November 7, 2009

It's NOT Just a Name!

Choosing a name for your child, I have learned, is a very sensitive, personal issue.

When I was little I had a couple of names that I was certain would be the names I would use for my children. I became attached to the names. Then they were shot down in an instant while trying to choose a name for our little one. I know that it wasn’t an intentional blast. I never made it known that these cherished names were a long time dream. It still stung a bit.

Right from the beginning of our adoption journey Big Bear and I chose a girl’s name. I really liked the name, but it never could replace my treasured names from long ago. It was a name thrown out in a frenzy of names and we both thought, ‘that works’. Had this adoption wait been only a few months long I have no doubt our daughter would be called by that first name chosen.

As time went on I realized that our first choice of a name really didn’t ‘speak’ to me. I couldn’t treasure it as I did the names of the past. I didn’t think about calling that name. It was just a name. Slowly I started to plant the seeds of change with Big Bear. It wasn’t well received. Unlike me, he had begun to treasure the name.

In the meantime we needed to choose a boy’s name, just incase. This happened much more easily one Sunday morning. The boy name spoke to me. I have loved it from the moment we put it together, and still do.

A few weeks later I had told some friends the name we picked if we received a referral for a boy. The first comment, the only comment, I remember hearing was, “why would you pick THAT name?’

At first my heart sank, and then my blood ran hot! How could anyone not like this name? It was after that I really began to realize how names are such a personal and sensitive issue. It cuts to the core when negative comments are said about the name you are planning to give your child. I know in the past I have made a face, or a comment when someone has mentioned a name they are planning to use, never realizing how personal it is, and that I may be hurting feelings. For that I feel terrible and am sorry.

It was after that comment towards our boy name that I decided the names we choose would be held close to the heart. People may still not care for the names we select, but hopefully they will see that beautiful picture and not give a hoot about the name.

That’s my thought any way.


  1. I think your decision to keep Polar Cubs name a secret is a good one. Here's a story about my new grandaughter. My son and his wife kept the name secret. They new their second daughter was a girl so they wanted to surprise everyone with her name after she was born on Oct. 15. When her name was announced "HAZEL ANN" I didn't know what to say. I didn't like the name at all. It just didn't sound right. A friend of mine told me that one day I would look at her and say "Yep, she's a Hazel" and that's exactly what happened. Now, I love her name. I'm not saying it didn't take a while for it to sound right to me but eventually it did. She's my little Hazel and I love her.

  2. Agreed 100%! I will never understand why people feel the need to judge your decision on a name for YOUR child. Trust me, several people did not like Jasmine, but can you imagine Jazzie not being Jazzie??? No, neither can I.

  3. Totally agree. That's why I kept Eme's name quiet. When we were pregnant with W, we had already decided that if he were a girl it would be Emerson Grace. As luck had it, he was a boy and I was able to preserve the name for the girl it most fits. But I'll never forget sharing the name with family and after they all found out W was a boy, the first thing they said was, "Good, we hated the name Emerson." It did sting because we didn't let anyone know her name until referral day. I wonder if they still hate it...but I don't really care.

  4. I TOTALLY understand keeping the name secret until referral. Eammon and I have had a boys named picked out since before we were married but were late choosing a girls name as for us too, nothing really spoke to us. Once we did decide on a name we chose to keep it secret but Eammon let the name leak to my Mum of all people and her comment was "I don't really like that, how about X, Y or Z." It pissed me off to say the least. Once we had our referral and we disclosed the name we had some negative comments and I was like, oh well screw you, my kid, my choice of names. It's amazing though, Maisie is a Maisie and no other name would fit her as well. You know what's right in your heart so go for it and I'm looking forward to seeing your referral and learning your child's name.

  5. I think it is horrible when someone judges a name. It is such a personal choice. I'm sure we are all going to LOVE the name of your polar bear when you announce it! :)

  6. I think that once the name is attached to the child people look at it differently than when it is just out there.

    I agree with keeping the name close. We have not told anyone Pumpkins name and won't until we have our referral and picture to share.

  7. I have been amazed at how difficult the naming thing is. They have it all their life... I have had a horrible time deciding and still haven't - so therefore it's a secret to me as well...
    I do get wanting to keep it a secret - the reactions to the names I've been thinking about have been varied but if I had settled on a name - certain reactions would have been over-the-line.

    Can't wait to find out your cub's name.

  8. I find it so... so... so WRONG when someone judges a name choice. It's such a personal decision. And I totally agree with Pam - we have a friend who named her daughter a name that I just never cared for. Of course I kept my mouth shut about that... thank goodness... and now - three years later - I can't imagine the little gal with any other name.

  9. We picked a name when we started this adoption and could not imagine changing it. Our wait was for Daphne. But I get that everyone is different.

    What was hard was the name that I loved as a "kid", hubs could not stand! EEKK!!!

    Recently, it was the great hyphen debate in our house. To hyphen or not. That is a blog post that I have stewing...

    Keep smilin!

  10. I think picking our daughters names has been one of the hardest decisions we have ever had to make. I don't like my name and never have so I think that made the gravity of it heavier to bare.
    Lily's name was chosen early on and I chose it, the second time around it was jacob's turn and he chose a name I didn't care for very much. We both had veto rights and I vetoed so many of his by the time he got to Molly I was OK with it. The day we got Molly's referral we realised, or rather Lily realised she wasn't a Molly at all but rather a Rosie....phew.
    My grandma chose my name and I loved her with all my heart. When I was 18 I was going to change my name ( a teenage mind at work) so when I told granny she said that was fine but not to forget that my name was the first present she ever gave to me! Guess what, I'm still Dawn but I still don't like it!