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Monday, September 21, 2009

What's In A Name?

I had a friend suggest that I write a blog entry about names.

Superman and I always knew we'd have a Mr. C and a J-Man. The two names go together like hot chocolate and whipped cream.

J-Man had a unique name that started with a "G" when he came to us. We chose to move his first name to his middle name, and thus he became J-G-L. I think birth names are an important part of an adopted child's identity. To get rid of it completely, in my humble opinion, and in our circumstance, just seemed like we would be trying to "erase" his previous history. We decided we wanted him to know what name his birth mom gave him and have the choice to go by that name later in life if he ever chose to do so. Again, this is just what we felt would work for us--not necessarily the solution across the board.

We followed the same method with M and N. They kept part of their birth names as their middle names. We plan on doing the same with G once we finalize with her next year.

M had called all his foster moms AND birth mom "mommy." I didn't even tell him what to call me when he came to our home--he just automatically called me "mommy." We would show him pictures of his birth mom and foster mom and ask who they were, and he would say, "mommy." After a few months when we showed him photos, he just said, "I don't know." I would pick him up in his Sunday school class, and he would often stare at me for a minute, knowing he recognized me, but not remembering if I was the one that he was supposed to go with.

Actually, with M, we planned on calling him by his birth name and tacking on his "new" name to give him some transition time. We planned to call him, "D-M" for awhile until he got used to it. But, just for kicks, on the first day, we called him "M" to see if he would answer to it. He did, so the name just stuck! Kids are amazingly adaptive and resilient, and he quickly responded to his new name.

Names are great. Each of our kids names has a special meaning, a reason we chose it, dear to our hearts.

Here's M and N the day they officially, legally, forever-ly got their "new" names:


Ohilda said...

I totally agree that names are so important. All 6 of my kiddos have names with special meaning, not to mention the fact that they all start with "A". My Chinese sweeties also have their given Chinese names as part of their name.

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