Monday, September 28, 2009

choosing the name

Naming and adoption are emotional topics. I think that most parents delight in giving their child a name, this is a typical part of becoming a parent. Like many others D and I have tossed around various baby names during our 13 years of marriage.

But as I became more informed about adoption I began to think about naming a child from the perspective of each triad member. Then it wasn't about us anymore. When in the adoption process you learn to let go of many things that biological parents take for granted and one of these things for us was naming the child. D and I spent a great deal of time thinking about this and how we hoped the naming of our child would proceed. In the state we would be adopting from they seal adoptee's original birth certificates once the adoption is finalized and adoptees are forever unable to access these documents. We completely disagree with this practice and believe that everyone should be granted access to their own documents. So when naming our child we strongly felt that we didn't want to change the name from what was on the original birth certificate. Even though our child would not have access to his original birth certificate the integrity of his name would be the same.

While talking to J about naming the baby we asked her to pick the baby's middle name and then we really wanted to pick his first name together. J was excited about providing a middle name but had less interest and input in picking a first name. So we told her our top 2 picks, which she liked, and then she sort of left it up to us to decide in the end. The last piece of his name that we wanted was to use her last name as a second middle name. As we talked to her about this the agency workers that were in the room expressed delight in our intentionality stating that the majority of adoptive parents they have dealt with aren't as thoughtful. That makes me really sad. I think the agency then needs to provide more education to waiting families. Anyway, J seemed to really like that we wanted to keep her last name as one of his names.

So in the end the only change to his original birth certificate will be the addition of our last name. We don't know how T will feel when he grows up about his name and if our intentional choices will be appreciated. But we do know that we did what we could to keep his original name and to us that was extremely important.


Sabrina said...

It was nice to read some more of the story of Teegan's arrival. I've been checking in often for the next installment!

luna said...

this is such a wonderful story. I think your little boy will be happy to know it someday.

Debbie B said...

I just have to comment on this post because I love names and how children receive their names. This is such a wonderful idea to include her last name. One day he will appreciate that.