Wednesday, April 3, 2013

What's in a Name?

Since we are seeking to adopt an older child who is already six years old, she will know her own name and identify with that name.  We have been encouraged in our adoption education classes to be very careful when considering a name change for an adopted child, especially an older child who already finds his or her identity in that name. With everything else rapidly changing for her when we bring her into our home, keeping a familiar name might be one of the only things that remain unchanged for her. 

There are differing schools of thought on this topic.  Some would also argue that adoption changes the nature of the child.  There is often a change in culture and language, and the child changes from orphan status to son or daughter status.  Russell Moore talks about this in his book, Adopted For Life.  He and his wife did change the names of their boys partly to show them the significance of their adoption.  They are no longer without hope, they are no longer without a family, and they wanted their boys to identify with their new family by name.  He relates this to believers who have a new identity in Christ when they are adopted into His family.  We move from orphan status to son or daughter status-- we are a new creation!  Often times, even some biblical characters experienced a name change when God did a major work in their lives.  Saul ---> Paul   Simon ----> Peter  Abram---> Abraham   Sarai ---> Sarah

I really believe that every family is different and every child is different, and there is no one right way of thinking when it comes to names.  We have carefully considered this issue for our child, and we agreed that we would probably keep our child's first name if he or she was older and would already identify with that name.  When we chose our daughter, we only knew her first name, and we actually loved the sound of it! Her middle name was a bit different and very hard to pronounce.  So, for our daughter, we have chosen to keep her given Bulgarian first name and give her a new middle name that is meaningful to our family.  

I would like to introduce our daughter:

Ivelina Anne


Pronounced  "eee-va-leena."  We LOVE her name!  It is most likely a feminine version of Ivan which is derived from the Greek word for John.  All derivations of John mean "God is gracious." And He certainly is!  We have always known that if we ever had a daughter, we wanted part of her name to be Anne.  This is because SO many women in both of our families have some form of Anne in their names: Deeann, Diane, Mary-Ann, Frances Ann, & Susanna to name a few. Anne means "Favor or grace." Another special meaning!    

Sorry, no photos yet. We will not share photos until everything is much more official and we have met Ivelina ourselves.  For now, please pray for Miss Ivelina.  We can't wait to meet her!

Tomorrow, I will share more about a benefit dinner fundraiser we have coming up later this month.

Thanks for reading,


  1. Love the name! I'm sure she is just as beautiful!

  2. Lovely name.

    Adoptive parents always seem to be very thoughtful about whether or not to change names. Neither of our children at age 2 responded in any way to their birth names or versions thereof, so we decided to change them. Our son was Karen and is now Rex and our daughter was Ivanka and is now Emilia. Both now know their names and respond to them.

    Can't wait to learn more about your little girl.

    1. Thanks Viviane! I agree exactly, each family and child is different! Love the names you chose as well.

  3. so what's the timeline like after they get all your documents until you meet her?


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