Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What’s in a name?

“Give her a name that means something.” A quote from Moses Whitecotton, a character from one of my favorite books, Where the Heart Is. Names have always been so important to me and one of the reasons, 11 years ago, I changed my name from Jessica to Winn. So where do we start? How can we choose a name for our Chinese daughter? Do we keep her given Chinese name?

Most of the literature tells us that Chinese orphanages name the children after arrival and not from the child’s birth parents. Thinking about a name and how it defines who we are, her Chinese name no matter how it came to be, is still a piece of who she is. There is some research in the adoption world about choosing a name, but there isn’t any definitive right or wrong answer. We decided to follow Moses Whitecotton’s words, and chose to use both of our family names and her Chinese name.  

We chose a name with great meaning, Charlotte Lee, after two very important people in our lives: my grandmother Charlotte Fogarty and Scott’s grandfather Lee Hall. And as per my grandmothers request, we will call her Lottie Lee. After further research, we found Charlotte is a feminine version of Charles, and is defined as a strong woman. This description just seemed to be the perfect meaning for our strong baby, who is beating all the odds against her. Once we are matched with our sweet baby we will use her Chinese name in combination with Charlotte Lee.