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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Little Boy Six, Brother to Audrey, Layla, and Julian

Heather writes:
I too am having a dilemma with choosing a name for our soon-to-be son. We are adopting a toddler boy from China, hoping to have him home early summer.

We already have three bio children, twin girls, Audrey Elizabeth and Layla Marie, and a son, Julian Oliver. When we decided to adopt we immediately knew we loved the name Roman (it was a runner up with Julian). But once we decided to adopt from China, my husband sort of backed away from it because by definition the name means "From Rome". He didn't see it fair to bring a Chinese boy to America and name him a name meaning from Italy. Plus then we found out several people in our family don't really like it either--which isn't a deal breaker as no one really liked Julian and we love it. Also, we probably won't use a Chinese name for various reasons, especially since we feel his Chinese name will always be his to have, just not what we and everyone calls him. So, after sort of pushing Roman to the side, (though we still love it) we've made a short list of:

Malachi (nn Chi {pronounced Kai})--Nice, subtle Chinese feel
Roman--still had to include it

The first/middle name combos we like the best are (probably in order of favorite to least favorite):
Nolan Beckett
Jeremiah James
Roman Beckett
Roman Wesley
Wesley Easton--Love that this means from the West to the East (and back again)
Easton Beckett
Malachi James

Trouble with Easton is that it sounds so much like Ethan (our neighbor boy). I like classic yet modern names, not too trendy, not too unusual.

Also, the "B-rated" list, mostly that I liked but husband did not so much:
Griffin (love nn Finn)

And names that I cannot use: Noah, Micah, Nathan, Owen, Joseph, Ethan, Benjamin

So do you think Roman would be a deal breaker for our little Chinese boy? Does the name really evoke a certain feeling or geography that won't match our son? Any other suggestions? Oh, and our last name is Six.


Hm. This is a tough one, and I suspect answers will be all over the spectrum. To me, the name Roman definitely does bring to mind Rome and the Romans---but on the other hand it's sounding more namey all the time. I have similar (though opposite, because it's connected rather than clashing) qualms about the name Easton, what with references to Eastern medicine and Eastern religions and so forth: it's not like it's a flagrant connection, but it comes to mind. It does seem better in adoption situations to avoid names that deal with geography, but if I met a boy from China named Roman I would maybe blink once---it's not like I'd think "WHAT WERE HIS PARENTS THINKING??"

For a name that's similar to Roman but doesn't have a geographical connection, I think Nolan from your list is the best. My favorite with the other siblings' names is Wesley.

I don't feel any need to add to your list at all: those names look like really good candidates. Let's have a poll instead (over to the right). [Poll closed; see results below.]


christine said...

I like Nolan for you guys too! I wouldn't name him Roman, because of the reasons you mentioned. Maybe you'd like Simon?

(For what it's worth, Julian is one of my favorites. Well done with the older five!)

christine said...

I meant older three! Ugh.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you'd like Rowan? Conan?

Also, I'm not positive but I'm pretty sure Chi would be pronounced Chee in an Asian culture. Chi (pronounced Kai) is a Greek letter.

Congratulations on your new son!

Barb @ getupandplay said...

I love both Easton and Wesley!

Brooke said...

And with this post, it is decided - I am seeing our boy name way too much lately. It's over...good thing I am having a girl!

That said, I like Wesley!

Mrs S said...

I like and voted for Nolan. Nolan Beckett sounds great.

Or Wesley James. I would not use Easton, Malachi or Roman. I like these names just not the greatest match for your adoptive boy.

It would be really awesome to let him choose from your short list. He has had a name for 6 years. Do you feel comfotable sharing it? It might help in choosing his name. :)

Congrats! I quite like all your kids names.

Swistle said...

Mrs. S- A clarification: the surname is Six. The child is a toddler.

beyond said...

From your list I like Beckett, followed closely by Nolan, so my favorite combo is Nolan Beckett. Of course Beckett Nolan would be great too.
What about James as a first name? Or maybe you want to avoid a second J-name.
As for the Roman dilemma, I think that if you LOVE it, you should go for it. (Or have it in the mn slot?!? I like the sound of Beckett Roman Six, for example.)
I have to add that I really adore Griffin / Finn from your B-list.
All the best!

Megan_Irene said...

I definitely love Nolan the most from your short list. I think the matching ending with Julian really ties together the brothers' names well. While Easton has the same sounds as well, Nolan is more reminiscent of Roman and doesn't have any geography or "eastern medicine/religion" connotation.

Your short list is wonderful, and congratulations on your fourth child!

airland said...

I like Nolan too. It goes really well with the other children's names because they all have an "l" near the middle.

Kate said...

It is not so much that I think the meaning of "Roman" is off, I just can't imagine a little Chinese boy who looks like "Roman." However, I also didn't think little blond haired American girls look like they should be called "Isabella."

That said, you should choose the name that you love.

However, of your choices, my favorite is Wesley.

kimma said...

I voted for Wesley and really like this name with your others.

However, if Jeremiah from your list was Jeremy I would have voted for this instead. I think Jeremiah is more of a mouthful than your other children's names. Especially for a toddler who has to learn his "new name" as well as adjusting to a new family and a new language and culture.

Anonymous said...

I agree that it would be weird to be Chinese and to be named Roman. It doesn't work at all for me. Your other choices are all fabulous, though. I voted for Nolan, it's one of my top choices if I ever have a son :).

Jessie said...

Ronan. I love that name and it is so similar and an established not made up name. Although it's more popular in England it's definitely making a move in the US. Ronan fits perfectly in with your other kid's names. Go for it!

Patricia said...

In the 1970s my husband and I added to our family of 2 children born to us, 7 children from Korea and Vietnam (mostly adopted one at a time), including a toddler boy from Korea and 2 baby boys from Vietnam. We gave each boy a classic, currently fairly popular name, with each boy's first and/or middle name having a family connection. This worked out well for John, Robert (Robbie when young) and James (Jamie when little). Transracial, international adoptees often are seen as 'different' by their peers as they're growing up. I think it's important to consider that when selecting a name for the adoptee and stay away from names that are 'different' too.

I think you're right to reconsider Roman; it would seem peculiar on a a Chinese (soon to be Chinese American) boy. I also would eliminate Malachi nn Chi: on any boy the pronunciation of Chi would pose problems; on an ethnically Chinese boy, it might be perceived as 'obviously' the same pronunciation as the first syllable of Chinese.

I voted for Wesley. I think Nolan or Easton would also be an asset for your son.

Anonymous said...

While it is understandable that you would want to find a first name that goes well with your other children's names, it seems that the middle name might reflect this boy's Chinese heritage. Many Asian Americans give their children an American first name -- often a rather popular one to make their child more like other American kids at their school -- and an Asian middle name. Many adoptive parents of Asian children also incorporate the child's original name into his/her new American name. This is a way to honor your new son's beginnings as well as affirming that he is a Chinese American individual. It will be important for him to feel positive about that as he is growing up.

From the names you're considering, I like Nolan (Chinese name) Six. I also like the sound of Julian and Nolan together -- very nice for two brothers.

Diane said...

I second the previous suggestion of Ronan. It has nearly the same sound without the same connotations as Roman.

I think I like Nolan best from your list.

Mrs S said...

Thanks swistle for the clarification! Silly me...

I also really love Hayden from your 'b-rated' list. I love, love, love the nn Haydz.

Anonymous said...

If you really love Roman I'd go with either Ronan or Rowan. Takes away the Rome associations but both of the names still have the same feel. Good luck!

Adey said...

Malachi was my favourite although I do prefer the spelling Malakai.

Nolan is good also!

Malachi Beckett I think it my favourite combo.

I also really like the name Ezra.

Caitlin said...

I like Roman. I think it's uncommon, yet familiar. And I don't think of it as associations with Italy. Well, that idea might flash through my head, but it doesn't stick or effect my opinion, regardless of where the owner of the name comes from. (I didn't know it literally meant from Rome.)

I know a grown man named Roman. The first time I met him, I blinked (internally) a few times while processing the name, and then smiled (internally) because...Roman! What a great name! The name totally fits him. If you love it, i say go for it.

Anonymous said...

I would go with Jonas, Griffin, or Wesley. Not Roman. Kai is also a nice name itself. Chi is Chee to me, I think it will be confusing.

What do you think of Leon? Somehow I think it might fit with your other names. Leon Beckett Six

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for all the great feedback! Even my hubby enjoyed reading through the comments. Even though we have chosen not to use our son's Chinese name as part of his name, we feel just because it won't be on his birth certificate, it will always be his name. He'll know it, and we'll probably use it as a nickname, around the house, etc.
Since we're in the waiting phase right now, I'll be sure to update when we're home. I think we may be hooked on Nolan now :) Thanks!

eblair21 said...

If you like roman so much, I think Rowan is a great alternative! My second choice is Wesley/nn Wes...both name and nn are great for all ages, it's classic yet unique, like your other children's names. Good luck!

K said...

Beckett or Malachi. I like Malachi, nn Kai, but I do not think Kai sounds Chinese. I do not have an Asian background, but I live in Vancouver which has a very high Chinese and Asian population and I have never heard "Kai"as an ethnic Asian name. It does, however, sound Scandinavian to me... just my input!

Ronan is also a favourite of mine.

roman said...

haha, my names thomas roman beckett

Roman said...

If your first decision was to go with the name Roman, stay with it. Don't let location be a deterent from choosing the name. I look at it this way. It is the 6th book of the new testament in the bible. Roman is a grate name.