Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What's in a name?

So I'm going to fess up and admit that when I first heard our son's name, I thought it was terrible. Like white trash-misspelled-roll my eyes-terrible.  It is a name I would have NEVER chosen to give a child of mine.  It's a name very few people choose to give to their child---number 401 in popularity when I last checked. I won't share his name here yet, but I will say that he is named after a video game character. . .from a fighting game that his biological father liked to play. The name is misspelled (missing a letter) and the first and middle name are in reverse order of the video character. DH and I were sure we were going to change it.  Then we were told we couldn't until TPR was done, at which point it would be too late because TPR would take a couple of years and he would identify with the name by then.  Then we were told we could change it but had to be super-careful to always use his original name for all legal situations and to make sure he answered to his original name to some extent for visits with his biological father.  Then we were told we could completely change it when his biological father died.  

Now, here's the kicker: we're not going to change it.  We are changing his middle name to DH's grandfather's name, but we're keeping his first name. We're even keeping the spelling.*  We actually think it's pretty cool.  Yup, we've grown to like it.  It fits him.  His name has connotations of rebirth, rising from the ashes.** It's unique and it seems like part of him now.  So it stays. 

When we were considering adopting from foster care, the name issue was one of those things that bothered me.  I thought of all the time my pregnant friends have spent pouring over baby name books, looking up name meanings and trying different combinations.  It hurt that I might not have the chance to do that.  One more ritual among many that I wouldn't get to participate in---one last slap in the face by infertility. But you know what?  It's OK.  It really is.  Because no matter what his name is, he's my son.  And at this point that's all that matters to me. I know that's hokey, but it's true.  I also think that it's different when you're considering a name in the abstract: Which do I prefer? Henry or Evan?  Sofia or Ava?  But when the name is attached to a person, your opinion of it can change drastically.  There are several perfectly nice names that I can't stand because they remind me of  particular students (really more the parents of those students).  Our son has a name that I wasn't crazy about when I first heard it, but now because it's attached to him, I've come to love it.***
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*My only regret is that people who first see his name will think DH and I can't spell or that were trying for a unique spelling on purpose. As a teacher, cute misspelled names are one of my pet peeves. We could change the spelling, but then people will think he was named after a city in which he was conceived and that's worse.  Plus, I think the current spelling is more masculine.

**If you're trying to figure out what it is, that's a big clue.  Think mythical. It doesn't begin with L.  That's my pseudonym (pseudoletter?) for him. 

***No offense to those who have changed their child's name. I completely understand. We've grown to love DS's name.  I've seen some on the listings that I think would be hard for me to learn to love and that would be hard for a child to live with when he gets older. I'm hoping DS is happy with his name as he gets older. 

11 comments:

Me said...

My sister named my niece after some super special character in the Magic card game because the Sperm Donor liked to play that game. However, the REAL kicker is that the way my sister pronounces my niece's name is not phonetically correct with the spelling - cuz guess what? The Sperm Donor can't FREAKING READ! No, I'm not kidding. *rolls eyes* But these people can have kids. So not fair.

motherissues said...

My partner and I are still looking for a child and I've forced us to both use Xyqu@vi0us as our pretend name we use (and I'm googleproofing it because there are little boys out there with that name) so that we can get used to saying it or any similar-style name.

I can guess that some vowels got transposed in DS's name, but I think it's a lovely meaning for him and really not bad as names go. I'm glad you found what works for him and for you.

Fran said...

Gosh, I'm curious out of my head now!!! But I love hearing you so happy, Fran

Barb said...

Beautiful post! And so much truth to the name thoughts. :)

Beautiful Mess said...

I agree with a name being associated with a person. And becuase you love your little guy, his name is perfect. I'm glad you and DH are happy with his name. You're heart is healing, as is your soul. I'm so happy for you, hon.
*HUGS*

kelly22474 said...

Awww, Karen, that is so sweet. Sounds like it is the perfect name for your little guy.

You got me curious so I did some searching. I think I know the name....starts with a P, right?

Kelly

Karen said...

I think you've got it, Kelly. :)

mygrl said...

As a birthparent, the name was a big thing to me. I am so happy that my daughter's parents honored her name. birthmmtalks.blogspot.com

TXMom2B said...

If I'm right about the name, it sounds really cool! I see what you mean about how, since the name goes with your son, you like it. My son's looks weren't familiar at first, but now he is family and I can't imagine him looking any other way. He is family so his looks are family, too. I hope that makes sense but I feel like I understand what you're saying.

QuEEn oF tHe cAstLe said...

short intro...

We're foster parents in NY for the past 4 years.

Ok, so here I am, sitting here and for the LIFE of me I CANNOT figure out what his name MIGHT be.... I hate to ask but can you tell me??? It WILL drive me crazy... :)

hut31999@aol.com

Ashley said...

New to your blog- Your blogname pulled me in. Early 3D fighter game, right? I love what you've chosen to do.