Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Choosing a name

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!


Julie & Patrick said...

Naming a child is such a delicate process! We employed the same theories and logic that you did with Anya's name and now K's name. The girls have been talking a lot about names lately and the fact that they are so special that they each have 4 names while Pat and I only have 3!

I LOVE Monika!


The Labontes said...

We are similar in philosophy of names. Both of my boys kept their Indian names as middle names. We chose "M" names for each of them to keep with our trend, and ALL of my kids have a family related middle name. Maddie is named completely after my grandmother, Myles has Dan's name as his middle, My grandfather and Max share a middle name, and Mason's middle name is my great grandmother's maiden name. I'm with Julie - LOVE Monika!

Lynette said...

"Achingly close" is a very good way to describe it!! ;)

Can't wait to actually learn your sweetie's name and see her face!

Candice said...

We had several first names picked out, but they did not seem right once we saw his photo! He became "Micah" with my husband's name next and then his Indian name from the orphanage. I still love hearing him rattle off all four names together and he loves that he shares a name with his daddy! Can't wait to hear what your little girls name all together and see her picture!


No Greater Love said...

Oh, what a beautiful name. :) Yes, I love names, too. We have reasons we named each of the boys who they are....and like you we'll keep V's given name for sure...but Hope will be her middle name.....for certainly it is with joyful expectancy that we long for our little one. :o)

Cindy said...

Well, Emy is short for Emary..gave her my moms middle name, then her Indian given name...all of our kids have 4 names..
Luke has my dads middle name, then his Indian name.
Tessa has my sisters middle name and my best friends first name....and on a funny Indian beauties have threatened to tell Tessa she is the adopted one! lol

Michele said...


So great to find your blog! My husband and I are also in the process of adopting a little girl from India, though we have not been matched yet. I blog (occasionally) about our experience at
I have been so encouraged to read others' journeys. Sure helps to make sense of things in ours sometimes. :)