I mean, I’m not made of stone. I love this. How could I not?
The reveal of Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade’s baby born via surrogate on November 7th was more than just a typical baby announcement for several reasons. First because she’s been very open about her struggles with infertility, meaning the sweetness of the two of them finally having a baby daughter (in addition to his sons Zaire, Zion, and Xavier) is all the joy of sleeplessness and new-baby-smell… plus the knowledge of how long it took to get to this point.
Then there’s her name. Here’s how they announced it:
So they had agreed upon the name long enough ago that he could get it tattooed on him while he was halfway around the world – and you know that because of the hashtag #paternityleave. If he was going to be flying around you know he was gonna be back in plenty of time for the birth of his baby.
I love this name. I mean, James as a middle name for a girl is essentially the new Anne or Lynn - it’s not for me but I get why people are choosing it: it feels fresh without interrupting the flow of a first and last, in this case, Kaavia Union Wade.
But I love Kaavia (which I’ve always otherwise seen spelled ‘Kaavya’ ). So much I even used it for a character in a series I made last year. In a time where we feel like we’ve heard every permutation of a K name (plus a bunch that were never meant to be K names – you know who you are), this one feels fresh. It’s of Indian origin (and before now, was most known because Kaavya Viswanathan was the Harvard sophomore who was found to have plagiarized Megan McCafferty's Sloppy Firsts series) and as a result has consonant sounds we don’t always hear in ‘English’ names – plus, I appreciate that even though Kaavia has three older brothers whose names begin with Z sounds, they felt free to go a different way.
If I had to bet, I’d say Gabrielle Union has millions of fans who have never even seen Being Mary Jane and barely remember her being ‘whelmed’ from 10 Things I Hate About You. She’s grown her fandom based on being open and honest on social media – which in turn has made me appreciate Dwyane Wade, even if I cannot fully come to grips with the placement of ‘y’ in his name. If I had to bet, I’d say Kaavia James stands a good chance of becoming the next Little Luna Legend, another celebrity baby that all of Instagram will flock together to love.