Blog Carnival: Names and Adoption


Honeybee writing her name in Amharic

Grown in My Heart is having our second Blog Carnival and the topic is Names – anything at all related to adoption and names. Some ideas would be: how do names affect identity, do you change a name, how do you name a child?

We just covered this in a recent Tuesday Topic: Let’s Talk about Names. I also wrote about naming our adopted children a year after we brought our first three children home from Ethiopia. Rather than repeat myself, I’m going to head off in another direction.

What do our adopted children call their first parents?

This can be a hot topic amongst the adoption triad. We have opted to call the childrens’ first parents their “Ethiopian Mommy and Daddy”. Eby calls his mother his “Opia Mommy” and he calls me Mommy. He isn’t confused by that at all. Honeybee and Dimples refer to their mothers as their Ethiopian Mommies. Each of our children was with their mother for a period of time, one for 14 months, one for two years, another for 15 months, and one for three months. These women are their mothers too.

I prefer Ethiopian Mommy to “birthmother” since our childrens’ mothers did far more than simply give birth to them. Really– how many mothers only give birth? Carrying a baby, loving a baby, laboring and birthing a baby, holding a baby, nursing — it is all so much more than just giving birth. “First Mother” is better, but with some of our children, that adds to the confusion if they had a “First Mother” and then an aunt who became a “Second Mother”, and than a nanny at the orphanage who was also special, so perhaps she was a “Third Mother”. Then I came along and that would make me a “Fourth Mother” –somehow that doesn’t seem quite right.

If you don’t have time to read any of my posts about names, I’ll give you a hint about how we handled it. We gave our little boys American first names and kept their Ethiopian names as middle names. In the end, we decided to call them by their Ethiopian names. We gave our daughters American middle names and also call them by their Ethiopian names.

We could not have predicted how we would feel about our childrens’ names, but it became very clear to us once we had them in our arms. They had been lovingly and meaningfully named by their Ethiopian parents and we feel honored to keep those names.

Want to join in? This is how you do it:

1. Write your blog post (on your own site) and publish it.

2. Go to the Grown in My Heart Blog Carnival post by clicking on this link.

3. Click on the green Mr. Linky Badge at the bottom of the post.

4. It will ask for your name (use whatever name you like for yourself/your blog). I used Thankfulmom.

5. It will ask for the URL address for the post you just wrote. Go to your blog and click on your Blog Carnival post. Copy the address for it and paste it into the box on the Mr. Linky site.

6. That’s it! Your post will be linked with all of the others in the Grown in My Heart Blog Carnival.

I look forward to following the links and reading what you all have to say. Last time I enjoyed finding many new blogs!

~Lisa

Blog Carnival: What No One Told Me About Adoption

Grown in My Heart is sponsoring our first ever Blog Carnival. As one of the writers at GIMH, I have to admit, I didn’t know what a Blog Carnival was when it was suggested, but it looks like it is going to be fun and interesting. Our topic is one that everyone who has been touched by adoption can address:

What No One Told Me About Adoption

No one told me that my belief of “the younger the better” (in terms of attachment) was false. In my experience it is, “the less trauma the better”.

No one could have possibly told me how I would feel when my daughter turned her face toward me for the first time. She took my breath away.

No one told me that the scary books about attachment would become my close companions.

No one told me that once I got it in my mind and heart that my child needed special help, I would become her fiercest advocate and my despair would turn to hope as she began to heal.

No one told me how important caring for my daughters’ hair would become to me, nor the amount of time it would require!

No one told me how hard Russ and I would work to find new ways of parenting our children when the the things that had worked so well with our first seven were not only unsuccessful, but detrimental.

No one told me that I would feel stretched so far, and yet know I was doing just what God had called me to do.

No one told me how satisfying it would be to adopt an older child and watch her learn about family life and American culture at such a rapid pace.

No one told me that blogging about our experience would become my own form of therapy!

No one told me how many wonderful friends we would meet on this journey and how our world would be expanded in so many ways. We are so thankful!

Want to join in? This is how you do it:

1. Write your blog post (on your own site) and publish it.

2. Go to the Grown in My Heart Blog Carnival post by clicking on this link.

3. Click on the green Mr. Linky Badge at the bottom of the post.

4. It will ask for your name (use whatever name you like for yourself/your blog). I used Thankfulmom.

5. It will ask for the URL address for the post you just wrote. Go to your blog and click on your Blog Carnival post. Copy the address for it and paste it into the box on the Mr. Linky site.

6. That’s it! Your post will be linked with all of the others in the Grown in My Heart Blog Carnival.

The next Carnival will be October 8….stay tuned.

~Lisa