I’ve got a confession, a question, and a request.
Before I ever got pregnant or really seriously realized that I could, I had two girl names and two boy names; I wanted to have two kids, probably, you see. I kept tweaking the second boy name, but the others were sure. And then, when I was pregnant with Cricket—knowing that his name would be changed—I didn’t give him any of them. They’re all family names, or at least all have family names in them, and Cricket wasn’t going to be part of our family, so. I gave him a family name after all—his first name is the same as his birthdad’s—and then I picked out an excellent saint for the middle. I’d give that middle name here, but in the end, they kept it. Who knew. Here’s the thing: I didn’t give him the name I would have given a boy I thought of as my son. I feel a bit guilty about that now, but I can’t imagine giving him one of the two only to see it changed and gone.
Which brings me to my question, which is also my request. How have other people done this? If you’re an adoptive parent, do you know whether the name on the OBC is the name your child’s firstparents would have given a child they planned to raise? Did you all pick out a name together? Did you keep whatever name the birthparents chose? None of the above? For other birth/first parents . . . shoot, you can see this one coming. Did you give a name you would have named a child you planned to keep? Did you get to name your child at all? And any adoptees: What do you think about all of this? That one’s also for everyone, I reckon.
I also want to know how bad I should feel, which probably no one but Cricket can tell me. Joey’s name is top to bottom Book ancestral stuff, first, middle, and nick-. It is very not Jewish. I think a little of my guilt on this is tied up irrationally with the fact that when Ruth and Nora were deciding between their top two name picks (and wanted my opinion while I was in labor, I suspect as a tiebreaker) I didn’t like either one, and don’t like their choice still. Of course they still would not have kept his birth name if I had given him one of the “really my child for real” names, and I still wouldn’t like his name now, but I’m not a super logical person.