Hypothetically speaking...

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2004
Hypothetically speaking...
5
Fri, 07-30-2010 - 4:56pm

Not pregnant, just wanted to get some philosophical thoughts on a particular name scenario:

DH and I have been pretty seriously considering adopting, probably internationally and probably from Russia. We're really excited, but the name lover in me is trying to make my peace with the fact that we wouldn't have total free reign on the name front. It is unlikely we would adopt a baby, more likely a toddler or preschooler.

Let's say we adopt a 3-year-old, I've heard of/considered a few possible approaches to the name the child already has:
1. Keep it, maybe choose a middle.
2. Keep it as a middle, but gradually transition from using the old name to using both to using just the new given name.
3. Use a nickname, a sound-alike name or an Anglicized version of the name.
4. Just plain old pick a new name.

What do you think? Is it insulting to a child to try to change his name, gradually or otherwise, or is it a sign of his becoming a member of our family? I am *much* more concerned about making this child feel totally welcome than with getting to choose a name that I love, but would he/she eventually feel left out if his name sounded foreign and out of sync with our bio kids? I can see both sides to this, and wondered what others would think.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2010
Fri, 07-30-2010 - 6:59pm

Wow, that is exciting news, Jodi! I know several families that have adopted from Russia. Their names were/are names that actually work very well here. It's interesting that you asked about the possibility of using a nn for their original name, because I suspect that the child (like your other children) is getting a great nn one way or the other, lol. Also, you will probably want a family name for the mn, so using their given name in that spot might be a great idea (as an ode to Russian heritage), if you *really* need to change the fn. I love lots of Russian names, so I am excited to see what name tag your little sweetie will come with. Also, I suspect that everything will come together providentially (name included). Keep us posted!

pink polka

 

sunflower
Avatar for nowwere7
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Mon, 08-02-2010 - 4:23am

I'm thinking that if the given name appeals to you, maybe it will be better to choose a mn that has family meaning from your family? This way the child will be handed into your family same as our other children. Then come up with a fab nn too of course.


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-31-2007
Mon, 08-02-2010 - 11:58am

I can definitely see both sides to it. I think it would be ok to change the name, as long as you do it in an emotionally sensitive way for the child. Personally, I don't think I would do it just to have a name that I liked better. I would do it if there was something very meaningful about the new name (such as a relative I had always wanted to honor but not been able to), or if the child's original name was one that would make it difficult to integrate into American life. For example, I would change the name of a Russian child named Slava or Ksenia, but not one named Alexander or Nadia. I would Americanize Mikhail and Yekaterina into Michael and Katherine.

Just my two cents.
Jadzia

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Avatar for ribrit
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-24-2001
Sat, 08-07-2010 - 10:48am
As long as the name is not awful, I would keep it someplace, even if you give 3 names. But I also have read that a complete name change makes adoption like a rebirth and bigger acceptance (on the child's behalf and yours) in to the family. A whole new start basically. So I don't think a complete name change is a big deal. Unless the child is having a hard time with being adopted. (i.e. parent who died they were attached to, having to leave behind a sibling, etc)
Avatar for ribrit
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-24-2001
Sat, 08-07-2010 - 10:50am
BTW, you do have absolutely beautiful names so I can see why you are attached to picking the names.