Saturday, December 18, 2004

Baby Names

It looks like we'll add baby #4 by Febuary! There are several birthmothers that we match well with, so we feel confident that the time is short. The crib has been reassembled. The rocking chair dusted off. The baby monitor plugged in. Gotta get some diapers still. And oh yeah, a name!

My wife and I have a hard time settling on girl names, while the boy names come easy. Neither of us is certain about the name we want, and we're sparring (good naturedly, of course!) over who will have the final say if we can't agree. I reminded my dear wife that it was Adam who did the naming, so if we can't agree then I must pick the name. She was quick to reply that while Adam did name the animals and his wife, he did not name the children. This it appears from Scripture was done by Eve. Score one for Kristin.

Our pattern has been to name daughters after virtues or attributes of God (e.g. Grace); we're open to suggestions.


Donna Boucher said...

My Katie Gracie was really meant to be Hope :o)

"For I know the plans I have for you..
plans to give you a hope and a future."

I thought God was giving me a little Hope.
Dear hubby didn't have the same 'vision' :o)

You may use it :o) hehe

My mother's name was Esther. Esther was a beautiful, patient queen...a noble name.

You may use it :o) te he

Tim said...

Hope is one of the names on the short list. So is Joy.

Typically we pick a Biblical name for the middle name; so Ester could work there. Because we're adopting transracially, we want a name that "sounds right" ethnically. This daughter will be African-American. For a middle name, we've thought of Shekinah (God's glory cloud in the OT), but it may be a little too bold for us.

Thanks for the ideas.

Heather said...

I am so excited for your family. Is this adoption through your local agency?
I have always liked the name Mercy. I really like Shekinah and that would be a great name.
Blessings on your new little one!

Donna Boucher said...

Perhaps if you thought of a name like Zipporah (Moses' wife, northern Africa, I think) then Shekinah would sound tame :o)

Tim said...

Heather: We selected adoption agencies that are in the same town as the grandparents. Keeping a baby at Grandma's house beats staying at a hotel while we wait for the inter-state compact thingy to be completed.

Donna: If bold were the only consideration, we'd go for this no-kidding Puritan child's name:
"If-Christ-had-not-died-for-thee-thou-hadst-been-damned!" Or "Iffy" for short.

Donna Boucher said...


Iffy...very unique :o)

R. Rochelle said...

Congratulations on your new addition to the family! I'm also very glad to hear that there will be one less black child going into "the system". Forget the foes of transracial adoption. Love has no color, and children don't care - they just want to be loved.

R. Rochelle said...

I tried to find an email link, but there wasn't one. So, I will have to say this in public. Please don't get too unique with your black child's name. Shekinah is nice, and I know what it means, but it is really TOO close to one of those made up names that have become so well-known in the black community (to the chagrin of many).

Stereotypes still abound (even by well-meaning people), and society is not as color-blind as we would like it to be, even among us blacks. Many people are not going to look at your daughter and see what you see. They're going to see her skin first, and automatically make assumptions. If it's a negative assumption, her having TOO unique a name is going to help cement it.

I am NOT trying to be negative. I just wanted to give you a "heads up" about the complexity of naming black children. It should not be this way, but unfortunately, it is. And, this trend (going on since the 1970s) is part of what Bill Cosby became hot under the collar about. It's something that the black community, as a whole, doesn't want to deal with "in public". And, because of that, you may not have occasion to know about it. But, I'm telling you about it because this precious baby is going to have to live with any societal consequences of a too unique name.

Also, there really isn't such as thing as an "African-American" or "black" name. The truth of the matter is that a lot of well-meaning (but ignorant) black parents (most of whome are a part of the lower economic class) became TOO CREATIVE when naming their children. They didn't want so-called "boring" names, and instead of finding a happy medium, went to the opposite extreme. It is not uncommon to find many black children named after expensive alcoholic beverages, luxury cars, designer clothes, etc. Giving your daughter too unique a name will result in her being lumped into the same category.

However, there ARE African names that you can consider. They are unique, but they MEAN something - and don't sound like the parents threw together some syllables and called it a name (I am not referencing Shekinah when I say this). Africans don't arbitrarily name their children. Much thought goes into it. I would suggest names from anywhere on the African continent (especially West Africa as that is the region the vast majority of black American's ancestors are from) - except North Africa and East Africa, unless you don't mind your daugther having an Arabic/Muslim name. Some naming websites will list Arabic/Muslim names as Swahili/Kiswahili or by the generic label East African. Same thing, as there was/is a lot of Arab/Muslim influence in East Africa.

If you would like me to recommend some websites, or to discuss anything I've written here, please feel free to email me at My name is Rosalind Gash, I am black and have experienced (in reverse) what I wrote about above. You can learn some more about me at my blog at I included all that because I don't know if the commenting system will automatically fill in my contact info or not... I was not given a box to type it into, as with other commenting systems.

Sorry for making this post so long, and I hope I didn't offend in any way. My intentions are only good.

Tim said...


I appreciate your thoughtful comment; thank you.

I agree that piecing together a few syllables in a unique way or picking a favorite consumer product makes for a poor child's name. It seems there should be a higher purpose behind selecting a life-long attribute of a child. While I think unfortunate names are more prevalent among some of the black population, it is certainly not limited to any one race. Ask any Moonbeam, Moon Unit, etc.

We plan to stick with our pattern of naming. Our girl's first name will be named after some virtue, a fruit of the Spirit, or a communicable attribute of God. We're still undecided on the middle name, but not too worried about it.

I'll try to add my e-mail address to the blog soon. It's timandkrisbailey[at]