What About Naming?

I came across a question on a transracial adoption FB group: Did you change your child's name? Keep your child's name? Name your child?  This is paraphrased from the original question.

I came across this post on Lainey Gossip (Jjiraffe mentioned her in a post once and I got hooked!)  Can You Choose a Name First? The question comes from a prospective adoptive parent going through the process a second time. As explained in the letter, with their first child, they met the first parents prior to birth, collaborated on the name, and now the child has a name that all 4 parents agreed upon. Pretty cool situation, I think! Not knowing what the next situation will look like, they are in the process of pulling together some names they like to be ready for similar discussions, should the situation be similar in that they meet parents who want to be involved in the naming of their child. I'd also like to add that I like the tone of this letter and the acknowledgement that the first family is ever present in their child's life. (wonder if they read Lori's book?)

Neither S nor I had strong feelings about family names, other than using my maiden name as a middle name. No one in my family or his really follows any naming conventions, at least for first names, plus we aren't the types to feel beholden to any family traditions, preferring instead to make our own.

Baby X

We had started thinking about names early in our waiting process (when we didn't realize it was going to take 2 years) and had actually settled on Calvin as a top pick, with Seth not far behind. Well, then an acquaintance of ours used Calvin for their son and it was ruined for me. I couldn't bear being thought of a baby-name-stealer.  So, Seth became my front runner partially because I don't hear it a whole lot and I thought saddling a kid with a really similar name to Seth McFarlane would be hilarious. S didn't exactly agree with me, but he didn't have any other ideas. There were girl names too, but they're hardly worth talking about because we never landed on a girl's name that we both liked, so yay for only being matched with boys?

After we received news of our match, we reviewed our list of names and S added one. Given that most of the names trended toward English/Irish origins, I felt like they didn't fit given Baby X's Asian Indian/Latino heritage. There was one that I liked better than the others, and we played around with that, another name, and S's last-minute name to the mix.

When we met with the adoption agency for the formal presentation of the situation, we found out that Baby X's mom didn't want to name him, then at the last minute before being discharged decided she did. The name was the same one S wrote down 2 days prior. That was it, she named him, and we liked it. Done, and done. (ok, so, we spent a couple hours that night debating before making a final decision.)

Baby A

Baby A was the baby we were placed with, took home, and three days later the placement fell through. For his name, we were at a total loss. His parents (mom really, dad was less than enthusiastic) had no (supposedly) opinion when it came to names, and asked us to name him. His older sister had an unusual name, and I wanted his name to match hers. It also had to match Baby X's to some extent. After a ton of research over 2 weeks because none of our list felt right, I discovered Axton listed at 1,000 on some baby list. Since I had been waffling around and kind of landed on Ashton (but then kept thinking of Ashton Kut.cher douchebag...), this felt like a cool choice. It actually had a meaning other than someone-threw-an-x-in-this-name-to-make-it-cool so it felt like a real name.  I have no idea if she kept it. Oh, and weird thing, the hospital photographer, a young 20-something, knew someone name Axton. Go figure.

Baby N

We were only matched with Baby N for a week before his father decided to file for paternity. His mother had named him before being discharged from the hospital, and we felt like we should keep the name. It helped that it was a name that we both liked, but we had agreed by this time, that we would feel weird re-naming any baby who already had a name.

Baby Z

Baby Z was a totally different story in the naming department. Once again, we had lists going, but it turned out that even though we could have totally used Calvin or Seth at this point (having lost contact with the couple who used Calvin), neither one of them seemed to fit.  I kept feeling like the first kid was supposed to be one of those names and they had become a running joke. In addition, names that we had like 3 years prior lost their luster and we had trouble coming up with a new list. Baby Z's mother wanted us to name him and in our two meetings did not express any opinions one way or another.

When it came down to it, we had a couple names we liked and then came across the name we ultimately chose. Again, Irish/Gaelic/English didn't seem to fit given his mom's identification with being German, and I guess we have a thing that we like to give our kids names that are of their heritage and not particularly popular.

Funny thing about that name, it was one that I was nervous about people thinking we chose because we are big fans of ----.  Which, yes, I like this particular person's work, but it's not like my house is plastered in it. Anyway, I got over that pretty quick when I started to realize that there are way more people who don't know who that person is. Kind of a shocking discovery, really, because I thought it was ubiquitous, but at least I'm not constantly explaining. What I do end up having to do is repeat the name more than once because it is pretty unusual.

So, that's all our naming stories. How did you come up with your kids' names? Not necessarily adoption related, I'm curious how other people approach naming, and whether the names your children ultimately end up with are the names you originally thought you'd choose.