I heard about your blog today from my husband's cousin. I LOVE to talk about baby names and have never had a problem coming up w/ baby names for my children before....until now!We have two children right now. Faith Kinder Sanderson and Eli Burkhalter Sanderson. (Kinder and Burkhalter are family maiden names). We are adopting a little girl from Ethiopia. She is 3 1/2 years old. (Just 10 days younger than our son.) I do like for sibling names to go together but not be matchy. We have a few "rules" when it comes to naming our kids. I think I may have to bend them a bit for our new daughter in ET.Here are some of our rules (or preferences)1) Biblical first name....but doesn't have to be a Bible character's name2) we use family maiden names as middle names3) we use the first name as their name (don't like to "go by" another name)4) easy to say/spell....HATE "unique" spellingsI CANNOT come up w/ a name that fits our new daughter. Since she will look different than her siblings, I REALLY want her to have a name that fits her but also makes her feel apart of our family. I think we have decided to use her given Ethiopian name as her middle name (this bugs me a little b/c we are not giving her a "family maiden name" like her big sis and bro have....but I also want to honor her culture too, so I am feeling better about using that. We will definitely tell her "her story" and teach her about her culture. Her Ethiopian name is Dinkenesh (pronounced Dink--en--esh).Here are some of the names we like:Scout-- LOVE this name, but don't think it "goes w/" Faith and Eli very well. It's not obviously Biblical, but it is in the Bible when the spies "scout" out the promise land. It's a stretch, I know and doesn't have the Biblical feel that Faith and Eli do. I also LOVE the character from "To Kill A Mockingbird."RuthAnn--I don't like the name Ruth by itself and Ann is my SIL's middle name so that is one way to give her a family name but RuthAnn Dinkenesh Sanderson is quite a mouthful. I think Ruthie is a cute nn for a little girl and she can grown into RuthAnn. Not sure she looks like a Ruthie/RuthAnn though. Hubby is not a big fan of this name.Honor--I really like this virtue name. I don't like Hope, Charity, Gracie b/c they sound too matchy w/ Faith.Esther--like this one, not sure she looks like an Esther thoughNaomi--like this ok, but not "lovng it"So....our request is for a first name. We are pretty sure the rest of her name will be Dinkenesh Sanderson.I know you requested a "due date" and since she is already here, we don't have one :) We are hoping to travel in late February/early March for our first trip. I am REALLY wanting to find a name soon so that we can begin to "bond w' her" and get used to calling her by her name. This will help our kids a lot too! Right now we are calling her Dinkenesh. (which sounds like a normal name to us b/c we use it so much, but others keep asking us to repeat it and have a hard time pronouncing it.)I appreciate you reading this long request and look forward to any feedback you can give!Thanks!!
I think Scout goes fine with Faith and Eli, but there's no stretch stretchy enough to make it a biblical name. Since Faith isn't particularly biblical, either (it's religious-sounding, but doesn't belong to any specific religion), I think you could just change your mind about using biblical names---unless there's some particular reason you're working with that restriction.
Regardless, I suggest using a more serious name than Scout, since your first two children have more serious names. The Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird was not actually Scout but rather Jean Louise; perhaps that would be a good candidate. Jean Dinkenesh Sanderson, or Jean Louise Dinkenesh Sanderson. Or spell it Jeanne to reference Jeanne d'Arc, if you want to continue the religious theme.
Honor sounds too matched with Faith to me, especially if you say just the girls' names: "Our daughters Faith and Honor." The name Joy is a possibility: it definitely matches with Faith, but the meaning of the word is so nice for this situation, if it were me I'd be more willing to tolerate the matching. Joy Dinkenesh Sanderson.
I think Esther and Naomi are both wonderful and underused names, and very good with the sibling names. Either of those would be great, I think.
But I'm drawn most to Ruth because of the famous "Your people will be my people" quote, which was meant for a mother-in-law but feels extra meaningful and poignant for an adoption. I would use it without the Ann: I think the repeating AN sound in Sanderson (as well as the -en in Dinkenesh and the -on in Sanderson) is what makes RuthAnn Sanderson seem like a mouthful. Ruth Dinkenesh Sanderson is perfect. I hesitate pushing this name only because of the matching -th ending with Faith, but I think that's fine.
If you'd like to continue the tradition of family maiden names, remember that you can use two middle names. We've done that in our family, and the hassle has been minimal---even less than I'd been expecting. You could name her Ruth Dinkenesh [family maiden name] Sanderson, or Joy Dinkenesh [family maiden name] Sanderson, for example. It's a lot of name, but it's very rare for middle names to be said. This makes her given name a special bonus name---instead of a replacement for the family name. But I also think it's fine to not use a family maiden name: the idea of using her own first name instead makes so much sense.
Name update! Jaime writes:
I am SO EXCITED to report that we passed court earlier this month and our new daughter is officially ours!! We loved all the feedback we got from you and your readers. We have decided to name her, Eden Dinkenesh Sanderson. We love the name Eden for many reasons...it means "delight" (which she is to us!!), all the letters in Eden are in her Ethiopian name, it's Biblical (like her big sister and brother's names) and it has a strong "D" sound like her Ethiopian name. We will continue to call her Dinkenesh until she is ready to make the switch to her new name. Children her age are really attached to their names and since she has to adjust to so many other changes in her life, we want her name to stay the same. We LOVE her so much! Her name just fits her! Here are a couple pictures to share!