Saturday, April 12, 2008

What's in a Name?

When we received Lucy's referral back in September, she was a 7 1/2 month old baby. At the time, we definitely contemplated keeping her original name—maybe as a middle name. After giving it a lot of thought and going back and forth, we decided to honor both Lucy's birth mom and mine by naming her Lucy Mei Janice. To be honest, it felt like a non-issue since she was so young and wouldn't really know the difference. But now that she's 14 1/2 months, I feel completely torn about dropping her name. Will she resent us? Will we regret it?

I still want our moms honored in the name but Lucy Mei Yu-Ting Janice seems crazy long. Maybe Lucy Mei-Ting Janice? I'll have to get the chinese characters translated for that one.

For those of you who've been in this situation, tell me what made you decide to keep or not keep your child's original name.

Update: I had the characters translated and this is what we've got...
From Hui-Mei
Hui means bright, intelligent
Mei means "pretty" or "beautiful".

And Yu-Ting
Yu means house, building, eaves, but used with another word yu-zhou means Universe.
Ting means pretty, attractive, graceful. It usually describes how pretty a young girl has become.


Unknown said...

I wrote a comment but got an error so I don't know if you got it :)
Miranda was referred to us as Si Xian but we also got translations of her name using to other completely different spellings. One being Sih-Syuan which is what her passport is (even her US passport since we can't re-adopt her to change her name until we move back to the US). We know her as Miranda Kate (Kate after my mom Katherine). Syuan is also part of her birthmothers name, but I don't know if we want to use it or not. We like Xian but again I don't know if we will use it or not. We may even find a Chinese name ourselves to use that would be meaningful to us. It's hard to know what might be important to them later on.

Yvonne Crawford said...

Here's what we are doing...
Each of us have a Chinese name and an English name and we use both. All of my native Chinese friends are the same way. So we will do the same for Lachlan. Keep his Chinese name and give him a new English name as well.

Sarah said...

I like Lucy Mei-Ting Janice, but I would get the characters translated and ask the opinion of several persons who know Mandarin before making a final decision.

We're planning on Hannah Claire something-something for our daughter's name, but I haven't decided if we'll list "Hannah Claire" as the first name with her birth name as the middle, or with "Hannah" as a first name and then two middle names (birth name hyphenated).

This is hard stuff, and there's no right answer. I'd just go with what feels right after consulting with some others that know Mandarin well.

Andrea said...

We dropped one of Mary's names, But it was the last name that the orphanage gives by region. Her name was Guan, ShuMin. Her last name would change after she adopted no-matter where you are. So if that is the way Taiwan does it,you should not feel bad about it(if it is the last name that you drop) Does this make any sense to you? :)


Anonymous said...

If you made her fist name Lucymei instead of Lucy you would have more flexability and you could nickmame her Lucy or Mei which ever seem more appropriate in the future.

William's Family said...

Tough stuff indeed. I agree that keeping four names in a row gets to be way too long. If you did drop her Chinese name, you could still call her by it, or at least use it as a nickname when you address her, even if it's not officially on paper. That way you still preserve some of its significance.

FWIW, I quizzed my mom whose Chinese name also starts w/"Mei." She says she has never heard the name "Mei-Ting" used in Taiwan, though it could certainly be done. Just make sure you find out the meanings of the diff. characters before joining them. The first & last characters are supposed to relate symbiotically, so to split them & piece them w/other characters could alter things in a way you don't want.

Megan said...

It is so hard to transition the name. The new addition sounds beautiful. Kimi is still Chia Yu or Chia Yu Kimi , but we introduce her as Kimi. Afew days a goe someone asked her name she said, "mimi". She will answer to both names. And interesting what Judy mentions about splitting up the name.

Judy said...

have you decided what you will use?