Well, another adopting mama I know -- she is achingly close to traveling!! -- posted about her new son's name, and I realized that I haven't talked much about our girl's name here. I don't know if you share my obsession, but I absolutely LOVED looking on different web sites for Indian names and their meanings. Just one more (enjoyable) way to spend the waiting time, I guess!
With our first daughter, we knew we wanted to keep her given name, whatever it was. That is truly the only thing she "owned" from the first day of her life, and we felt it was a very important piece of her personal history. We also asked at the orphanage who had named her, so that we would be able to tell her someday.
We wanted to honor her birth country by choosing another Indian name for her, and we wanted to give her a family name from one of our families, as a symbol of her new identity.
Anya (a shortened version of "Ananya") was our choice, and it sounded beautiful combined with her given name, Rashi. "Pearl" is my mom's name, and we chose that for her middle name. It was perfect to our ears . . . although my now 6-year-old girl is insisting we call her simply "Anya" instead of "Anya Rashi."
With our next daughter K, we will definitely keep her given name. We will also ask who named her, so we can tell her that information as she grows up. Since she will likely be over 2 years old before we bring her home, we may keep her given name as a first name. We love the meaning of K's given name, too, which is an added bonus.
We did choose another name during our research -- it is easy for westerners to pronounce, but is a decidedly Indian name: Monika. It means "wise counselor." That's kind of a big burden for a child to carry, but we hope she will grow into it! Then we will add the family name Ann/Anne, after Peter's mom and one of his sisters. We haven't talked about which spelling we will use, though.
And since I love this topic, please feel free to chime in about what factors you considered/are considering as you choose your children's names!