You've helped me before: http://swistlebabynames.blogspot.com/2008/06/baby-girl-or-boy-voisey.html.
We ended up having a boy, and we named him soren micah.
NOW, we are adopting a girl, and based on your help (and suggestions) from last time, I would choose Iris Mabel in a heart-beat. And am still very open to that...
BUT, our daughter is going to be close to 5 1/2 when we adopt her, and her name right now is Yan Rui (pronounced Yonna Roo-ay, with Rui prounouced as one syllable).
While we believe giving her a name that we have chosen is an important means of communicating her place in our family (I know there are different thoughts about this, but that's where we stand right now), we wonder if it is best to keep it as similar to her name now as possible.....OR if not that, to at least choose a name that is similar in meaning.
If we go by meaning, her name means "happy" and "lucky". Names that we have found that mean similar things are Felicity, Felice, Aida...I don't mind any of these, except Felicity Voisy sounds weird. And Aida is too close to Adeline, our deceased daughter, and we're not comfortable (nor do we feel its appropriate) to make our newest daughter any type of namesake (also based on Swistle fan commments from last time).
If we go with names that sound similar, we have only come up with Anna (pronounced Onna) Rae. What do you think?
I see what you mean. I feel the same way about names: that giving a name, because it's one of the official acts of parenthood, can be an important symbolic relationship-establishing act---but that when the child in question is five, it's more important to let her keep her own name. I'm imagining my six-year-old daughter and how she'd feel about changing her name to something else (even if it was something that meant the same as her name), and it's giving me a wrenched feeling.
I wonder if it would work to use Yonna or Yana? It would be translating her name from one language to another, which is a common thing to do with names (especially if the name was originally in another alphabet), and as I say it and think about it, I think it's a very pretty name. It'd distinctive and a little exotic, but easy to pronounce, and familiar because of names like Donna and Brionna. For unusual names, I love if there's an easy thing to say to help someone understand the name, and Yonna has a perfect one: "It's like Donna, but with a Y instead of a D." Or "It's like Brionna, but without the Bri." I also think it goes well with the other sibling names, and especially with the sister name: Ezekiel, Basil, September, Soren, and Yonna is a nice mix. And I like it with your surname: Yonna Voisey.
Yes, I think that would be my first choice. I think I would translate her name to U.S. English and spell it Yonna or Yana; I'd leave her middle name spelled Rui because pronunciation issues are no big deal and even kind of fun when it's a middle name; and then I would give her a second middle name of your choice, anything you like (though a name like Felice would very pleasing symbolically), and I'd make a big deal about how that is the name you are giving her now that she is your child and a part of your family.
What does everyone else think the Voiseys should do?
Edited to add: Karla writes:
I am sorry for the confusion....seriously, this is my LAST time writing you, because this is our last kid. :) but apparently, there are various ways to say our soon-to-be adoptive daughter's name, depending on tone (or something?) While one Chinese friend told me one way, we finally got in touch with someone who is in contact with the orphanage, and our particular child's name is not pronounced Yanna. It is pronounced Ian (Ee-yen).While lots and lots of people suggested we not change her name, does that advice still hold when her name is an American boy's name? My opinion is that we should keep her name. She is five. We have already named our kids pretty unique names (Basil, September, Zeke, and Soren), so it's not like she'd be in a family with a bunch of kids with really popular, normal names. So if her name doesn't follow trends, that might be okay. Secondly, while we thought we were giving our boys names that were old-fashioned, but obviously male names, (Basil, Ezekiel, Soren), many, many people have assumed Basil is a girl if they haven't met him yet. And people aren't sure about September's gender either. So....while there are not many female Ians that I know of (except the model Eyen), I wonder if people will just get used to it when they meet our daughter...Besides, are there enough gender-neutral names (Dillon, Reagen, Madison....) that are similar enough that Ian will just fit in? Finally, if you agree with me on not changing it (even with this new information), I am curious how you would suggest spelling it. I really don't want to spell it Ian, like the boy name....I would like a different spelling....something more female....kind of like Leigh looks like a girl name while Lee would lean towards boyish. I looked into different spellings and thought the British spelling, Iain, seems the most girly. I KNOW she would need to tell everyone how to say her name, but at least not every teacher would look at it and think "boy". What do you think?Thank you AGAIN.....
Name update! Karla writes:
I know I emailed you again, for advice on our soon-to-be adopted daughter's name, but we had to make a decision for the paperwork, so we did.
While most of your reader's suggested keeping her name when we all thought it was pronounced "Yanna", which is what I was originally told, I wondered if their advice would be the same if they knew it was pronounced Ian, which is how it is actually pronounced (as we found out recently), since there is such an association with a boy's name in America. Well, we discussed it, and decided there were enough Dillons and Morgans and Reagans that were girls, so Ian would have to fit in! :) Especially since that is already her name! So, we kept her name as suggested, but changed the spelling to Eyann, to make it look a little more feminine. Thanks for everyone's feedback.