Monday, May 18, 2015

What's in a Name?

Our sons name was Martin Anev _____. You may be wondering "What will your son's name be? Will you give him a new name? Did you choose the name Martin? Is Martin Bulgarian? Anev sounds Bulgarian, but Martin doesn't!"

The practice of renaming is very common in adoption. We understand why some people choose to rename their children and others don't. We are thinking about partially renaming Martin. We will keep his first name, probably modify his middle name, and change his last name to ours!

Our son's first name is Martin. We think his name was given to him by his birth mother. For a child who is 11 years old, surely his name is by now his identity. We wouldn't dream of changing his name and taking his identity and taking what is probably the only thing he has from his birth mother.

Fun Facts:
  • The name Martin comes from Mars, the ancient god of war in Roman mythology. Martin means "Warrior of Mars" or  "Warlike." (Martin, we think it is fitting that you are called Warrior! How many adversities has life given you, that you have struggled through! Keep fighting! We are coming to bring you home!)
  • While Martin is ranked #265 in the US for a baby boy name, it is a much more popular baby name in European countries. It is not a traditional Bulgarian name, but has recently became more popular. Even so, it would not be as common as other traditional Bulgarian names.
In Bulgaria, middle names are different in the US. Children's middle names are traditionally either their the mother's or father's first name with an "ev" ending for boys and an "eva" ending for girls. The ending means "son of" (or "daughter of"). We are considering changing Martin's middle name to Andrei. This is the Bulgarian form of Andrew and a masculine version of the base of his current name "Anev" minus the "ev" ending. In this way, we can still honor the birth parent he was named after. Besides the connection to a birth parent, Martin's new dad's name is Andrew and my middle name is Ann and he will have a great Aunt Ann! So the middle name Andrei will connect Martin with his new family, his birth family, and his birth country.

Artwork drawn by Martin Andrei in March of 2014

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