Well, some people work better under pressure. I guess I'm one of those people. I have been looking through baby name books for, well,....over 2 years now. I have six baby name books and have been on many baby name websites searching for that perfect name. Because our boys both have names starting with "J", I thought it would be sweet for the girls to both have "M" names. But being the perfectionist that I strive to be, I had to have a name that also had a good meaning, preferred there be someone in the extended family with that name or a derivative of that name, and wanted something a little unusual. It sounds possible until you take into account that this time I had 3 junior critics all having their own opinions and suggestions as well as a rather senior critic with self-appointed veto power. Not an easy task.
I made list after list and eventually shortened the lists. One of the names that we had chosen before receiving our referral was Maimie. It can be derived from Mary or Margaret according to the books. I do have a great grandmother who was named Margaret, and Mary being a biblical name sweetened the deal. Maimie means "wished-for child" and "pearl, treasure". Dad didn't veto it out of hand, and actually rather liked it. But we weren't sure. When we received our referral, we found that Zhen, her Chinese name, had the same meaning of "pearl, treasure".
Then for a middle name the whole family agreed upon Beth. Beth is my middle name and one of Mikaela's middle names. We thought that might make our baby feel tied more to our family. Both boys share Steven as a middle name after their dad and both girls would share Beth after me. Beth means "promise of God".
We knew from early on that we wanted to use our daughter's Chinese name as one of her middle names. It is very important to us that she be able to keep that little part of her birth country and cultural heritage. She will come to our family with the clothes on her back, a Chinese name given to her by the Social Welfare Institution, and a very brief past. All of these things are an important part of who she is and who she will become. Therefore they are very dear to us and we want her to feel no guilt in having them be very dear to her.
And so, when our social worker, Laura, called this week to fill in the final paperwork that documents our daughter's new American name, I had to finally commit. It was, after all, the eleventh hour. The pressure was on.
And so her name, the first gift that we give to our beautiful new daughter, is Maimie Beth GuoZhen Monday.