Thursday, February 21, 2013

What's in a name?

Three weeks ago, this beautiful girl decided that she wanted to be called her middle name, Alexis.  We've felt very strongly, from the very beginning of our adoption, that any child we adopted from the Congo would be losing enough, without us taking away their name as well.  Thinking about the losses in our daughter's life: her family, her friends, her culture, language, food, people who look like her, sound like her...  I know that we are giving her new things by coming here, very important things, such as a home, and education, and most importantly, a family.  

But the reality is, we've also ripped her from her world. When our daughter looks back on her life, I want her to feel that when she weighs the balance of things, that we've given more than we've taken away.  We've adopted a whole person, with a history and a culture and a name, and those things are all a part of the beautiful girl that we're blessed to call our daughter.  

That being said, we also feel very strongly in allowing our daughter to have as much say as possible in this transition.  Our girl has had so little control over her life, and we've always been open to her changing her name, in whatever form that takes.  So when, during a conversation about names and what we call people, Mbo decided she wanted to be called Alexis, we were open to that.  For the sake of her Idaho birth certificate, she will be Alexis Mbo Hanson.

We know that this might be a journey for her.  She may change her mind, many times over the years, in fact. But we love and support her in this, and in all things.  I am so very proud to be this girl's mama.  

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