What’s in a name?

Ever since I can remember I have had a name picked out for a little girl that my husband and I would have. Some little girls plan their weddings, dream of their future husbands, I choose baby names. Not names really, but a name. After years of refining, I had chosen the name for a little baby girl. The name is Sophia Elizabeth L. There is something about that name that seems just perfect!

I knew when Joel and I chose adoption that there would be some things that we would give up in exchange for something else, one of which is naming our children. In adopting from foster care, we will be bringing children into our home that have been named and been living with their names for literally years!

I am so excited to get to know the children as they are: their personalities, their likes, dislikes, sassiness, and everything else that makes them unique. Parents of infants often dream about what their child could be. I dream about finding out what/who my child already is!

Knowing all I know about the situation we are in, there is no current plan or likelihood that I will get pregnant. Of course, as we all know God surprises us all and if it is in his plan for us to have biological children then we will, but we need to plan on what we know, so no biological kids for us.

When a couple gets pregnant so much love and devotion goes into picking a name that will fit the child just right. For us, loving children when someone else picked the name, I can’t help but wonder what life was like for the birthparents when they were picking the names. Were they excited, overwhelmed, supported by family, or all alone? Was there a family connection to the name, a teacher that made an impact in their lives? These questions will most likely never be answered.

Building a family through foster care adoption leaves many questions about my child’s life prior to coming into our home that will remain unanswered. One thing I have been thinking a lot about is the hurts that my child(ren) will have experienced. Parents always want to protect their children, being a parent – in – waiting, I already feel protective over children whose names and faces I do not yet know. How do other adoptive parents come to terms with the fact that they can’t protect their children from everything? For that matter, how do any parents come to terms with that? This is something many parents deal with when their kids get old enough to leave home or venture out of their safety zone. Before even meeting my children I will need to deal with my own emotions about their past so that I can help them deal with their emotions about it. Its hard to imagine how to deal with a history of hurts I know nothing about directed at kids I do not know.

I would appreciate any tips from those more experienced in this than I am. The closer we get, the more steps we pass by, the more I think about opening my home to kids I truly love that have been so hurt in the past. My heart breaks and is healed at the same time for them. I don’t know if I can explain that in any better way than that…

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3 thoughts on “What’s in a name?

  1. This isn’t a very terribly original response to your question about how to deal with the notion that our children will have gone through a lot of hurt before coming to us, but one of the ways that I deal is prayer. I’ve been praying for my to-be-adopted children for over a decade, and increasingly so since we were recently matched with our future son. I completely understand what you mean about feeling protective…it’s such a long and difficult process that one of the only ways to get through it is faith in whatever form that takes.

    • So far that has been my go-to response. Whenever I find myself thinking about my future adopted children I pray for them (so they are getting a lot of prayers lately!). I know that when we get matched with kids my prayers with increase in number! When do you get to bring your son home?

      • It’s complicated…we’re in the midst of all of the interstate paperwork & still need to decide if he should finish the school year where he is before bringing him home. You’d think I’d be really good at being patient by now but not so much.

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