PREVIOUS ARTICLE

Hope Ambassador Teagan

SHOW ALL ARTICLES

All Adoption Stories

NEXT ARTICLE

The Gift of Learning in the Great Rift Valley

What is in a Name?

Birth Families Adoptee Articles Culture and Pride

0 Comments 0 Stars (No Ratings)

  Written by Steve Kalb, LMSW, Director of Adoptee Services on 31 Jan 2015

 

Before my daughter was born, it seemed like my wife and I tossed around about a thousand names before making a final decision. We needed the perfect name that wasn’t just a reflection on who we thought she’d be, but one that honored us by connecting us to our family. My little girl is 2 years old now, and she’s named after my mom. My wife stated very plainly, “My mom will be able to look at Tae and literally see a piece of herself, your mom won’t have that privilege. Rose should be her middle name, so there’s an outward connection.” My eyes welled up with emotion. She nailed it.

I recently wrote a piece about the struggles I have with my name in “Gazillion Voices.” The challenges that come with an “American” name have harshly colored my perspective on re-naming Adoptees. Before my daughter was born, my opinion was pretty cut and dry; they already have a name. End of story. We honor birth family, birth culture, and acknowledge loss by retaining the name they already have.

But inevitably, life happens and perspectives change. Each time Mom and Dad interact with my daughter, the hue of my “Adoptee Advocate” goggles morph, sending my black and white opinion around Adoptee names into a swirl of psychedelic chaos. I can’t personally relate to the feelings around naming an adopted child, but that urge to create a symbolic connection in place of a biological one is something that deeply affected me. I feared my daughter would represent more loss than she did gain when Mom and Dad interacted with her. I thought they’d need assurance and validation about their connection to her. I was wrong. If her name was Choi, Bon Yul it wouldn’t detract from their uncompromising love and affection for her. Turns out, my own issues and insecurities were exposed pretty clearly through all of this.

After all is said and done, there’s still little wiggle room in my mind around re-naming Adoptees, but I see it differently now. I still feel strongly about acknowledging loss and empowering the Adoptee by giving them a sliver of control in a process that takes everything else from them. But my experience with naming my daughter gave me a better sense of why some parents may feel the need to change their child’s name. If you’re determined to name them after yourself or a loved one, give some thought to a middle name. Because in my experience as a father and an Adoptee, names end up as some of the smallest ways connections are made.

 




ARTICLE CONTRIBUTED BY

RATE THIS ARTICLE


Ratings
This article is currently rated 0 stars

SHARE WITH FRIENDS

 EMAIL   PRINT   SAVE 
comments powered by Disqus

View All Adoption Stories


  • Contact Wizard
  • Family Profile
  • Photolisting

RainbowKids.com is an Adoption Advocacy Website. We are the largest and oldest, online website helping people to adopt from multiple countries. Through RainbowKids, thousands of special needs and waiting children have found families... READ ABOUT US

STAY CONNECTED!

MOST RECENT UPDATES

RAINBOWKIDS TWEETS


  • @RainbowKidsNews How cute is Rachel? She is 4 and waiting for her very own forever family! https://t.co/WEAizwWC3n https://t.co/m69jvsJlus

  • @RainbowKidsNews 21 children are coming HOME! #FamiliesFoundFriday 4,601 children still wait and hope to come home...please share!… https://t.co/ale8ePbbNp

  • @RainbowKidsNews URGENT! Donovan needs our help! He turns 14 in 3 months & will age out if not adopted. $3000 fee reduction!… https://t.co/H7RaFywmfp

  • Read all tweets
    RainbowKids.com © Copyright 2015, All Rights Reserved
    Log in    |    Sign up    |    Home