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November 5 welcomed lots of new little Obamas

People in many places celebrated in myriad ways yesterday when Barack Obama was elected the next president of the United States. Perhaps nowhere was the party as enthusiastic as in maternity wards the world over, especially Kenya, Obama’s birthplace.

Today saw a flood of little Baracks, Michelles, and even Obamas, as mothers hope their little bundles of joy will meet with similar success in life as the 44th president-elect and his wife. His name means “Blessed.” Her name asks, “Who is like God?”

One Kenyan mother, Pauline Adhiambo, gave birth to twins in the wee hours of November 5, and named them Michelle and Obama. In the same hospital on that one day, there were at least eight other boys with the president-elect’s name. One mother told a reporter that she and her husband picked the name “because the whole town and the entire world was very enthusiastic about Barack Obama, and we believe he is a great man.”

The trend wasn’t just limited to Kenya, but that country definitely led the way. Obama is a celebrity in Kenya, one of their own who has succeeded beyond all expectations. And, of course, it’s not unusual for mothers to name their children after celebrities and leaders. France has seen its share of Napoleons, for example. I named my son Jacob because I thought it was a nice name, but also because I like the story. He really messed up but he was used by his god, anyway. Now, that’s hope.

So while these moms pray that their children will be as “blessed” and “godly” as their namesakes, I pray that the leaders will live up to such expectations.


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