Wow look at me throwing out 2 posts in 2 days over here. I have some stuff on my mind, can you tell?
You are ready to adopt
. You've done your research
, you've selected a social worker
, and an agency
, sent in your paperwork after thinking long and hard about what age
of child you would like. Your referral arrives
and you consult every known international adoption specialist out there to determine if he is healthy or not. But there is a hang up... his name. He comes with some weird name like Oleg. Who the hell names their kid Oleg? Oh yeah, me.
To some a child's name is like planning your dream wedding. At age 14 most girls have the details of their entire lives planned out. I'm going to get married in St. Patrick's Cathedral, take a carriage ride through Central Park, and have my reception at the Rainbow Room. I'll have 2.5 children and live in a vintage home in old town San Antonio. I'll only shop out of the Crate & Barrel and Pottery Barn catalogs. My son will be named William and my daughter Feather. If you did that we have nothing more to say to each other. I got married at St. Mark Lutheran Church in Lacey, WA, had the reception in the parish hall with no booze and my chariot? My 92' Geo Storm to a hotel in Seattle. I live in a rambler in a suburb of Tacoma and I shop at Target and my son is named Oleg.
To leave our church via the back door you walk through the preschool. There are little coat hooks with apples above each hook. The names of the children are written on the hooks to identify who's hook is who's. If you glance at the names there are no fewer than 3 Madisons, 2 Olivias, 4 Jacobs, and maybe a Kelston, or Jaxin thrown in there. Parents either seem to go with the uber popular or the totally off the wall these days.
We agonize over our child's name, but do we think of the long run. "Tell me about when you were a kid Grandma Brittney." Not really. A name may be cute on a baby or toddler, but as a full grown adult? I have friend with normal run of the mill names. Heather, Danielle, Kathleen, Jessica. Then there are the ones where the clerk at the supermarket looks at their debit card and says "Have a good day Ing... Have a nice day!" Or there is my sis in law. Same name as me, but spelled so it looks like Ly-ee-see. No disrespect to my in-laws or you Lee. Love your name actually. But the poor woman married a Japanese man and now the clerk at the supermarket totally butchers her name. At least it provides some comedic relief for the rest of us.
When it came time to give our son a Russian name we quickly ruled out some. Igor, Evgeniy, Boris, Vadislav... We didn't think about others. Ilya, Artyom, Grigoriy, Roman. All good names, but not ones we would pick. And Gaye... Roman so looks like a Roman! Love his name. Some of the names just seemed a little off the wall. Oleg for example. Again, who names their kid Oh-leg.
So we get this email and the child is named Oleg. When I called CS with the news that we had a referral my first words were, "What do you think of the name Oh-leg?" (notice how I write that out phonetically) "Ole the goalie!" was his reply. Ole the goalie is actually from South Africa and his name is German (Olaf Kolzig.) Anyway, many jokes were made about the name Oleg. Eventually it started to grow on us. Before we met the boy we were sitting at one of the various medical clinics and I asked our translator, Lena, what the diminutive for Oh-leg was. She replied, "Ah-lyeg? Well they are kind of long. Ah-lyeh-zhek or Ah-lyeh-zhka." I couldn't get past how she pronounced our child's name. "Ah-lyeg." not Oh-leg. This totally changed our perception of his name. It now sounded interesting. Thus he ended up Oleg Roy (pronounced Ah-leg Roy) Occasionally it will come out Ah-lyeg or Ah-lyeh-zhka.
The point I am trying to get at is selecting a name for your child is important. Don't rule out the name they come with just because it isn't on your "list." Meet your child. Get to know them a little bit. Oleg looks like an Oleg. He doesn't look like a David or a Peter.