Hi! I’m April Dawn and this is my month. There’s always been a bit of fun, joking, and curiosity behind my name. So today, on April Fool’s Day, I thought I’d plunge into some interesting notions surrounding me and my name.
I’m a July (not April) baby!
Contrary to what most people assume, I was not born in April. My birthday falls in the heat of July.
My mother chose two names, one boy and one girl name. Regardless of the month, her daughter would possess the name, “April Dawn.” If was a boy, my father wanted the name, Shawn Oliver. (Being that my maiden name starts with a ‘B’ that child would have horrible initials.) Thank the Good Lord, I am a girl 🙂
My parents are not hippies.
When my husband’s extended friends and family received our wedding invitations, they doused him with the same question, “Are April’s parents’ hippies?” To them, the name April Dawn sounded like the name of a free-spirited love child. In reality, my husband’s Irish/Italian family is far more robust and lively than my quiet farm-raised family. The joining of our family resembled the union of the Portokalos and Miller family from “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” (This is still my favorite all-time movie!)
My sister and I were both given the birth name April.
For many years my sister and I differentiated ourselves by the phrase, “Big April and Little April.”
From my toddler years through my teen years, my parents served as foster parents. After much prayer, another April wobbled into our home. My mom kept this little girl in the church nursery and felt prompted to pray for her. Over many weeks, my parents, who had been fostering for years, learned this younger April was entering state custody. Already positioned in the foster care network and known to the child, my parents advocated for her. Little April teetered into our home and our hearts forever. Five years her senior, we used the term “Big April, Little April” until her legal name change.
Meaning of April Dawn
Latin scholars derived the word April from the noun Aprilis, the fourth month of the year, and from the Latin verb aperire meaning “to open” because leaves and flowered opened in April.  The name Dawn offers promise, hope, and light.  The inner nerd in my comes alive when I learn about the origins of words and names. Imagine my delight when I discovered my name means to give promise, hope and light.
April Dawn. First and middle name.
Even before my parents adopted my sister, my parents and friends referred to me as April Dawn. To this day, If someone uses my first and middle name, I take it as a cherished throw-back to life in the 70s and 80s.
Fast-forward to Adulthood
I began my writing career with the blog titled “Red Chair Moments”. During that time, I signed off each post as “April.” But, as my professional writing career developed, and I received payment as a freelance writer, I added back my middle name. I said goodbye to my first website, Red Chair Moments, and relaunched under my name April Dawn White. Why? I researched and discovered several other writers named April White. Some of these writers do not share the light of hope in Christ I desire to display for my readers.