Saturday, September 18, 2010

What's in a Name?

Each of our "chosen" kids were given a new name when we adopted them. They retain their birth names as their middle names so they don't think they have been completely scrubbed clean of their past. We've even kept their "last names" as a second middle name. What we call "last names" here in America are actually their birth father's first names. It took us awhile to figure this out. It also clarified why the adoption agency put "Juan" as their middle names...all six of them from Ethiopia. When Pam and I began this journey of adoption we didn't put a great deal of thought into the name we gave Dylan, a.k.a. Joey. We just wanted to be sure it didn't sound dorky, funny, hard to pronounce, eternally immature, or that the initials didn't give him a weird acronym.

Dylan is Welsh for God of the Sea. Okay, definitely not your typical "Bible" name. When we brought home our last three, he decided he'd liked to be called Joey. Joey was a nick name that Pam wanted to call him from his middle name Joseph. He was aware of this so I think this was Joey's way of being closer to Mom.

Leah is Hebrew for weary. This is name of the first wife of Jacob in Genesis. Recently Leah has requested that we call her Mimi. I like that, it's kind of hard to switch names, but I'm getting used to it. Mimi was a nickname that she had in Ethiopia, so I think it's her way of reaching back to something familiar.

Analyse is a combination of Hannah and Elizabeth. Hannah means Grace in Hebrew and Elizabeth is Hebrew for My God is a vow. Coincidentally, Analyse's birth name, Tseganesh is Amharic for Grace. She wants us to call her Anna. I'm not sure why other than it make her feel more informal.

Justin is Latin for righteous or just. We now call him JJ, because there is another kid on his soccer team called Justin and it cuts down confusion on the field.

Zoe is Greek for Life, and it's also a Greek letter. No nick name yet.

Jaden is Hebrew for God has heard. No nick name yet.

Davis is a form of David, which is Hebrew for Beloved. I love that! No nick name yet.

Occasionally they try out new nick names and see if they stick. I'm normally the one that bursts their bubbles on one that I don't like. Nick names tend to be earned for whatever reason, so some of them may be a long time coming. We'll see.


1 comment:

Aus said...

Very cool! Like you - we kept our kids Asian first names as their middle names - allowing them a chance to 'choose' as they got older - and still keeping the names on 'legal documents'. But the older two have 'earned' nicknames - Brianna is 'Boo' - mostly because she just so looks like the little girl from Monsters Inc. - Braelyn has settled on Jei jei, chinese for 'little sister'. Chase - well his will come - time for all things!

hugs - aus and co.