my other children's names. If I'm to be honest, I'm still wrestling with that particular feeling but it is feeling more complete everyday. But she arrived early, before you responded, and unfortunately your suggestions never even got a chance to be in play. I do love Jane, Veronica (a top contender for a while), Cora, and Beverly did cross my mind at one point but all were nixed for one reason or another. So June it is and I'm very happy with it. Anyway, thank you again for answering my letter, it was the cherry on top of a very fine week.

Sometimes my ruminating on names lets you know you loved what you had in the first place

Hi Duana!

I loved loved loved your response to my letter last fall. I took your Arthur under major consideration but after many hours of thought and verbal practice, I settled on a top two: Rory and Porter. Rory was the obvious frontrunner for us up until the moment he was born, and wouldn't you know, when I saw him, I just thought PORTER. It just hit me. It worked for criteria I didn't even know I had: an english name that sounds southern without recalling a plantation owner, works internationally in case we ever move back to Europe, and felt sturdy but not gruff.

I'm already considering mates for this name, and Lionel will definitely be top of mind next time. Thank you so much for your help!

EV from SC

And basically, if you don’t love this letter which kicked the year off for us, who even are you? Let the 2016 Games Begin...

Hi Duana,
I just wanted to provide you with an update. A couple days before you posted your response we had settled on Foster James as the name for our son (he arrived healthy and happy on 1.04.16!). I almost wrote you to tell you because I would have been heartbroken if your response had been lukewarm to Foster as a first name. To my delight your response validated the name (and my thinking that is goes so well with Cameron) and was so spot on in so many ways, including the very positive reactions to his name from almost everyone (naysayers have thus far kept their opinions to themselves). My husband is very private and so I debated telling him that I sought out expert advice in a public forum as I wasn't sure how he would react. But when I showed him your response he loved how much I loved the name and it just solidified it for us (and now we have a great name story!) He actually wanted to ask you your opinion on whether you think Sidney (for a girl) would work with the other names if we try for #3 down the line. I still like Brooke Hastings/Hazel. But if it is a boy we might be at standstill again. But Foster is already giving us a run for our money so we might count our blessings with a being a happy and healthy (and well-named) family of 4. Thanks again for responding and helping us feel good about our decision. 

Yes, I’m down with Sidney, or whatever other ideas you guys have come up with by then! Cannot tell you how much I love receiving these updates, they’re such unexpected treats no matter which way the name choices go!