Thursday, September 17, 2015

What are you going to name your child?

“Do you have names picked out?”  This is a question parents-to-be are often asked by family and friends.  When you are adopting a child, you may or may not have the opportunity to name your child.  It depends on the circumstances and age of the child.

We have adopted two children.  Our youngest was our first child, and he has been with us since birth.  Our oldest who was our second child was adopted from Bulgaria, and we were given the opportunity to change his name.

Would you like to give me another name?
J has been with us since birth, and we were able to name him; however, all of the ultrasounds showed that he was a she.  My husband and I had decided on a girl's name.  You can already guess what happened.

As the due date approached, I made my husband play the "What if?" game with me.  This after a co-worker at my school told me that his 5 boys were all supposed to be girls.  My husband was adamant that there was no reason for that since the baby was going to be a girl.  The day before the baby was born I finally got him to engage in a discussion in which we decided on a boy's name "just in case" (insert laughter here).

While we were waiting at the hospital for our child to be born, one of the German nurses asked us for the name so she could get some of the paperwork started.  We told her what our daughter's name was going to be.  

After the baby’s birth, we were able to go into the room where the nurses were going to clean the baby up.  Imagine our surprise when we opened the blanket with our bundle of joy and found that she was a he!  There was a lot of whispering back and forth between me and my husband. One of the nurses asked us if there was a problem.  “No problem.  Just a surprise.”  

The first nurse came back to us a few minutes later and asked, "Would you like to give me a different name?"  In case you were wondering, we did.

Do we change the name of a child who already knows his name?
We had a struggle with whether or not to change S's name.  He was 3 at the time we started the adoption process, and he came home when he was 4.  We knew that he was old enough to know his name.  We decided to keep that one thing as a constant in his life since we were changing everything else that he knew.  We decided that we could use the American name "Seth" as a nickname.

When we went to Bulgaria for our initial visit when S was 3, we heard the nickname the caretakers called him and loved it!  He does not go by the nickname Seth.  We retained his birth name and use the nickname his caregivers used which is just a shortened version of his full name.  He has a Bulgarian name/nickname which is very unique here in the United States.  We call him the "one name wonder".  

I will be on the couch with chocolate enjoying my family and our stories.

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1 comment:

  1. We also adopted children who already identified with their names. One asked to keep his name and our other child embraced a new name. Either way, we were happy to give them the choice.