January 11, 2010

What’s In a Name, Part 652

Our son’s name is Kamari. Yes, Kamari, pronounced just like it is spelled: kah-mar-ee. I love the reaction we get from some people when we tell them his name. Head cocked to the side, quizzical look on the face, nose scrunched up, followed by: the birth mom chose it, eh?

I guess that’s to be expected, after all the “drama” we went through with our daughter’s name. [Recap: birth mom hated the name we’d chosen, birth mom made threats, and on and on until we settled on “Ava” (which she loved). To put it mildly, it was a painful ordeal]. And with “Kamari” being a bit (just a bit!) more unique than Ava, I can see how people might wonder where the name came from*.

Actually, we found the name, and then chose it (with a little help). And the reason I wanted to write about it was because the process by which we chose the name—with help from our birth mom and dad—was actually sort of fun, and such a contrast to our first experience. So, to those who, like us, have struggled with the whole naming thing, I wanted to share our story.

Our agency coordinator, knowing that our son’s birth mom had a name in mind that she loved (and we did not), suggested that all four of us write down the names we liked and bring them to a meeting that she would facilitate, just to see what happened. For the next hour, we tossed around our names, and one by one picked through them, laughing and joking about things like the kids we’d known (and didn’t like) with some of the names. Finally, we narrowed it down to four names, two of which happened to be from our list and the other two from the birthparents’ list.

One name was quickly eliminated because it was, coincidentally, the name we’d chosen for the child we’d hoped to adopt in August '08 (our daughter’s birth sibling) that fell through, and that just didn’t seem right. Another was a tongue-twister when paired with our last name. Out of the remaining two, we were leaning slightly toward the other, but the birthparents loved “Kamari.” We mulled it over with our last name and it worked, so Kamari was it. For fun, I made everyone sign the piece of paper with “Kamari” circled and all the other names crossed out—you know, to make it official and all—and that’s going in Kamari’s baby book.

As for a middle name, none of the other names from the list worked with “Kamari” and our last names (it would have made for about a 15 syllable name!), so we all stared at each other, stumped, until my husband remembered that through the course of our conversation, we’d learned that both our birthmother and birthfather have the same middle name: Lee. My husband threw that out as an option, and the birthparents were truly flattered; it just seemed right. So, Kamari Lee it is.

As if naming a child isn’t hard enough (coming up with something you and your partner can agree on), add to the mix a birthmother and sometimes even a birthfather, and you get several opinions going at once, which could potentially be explosive—as I’ve mention a time or 652, naming is very personal.

I understand there are lots of birthparents out there who don’t care to be involved with the naming process; that just hasn’t been our experience. But, if you can remain a little open-minded about it (open-mindedness when it comes to names?? certainly not my strong point), it might just work out and the process might actually be fun. I was mentally prepared to go into battle once again this go ‘round, but was pleasantly surprised by the birthparents’ openness to different names. I even surprised myself. “Kamari,” like “Ava,” was not my first choice. But both names have really grown on me and the names we had originally chosen now don’t seem right.

What do you know? Apparently I have grown as a person through this experience. Yay, me!


Sally Bacchetta said...

I love his name! It has a beautiful sound!
When our son was born his birth mother asked us to name him before she left the hospital, and we choked. It felt like such an important thing to "get right". We wanted a name that we liked and we also wanted to honor her. In the end we picked a name that she likes very much, so it all ended well. Whew...

Anonymous said...

intelligent bloggin' ya got here Amy. Don't worry 'bout checking yer F.book every once in a year...