Quote of the Day


to rename or not to rename: that is the question

My friend Tina, adopting from Ethiopia this summer, asked me
. . . we are having a bit of a struggle with the whole name issue. Did you just think it through on your own or did you read something that advised the route you went with your kid's names?

I replied:
Regarding names: we thought it through on our own, so I don't have any resources for you there. I think what settled it for me was when I realized that my children, when grown, will not be Russian. They will be Americans with some strong ties to Russia. Your son will be an American with ties to Ethiopia, but not an Ethiopian. If he visits Ethiopia he will be an outsider. Names carry implications of cultural belonging. We chose to provide names that will match with their adult realities. Anyway, that was our thinking. I think you mentioned Biblical names -- that might be a nice compromise. Maybe a first name that is present in both cultures and his original name as his middle names.

. . . names carry implications of cultural belonging. . . .

My kids took no issue with their new names, accepting it as part of all the other newnesses. I do like that we have their Russian names as our private family snuggle names.

Now that you've got me thinking about it, I think this would make a good blog post.

and she said:
Thanks for the scoop on the names. We sure have gotten a ton of UNsolicited advice about this. Our gut feeling is/was to keep the name he comes with. But we haven't been able to 100% feel comfortable with doing so. Yet changing doesn't feel right either. Brian and I are not usually the kind that listen to advice much, but on this we are soliciting a little input now. The unsolicited advice has all said "change it, blend in, too hard to say, etc" with one exception, a therapist friend that was adamant about the importance of keeping the name. She did like the snuggle name idea that I told her you guys use. And she like keeping the original but having a related nickname that was easier to say. We have pretty much decided not to decide yet. But to meet him first. With a short list of names we both like in the back of our minds, in case changing does become the plan.

and your thoughts are . . .


:: After I got this post all ready, I noticed that Brandie over at Our Adoption Journey has also recently posted on this.

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