Monday, December 21, 2009
David and I have spent hours and hours and hours discussing what to do about the boys' names. First, we thought we would just keep their Chinese names. After all, it's a big part of their identity and heritage. But then we also want them to feel comfortable, and an American name might be easier for them in the long-run. It's not fun always having to correct people or have people stumble over your name constantly. In addition, having a new American name might be a nice transition, a way to signify that these children are our sons now. We even sent a letter to FengHong to ask him how he felt about having an American name. Then we sent an email to a man who has adopted eight times from China, and we asked him what he does about the children's names. He said that they do always give their adopted children a new name, but the middle name is their Chinese name. All the way to New York City, David and I hashed out various names. A month ago, we went out for our date night and brought a name-list with us. We quickly settled on Benjamin (Ben) for BingHui. It's close enough to his Chinese name that we thought it would be easy for him to adjust to the new name. However, even after we got the whole restaurant involved in the discussion, we couldn't come up with a decent American "F" name for FengHong. Frank was the only name we both could tolerate, but then we'd have Benjamin and Franklin. That is just too cutesy for us, naming our boys after one of our famous Presidents. Last night, Cheng (our exchange student) suggested we find a name that starts with a J, which sounds close to Jiang, FengHong's last name. Currently, David and I like the name Jackson (Jack). We can only hope that the boys LIKE their names, after we spent so much time trying to decide on the names. Sometimes children in China have already selected an English name for their English language class. If this is the case, then we might have to just go with their pre-selected name. In the meantime, we need to start getting used to calling them Ben and Jack, I guess. If we don't get used to their names ourselves, it will be difficult to feel natural about the name choices later. So, what's in a name? In this case, a whole lot of time, thought, and effort!