Friday, August 5, 2011

What's in a Name?

Because of some events in our lives, we had a girl's name chosen before we were even married. During my first pregnancy, we never had an ultrasound, so knowing the baby's gender wasn't an option. We struggled with coming up with a boy's name and ended up deciding that the baby would be a junior if it was a boy.  Well, it was a girl.  With my second pregnancy, we had ultrasounds but chose not to know the baby's gender.  Again, we easily came up with a girl's name but no boy's name.  Our daughter is as lovely as her name.  With my third pregnancy, we were told throughout the pregnancy that it was a boy but we never settled on a name that we loved.  That was OK because it was another girl (the doctor admitted he may have been incorrect about a month before she was born). 

When we contemplated adopting our little boy, we went back and forth about changing his name.  We learned that what we thought was his name is, in fact, only a nickname.  His Chinese name sort of translates into a very common American name, but he doesn't go by either name.  He is only known by his nickname.  Although his American name isn't a top choice for my husband or myself, we decided to use his American name as his first name and his nickname as his middle name.  We chose this for a couple of reasons.  We wanted him to have an American name to represent his new home, but a Chinese name to retain his culture.  We also wanted him to feel connected to his old life but have an option when he is older.  By giving him the American derivative of his real name and the nickname he has always known, we are addressing all of these desires.  Of course, now we are second-guessing that choice. long do we have to decide? I'm afraid it won't be long enough!

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