1.18.2009

It's all in the NAME


Well, recently Scott and I have been feeling bad about changing Gabre's name. Her birth mother gave her the name Banchigize. At first we could not even say her name and felt this was not the best name for a child in the US school system. We didn't think twice about changing it to Gabre because Gabre is an Ethiopian name. The caretakers at her orphanage called her Bunchin. I primarily call her Bunchin and so does Scott.
This weekend we had a talk about keeping her name Banchigize because it was the name given to her at birth, plus we now find it to be a really beautiful name. We are thinking about naming her Banchigize Gabre Mira Reeves. We would still call her Gabre as a child and then she can decide as a young adult what name she wants to go by. I have never been a person who really likes the 3+ name thing, but what are you going to do.
Has anyone else struggled with this????


26 comments:

The Andersons said...

Thanks so much for your comment on my blog. It does feel good to be 3. I bought my first baby item. :) My biggest prayer now is that we don't get stuck in the court closure. Thank you for your perspective on our yahoo group. I always appreciate your wisdom!

Steph and Evan Griffith said...

Yes,
We have told everyone that we are changing Mahelets name to Hope Mahelet. Now, I'm not so sure. Mahelet is beautiful name; and I'm leaning towards keeping it. Dad, on the other hand likes Hope.

I think we are going to wait and decide after meeting her.

Steph

Robbin said...

Well I have three names and its not so bad. I think there are 27 in my name LOL. Barely fits on my license. My daughter will have two middle names as well.

Aside from that I think she will love either name!


Robbin

Upstatemomof3 said...

We thought it over a lot when we were naming Bog Brother. We ended up giving him a name we chose. We did not keep any of his original name. I am positive we will debate it again with our next baby. However, I truly do not think you can make a wrong choice. SO, whatever feels right to you is the right decision. As far as three names goes - I don;t think having three names is a big deal.

Erin said...

Leah,
Robin's name is Robin Lilly DiJia. DiJia was the name the orphanage gave her - we decided to keep it because it's Chinese and it means " to move towards excellence" and they said they named her that because they wanted her to grow up to be an excellent little girl. (And she is:) Anyway, at first it was a mouthful, but now I'm really glad we kept it. We gotten used to four names. I think Gabre is a special name, too because you gave it to her and it is beautiful and easy to pronounce. But I do think it will be special to her if you include in her name the name her birth mother gave her. My two cents! It was so great to see you all the other day!

Trendy Mindy said...

Hi Leah! So glad you checked out my new blog. I know don't you love the Omni Peace shirts...I wear mine all the time!!

I am probably not a lot of help with names..all of Gabre's names are beautiful.

I do know that my hubs and I have both always hated our names...mine sounds like a bad country song and people always get his wrong.

Lory Howlett said...

Tough one! All of the names are beautiful, and I know they all have special meaning. The only other option I can think of is to name her Gabre Mira Banchigize....? As mom to an adopted girl of 10 years old, I do think the time will come when Gabre will appreciate a connection to her heritage. These are the kinds of things we talk with our Abby (the 10 year old) about these days. You will make a great decision!

Chantelle Becking said...

Thanks for commenting on our move ont he wait list Leah!
Okay I have struggled also with the name change.
My daughter Bianca had the given name MAyra, which I was not at all a fan of...We tried and tired to decide what to do, and finally we settled on keeping her middle name-Marisol, and she has 3 names which I am not a huge fan of either. But like you I thought later in life she can choose what name she wants to go by. So her full name is Bianca Ainsley Marisol Becking...
We are hoping our Ethiopian daughter has a name easy to pronounce so we will not even have to consider the change, and I alwasy want to respect the birth mom...It is a hard choice.
I do love Gabre's name!
Chantelle

dan and rachel said...

i have a friend who was adopted from korea and she said she was soooo glad that her parents changed her name and gave her an american name. she is active in the korean adoptee community in Philadelphia and her advice to me was to give the child an american name. that was her 2 cents.

Malia'sMama said...

Malía's name is Malía Dilana Danièl, Danial was her birth last name and it is a family name for us (my grandad and my bro) so I kept that, but I haven't "officially" changed her name yet and am thinking of adding "Kalkidan" her original first name back in, too. Now, that's a mess of names!! I think Gabre Mira Ban-etc would be good, but it's up to YOU!

Cheri (prounounced Cherry...really!) said...

We struggled over our daughter's name, as well. Her given name is Alicia and if people called it the Spanish pronunciation, I was for it. I new she would never get that. I wanted Sloan and my husband Malaena....so we compromised with Malaena-Sloan Alicia. I named my 18 year old son Brock Steven Fortner Evans and have never regretted the 4 names. I told him royalty always has 4 names! When I named my kiddos, I just wanted them to have the legal name they would be called because my parents named me one thing and called me another. A big confusing growing up!

Amber said...

Very cute picture of Gabre!

The name question. hmm... That is a big question. We also will be giving our daughter a new name but still Ethiopian. I feel kinda guilty saying it, but I do not like her birth given name but at the same time, I understand how soecial it is. I don't know what to do either.

Amber

Michelle said...

This really is a tough one. I considered keeping my child's Vietnamese name, but then reconsidered. While I am teaching him already about his adoption, and I hope he grows up feeling good about it, the truth of the matter is that his birth parents relinquished him. I don't want him tied to a name legally if it's going to cause him distress later. We'll keep this topic open, and if he wants to use his Vietnamese name when he's older, we'll change it then. It's just such an emotionally packed subject.

B. said...

Hi Leah,
I love your blog. You have a beautiful family and Gabre is just so adorable!I myself am Ethiopian but was born abroad and grew up Canada. I just wanted to give my two cents and comment that I understand how difficult this name thing must be for parents adopting from Ethiopia. You want your child to fit in and not have to worry about the start of every school year when the teacher does roll call and the following ensues ..."Michelle, Christina, Jessica, ...uhhhh how do you pronounce that?!" Trust me-I've been through it every single year of grade school (and it doesnt help that my last name is 13 letters long either lol.) And yeah it sucks as a kid when others constantly bug you about it but the way I see it is that as she matures she will grow to love her name and instead of finding it "bothersome" or embarrassing to tell others she will actually take deep pride in telling others that her name is Banchigize and that it is Ethiopian. The name Banchigize is part of her identity, one of the only things her birthmother could give her and to totally get rid of it would be like cutting out pat of who she is. That's why I really appreciate what you and your husband did with giving her a new name that IS Ethiopian and yet unique, beautiful and easy to pronounce. When she grows up I bet she will very glad she had parents thoughtful enough to do that and she can decide what she wishes to be called. Be blessed! From an habesha. :)

Nancy said...

Gabre is adorable. I just had a grandson and we gave him 3 names, however, companies such as our health insurance have chosen to shorten it. They drop the 3rd name, so if you choose to rename her, I'd keep that in mind.

Lidya's Grandma Nancy

Kelly said...

I found your blog through someone else's. Your daughter is beautiful! We kept our daughter's birth name, Jaelyn, as her middle name and we gave changed her first name to Aliya (it means Gods Gift) so Aliya Jaelyn it is, or baby AJ for short!

SDR said...

What a beautiful picture of Gabre Banchigize Bunchin Mira Reeves! We struggled with this a lot, and in the end we felt like it was very important to keep Lidya's full name (her birth name was Lidya Tolla so now she is Lidya Tolla Rodda). That is all she has from her birth mother, and so we wanted to keep it. Of course, it was a little easier for us because Lidya is an English name too and not hard to pronounce. But I really am a fan of keeping the Ethiopian name, especially if you do it the way you're thinking, to keep both Banchigize and Gabre and then she can choose.

Carla said...

Hi Leah,
My name is Carla. My husband and I are just about to start the whole adoption process soon. I have been following your blog now for a couple of months. I love the name that you've chosen for your daughter. It is a name that fits both cultures. (Her American and Ethiopian Culture) Since you know a lot about adoption I was wondering if you could tell me why it is better to go with a agency that is Hague Accredited?

Thanks,

Carla

Amber said...

No embassy date yet. MOWA moved into a new building last week and that may have slowed them from getting a document signed. Hopefully soon!
Are you still thinking you will move to Dallas area? We are thinking of downsizing into a smaller home. Praying about it...

Kelly said...

I agree with you 100%! We are having the hardest time deciding on an American name for Behailu because we are so attached to Behailu and feel it fits him perfectly. We also felt very strongly about keeping Kemry's birth name as part of her name which means, she'll have 3+ names. Oh well, they're 3 beautiful names. ;) So are Gabre's!

Wyndee said...

We struggled with the same name issues when we adopted our daughter, Sophie, from Thailand. "Warinthorn" didn't seem like a name that would fit in too well in rural Kansas, USA. ;-) We ended up using Warinthorn as one of her middle names. So, although I'm not thrilled with our daughter having two middle names, we were at least able to keep just one thing for Sophie from Thailand.

VALARIE said...

Leah, I know that you've really been thinking about this. As I read all of the comments the one thing that comes to mind is that the parents are talking a lot about how they feel about the name mostly looking at the children as babies. When the children go off to school it really becomes about how they feel about the name and what they most identify with. They will tell us what they want to be called eventually. The other thing that also think about is when the children are older and are recognized as Ethiopian, they are sure to get all the questions about why they have American names. So, as my dad would say it is six of one and half-dozen of the other. I love the name Gabre and I also believe that when she is old enough to understand that she will so appreciate you honoring her birthplace and birth name.

dan and rachel said...

Hey Leah,
Just wanted to say that I would love to connect with you sometime, if you would ever be willing. We are in northern San Antonio and we are not from SA, so we'd love to meet other families who have adopted/are adopting from Ethiopia. Let me know if this is something you would be open to. :) Are you aware of any Ethiopia adoption groups here in SA?

Also, I know I commented on this post before, but I wanted to add that I have so enjoyed you bringing up this topic. It has been so fun to read all of the comments!

Annie said...

i definitely love the 3 names for Gabre. Maya has 3 names. Throughout the day, I call her Maya Fasika as if it's one name. I have nicknamed her Fassie (which is pronounced more like Fossie).
Maya's 3rd name is the translation of her birth mother's last name. I do call her by all 3 names...for me, it "flows". If my last name were not already difficult enough ;) I would have not given her the first name of Maya,but left it as her birth mother chose.
don't know if that helps...sorry for the novel ;) Go with your gut!

Adopting1Soon said...

Yes! Thisis a HUGE issue! Her name, given to her by I believe her mother, means "You are like gold" and I would never want to take that away from her. It's a gift from her birth mom, a message of "you are so valuable to me". Unfortunately, it translates in English into something similar to "Worker". Ugh. Then I feel like I should include my mom's name, which I don't particularly like. So two names I'm not crazy about. Is it ok to have a third I DO like? Since I'm going to be mom???

Anonymous said...

I am Ethiopian and I have never heard this name before. I can't even pronounce it myself. We have different ethnic groups in Ethiopia and from her look this is habsha baby "semetic" from North part of Ethiopia.