Monday, March 8, 2010

What's in a name?

We got into a discussion about our children’s names this weekend after I yelled “Anna Laura! GET DOWN!” at the park. Our house guest remarked that her name was beautiful and asked of its origins ignoring her rather dangerous behavior on the park equipment. When we began the adoption process, we knew that we might have the chance to name our child, especially if we were matched with a new born. We put together a spread sheet of all of our family names and tech wizard Tod began matching up names with names, both male and female with the help of the program. We began with the female family names and our search quickly ended when Anna and Laura came up together in the cell. Anna is my mother’s mom’s name, and Laura is Tod’s mom’s name, it just seemed right that we honor our mom’s with this name. Now don’t get us wrong, we love our paternal grandmothers as well, but Bessie Martha doesn’t exactly flow off the tongue.

If we were matched with a boy, we would have named him Dylan Robert. As some of you may know, Tod’s father is Robert, but we were going for Dylan Thomas, the Welsh writer and Robert Burns, the Bard of Scotland with the boy’s name. All of the family names on the boy side weren’t as lyrical as Anna Laura and some were just downright weird. Mind you, we have names such as Grover, Marvin, Reo, and Lyle to work with, so we passed. Eli came to us already named, and at 18 months, we didn’t want to change his name to fit our wants, even though the social worker said we could. We did however, do some editing. Eli’s birthparents chose the spelling “Elija” dropping the H from the traditional biblical spelling. He also had two middle names, and since we have a hyphenated last name we didn’t want to burden him with a name that takes up two lines. So we opted to legally change his middle name to Patrick, in honor of Patrick Sullivan, an amazing young man who left us too soon. Patrick is the nephew of our neighbor Nancy. He was often at Nancy’s and loved being around Anna when he could. Anna would stand at the backdoor and look out into Nancy’s yard and call out “Patwick!” Patwick!” Patrick had a great way with kids and had her convinced that he knew SpongeBob (since his name was Patrick). He was also a continual source of doggy angst for our dog Yukon. So we decided that this would be a fitting tribute to this man who loved kids and would have made a great dad some day.

I know that the Thomas part of my name comes from my two uncles, Raymond (Tom) Holdgreve, and Thomas Michael Oakley. So what’s your name all about?