Sunday, April 20, 2008

Name Changes

Here's a question I get asked a lot by families in the process of adoption: "Did you change their names? Why? How?"

Yes. We changed their names based on the biblical examples of Abram becoming Abraham, Saul becoming Paul, Jacob becoming Judah, etc. God changed their names when their destiny changed. By adoption our kids' destinies changed completely!

Maya's birth name is Beauty. Her new name is Maya Beauty.
Isaac's birth name is Eric. His new name is Isaac Davidson.
Daniel's birth name is Daniel. His new name is Daniel Corbin.
Here's how we did it: we let the orphanage director know our desired names and what each of them meant. The names have specific meanings for each of them. (Maya means motherly, which is how everyone who returned from Liberia described her. It's a perfect fit for her. Isaac means laughter, what he was doing in every photo we received of him while he was in Liberia. He gets compliments all the time for his joyful spirit. Daniel's first name didn't change because he was so young and because we love the meaning of the name- "God is Judge". We added his middle name, Corbin, which means "Gift from God" and it's a family name.)

So the orphanage director told them that we planned to do that, which is quite common at least among Liberian adoptions. Then when they came home, we called them by their birth names when we met and that whole first day together. The next morning with them, we asked: Are you ready to be Maya and Isaac? They said yes and we haven't gone back. They rarely called each other by their birth names after that. To them, their new name meant they were committing to a whole new life and family, which they were excited about. It cemented the whole adoption process for them. It's been a very positive experience indeed!


The Herd said...

I have wondered why people who adopt do change the children's names...but I LOVE your reason of Abram and Saul for changing! It all makes sense to me now:)

Julie said...

We struggled with changing our kids names. We both felt because they were used to their birth names we would let them keep them, but we changed their middle names. Its kind of neat because they have a name from thier birth moms and a name from us.
All of their middle names were chosen with care and for the meaning.
I got to name my youngest though and that was a name given to us by God about a year before he came along. :)
I love your kids names and meanings.