I received a query from Cole about names. Specifically names for the foster/adopted kids. I tried to answer without all the details, but I couldn't do it. So it's a post. I'm going to try and give details without revealing too much information about their entire birth names...
Just to be confusing, I'll start with Jack, our oldest fost/adopt child.
Jack came to us at 18, almost 19 months. He had been named by his birth mother- but he did not respond to his birth name. Now that I think about it- I have already told his story- last year, here's a link, Jack. We arrived at Jack through trial and error. His birth name was Jonathon. We tried Johnny, John boy, Jonathon, John John, a combination of Jonathon and his middle name, even his last name. One time, we tried Jack, he turned, it stuck. Much later his birth mom told us that she had always called him Jonathon. Perhaps Jack was looking for a new start with a new name...??? He is Jack Patrick.
Mia. She has had the most names. Her birth mom had given her a very formal first name. When we brought her home from the hospital we shortened it to a nickname, of sorts, to try and find a name the other kids could work with. About a week into her stay with us, she had her first visit with her birth mom who told us Mia's middle name, and let us know that she was going to call her a nickname from that name. Following all that?
For the first year she was Jazzy. She was reunited with her birth mother at 11 months and remained in her care for the following 11 months. During that time, her birth mother and birth siblings called her Ne-Ne and Meena. When she returned to our care we were not aware of that and went right back to Jazzy. We eventually discovered that she was being called something different. We changed to Meena, but Leo couldn't remember it and would call her Mia instead. She was also cranky and loud- really loud and cranky and we thought Meena (Mean-a) just didn't seem like a good idea- so when it became obvious that Mia was going to be staying for the duration, we changed it formally, to Mia. We kept her middle name since that is and was a part of her- even the spelling remains the same. She is Mia Rose Jazmin.
Abe. Similar to Mia, his birth mom let us know that he was going to be referred to as a nickname from his middle name after we had been using his first name for the first week. We switched to that and he was Manny for the first 11 months. When he was reunited to his birth mom they called him Manny and Na-Na. When he returned into our care we went right back to Manny. When it became obvious that he was going to stay with us we started to call him Abe or Abraham. When he was an infant he looked like a little Abe and it had always stuck in the back of our heads. We kept his middle name since, like Mia, it was him. He is Abraham Manuel.
Julia. We had no idea what her name was when she first arrived from the hospital. The CPS case aide who brought her to our house had one of those tiny sticky notes with a name on it. We didn't know if it was a first or last name and were not sure how to pronounce it. The paperwork to be signed for her placement in our family did not come for a few days (technically, not correct procedure). And when it did come we discovered that the name on the sticky note was probably her first name, however, now we were presented with a different spelling and different pronunciation. Since we were unclear we thought we'd wait until she started to have visits with her birth family to find out. Visits never happened. One day I picked her up out of the crib and thought "she looks like a Julia" and it stuck. Käri has always loved this name. She is Julia Margaret.
Ruby. Ruby was named by her birth mom and we knew it from the moment we got her. It seemed to suit her. We added a middle name. As far as we know she was not given one by her birth mother. She is Ruby Claire.
Foster children should be called by their given names. Those are the rules... we don't always follow the rules. I know it's wrong. No need to tell me.