The Backwoods

Where we teeter between our love of modern convenience and the yearning for something long past; a world where neighbors knew your name and a “Friend Request” was eye contact and a smile.

Hello, My Name Is….

Posted · 17 Comments

I’ve always thought it appalling that we are forced to name our children the moment they are born.  As if a newborn has any personality whatsoever.  I mean, what if we label a child as Sally but two years later she doesn’t seem like a Sally at all?

My oldest went home from the hospital nameless.  We eventually named her Heather for a childhood friend of mine who died at ten years old.  It seemed appropriate for an infant who was lucky to be alive to carry on the name of a child who should have had the privilege.

So when my adopted children had the option to change their name upon completion of the process, we let them choose what they would be named.  If you’ve ever let a ten year old choose his own name…you know where this is leading.

Anthony’s  name has not always been Anthony.  Two years ago when we transferred the kids to Ninilchik school I took him in to meet his new teacher.  I had registered him with his legal name.  When I walked him into meet his new teacher he stuck out his hand and said, “I’m Anthony.”

“What?” I said.  His teacher looked at me like we were crazy.

“Anthony Hawk Riley.”

“Tony Hawk?  Seriously?”


His caseworker wanted him to talk to his therapist about the sudden name change but I refused.  Why wouldn’t a kid with his history want a chance to start over?  New school…new family…new name.  Makes sense to me.

And so it was.  This last spring when we sat in the courthouse finalizing his adoption the judge looked down at her parerwork, looked up at Anthony and said, “Do you skateboard?”

“Yes,” he said, smiling slyly.

“I bet you didn’t think I knew who Tony Hawk was, did you!” said the judge as she signed her approval.

Mya is now Mya May…yes, same three letters…and she wanted to be Mya May Amy…but I had to draw the line somewhere.  Though I allowed Tony Hawk, so perhaps I should have acquiesced.  Looking back, I should have named her something like Attila or Stalin…would have been more suiting to her control freak nature.  The red hair should have been a give-away.

Maybe a name should match the individual, like back in the day when a dough mixer was named Baker and the fellow who stitched boots was Shoemaker.  Or perhaps we should all be given the option to name our children at three years old, when their personalities are in full swing. Though perhaps then there would be far too many children named “Terror” and “Maniac” and less John’s and Mary’s in the world.

Though at least when introduced, you’d know what to expect!

17 Responses to "Hello, My Name Is…."
  1. Fearie314 says:

    We are in the process of adopting.  Our foster daughter has expressed wanting to be Aby or Ayla.  She currently goes by a shortened version of her birthname.  Her middle name is the same as her birthmothers middle name.  Her birthmother died at childbirth.  We have debated the name change over and over.  I still don’t have the answer.  I enjoyed hearing your take on it and found it intresting what your children choose. Thanks!

  2. akgypsy says:

    I chose my name when I was 26. My mother had named me after her 2 best friends when she was carrying me, and  always thought that was sweet, but I didn’t ever really like the name, or the nickname that came with it. Nope, not gonna reveal that one! So when I was 26 I found a name I liked, that fit me, and the meaning of which was a great affirmation. My name is Alison, and it means “Truthful One”.  My mom never called me that, which was fine, but she was gracious about it. I have been Alison now for 36 years. Nobody except my sister really remembers the “other” name. So it’s never too late really to have a name that fits!

  3. Mtreid85 says:

    Love this! As a mom whose boys were several days old before they had names (and I’m still not sure about the littlest guy’s name, honestly), I totally appreciate this. Tony Hawk! LOL – your son sounds like a really cool kid! 🙂

  4. Dallas36 says:

    My daughter changed/ shortened her name in first grade.  She is now in sixth grade and still goes by her shortened name.  I like her given name but her shortened/ chosen  name suits her beautifully!

  5. Nahudemik says:

    Love it! Though I don’t have children I do have pets and nevr name them right away! I like to think I have given them names they have learned. Like the 2 sibling kittens I rescued… when I brought them home they followed me wherever I went, as if to say “me too, me too!!! And so they are named: Me and Too! And evryone loves their names!!!

  6. Mouzie9 says:


    Being a school teacher I noticed certain personalities seemed to be attached to names….. this made choosing a name bit of a challege.   And of course I liked the name Jake (not Jacob) but as my Cuban mother-in-law calls me Yanine and our friend Yeff the thought of hearing my bundle of joy being called Yake sent shivers down my spine.  So we chose a name… after a hero in an old black and white western… that sounded strong.  Quaid.  And it so suits him.  Strong, original, to the point.  But…. Hawk is pretty strong also!!

  7. Santana81 says:

    So true.  My youngest would not even say her name until she was about the age of 3.  When asked, she would all of a sudden get shy or her older sister would jump in and say it before her.  Then in the second grade, she decided to add two names to her name. I gave her the name Marcelina Teresa Santana which is a mouthful to start with.  She decided her name should be Marcelina Teresa Malagena Salarosa Santana. With all those syllables, I have to make sure I take a deep breath to get it all out.

  8. In all honestly…they (whoever ‘they’ are) should have a committee on parents that name their kids STUPID NAMES! I know a kid named Schaeffer Beaver!….REALLY!?!?

  9. Karenpruneau says:

    My eldest son tells me he is going to change his name to Gavin when he turns 18 – works for me. When I woke up out of pregnancy brain I really didn’t like what my husband had persuaded me to name him.

  10. bobby spain says:

    my daughter and i are both named after my granny spain. her name was amanda. now mine isnt amanda but my grandpa always called her bob. no reason that i know of , just his pet name. thats where the bobby in my name came from.
     also my daughter and my wife and about ten neices carry my mother in laws middle name of elaine. the thing is you couldnt find any better women in the world to name a kid after. they were  and are like professional grandmas.

  11. Julie Tipton says:

    Love this!  We’re adopting an 8 year old from India and we’ve told him we’ll let him pick his name when he gets here…this will undoubtedly be interesting:)

  12. Franthwaites says:

    I had chosen a name for each of my six before they were born – and oddly enough I didn’t have a name for the opposite gender. My newborn twins Ben and John passed away not long after birth, but the other four all love their names and wouldn’t change them if they could. One has even given her own name (Zoe) to her own daughter as a middle name. 
    I would have named them all Freak, or worse, when they were small!

  13. SarsRichardson says:

    Bah ha ha ha. This is great. I always joke that I want to give my kids just one letter and then add another letter every year. That way a kid that maybe was going to be Brittany would end up being a Bristol (not that I would choose either of these names). It seems like a solid plan to me.

  14. Allyson Westbrook-Howell says:

    The best bit is I have a Sally, however the name Sally(or Sali as we spell it, the Welsh way ) seeme to suit her perfectly.However, I have to admit she is totally psychotic and Attila or Stalin would have also suited her perfectly. I have also noticed that our spelling of Sali fits into Stalin with a TN left over which could stand for Sali T(otally) N(uts) 🙂

  15. Nicklos7877 says:

    I don’t actually know how you ended up on my FB page but I’m getting quite a kick out of it…I really like this “name the kid” blog.  You are very humorous. As apparently are  your children. Is it just you and the kids or do you have relatives near by to help out. I’m older and frankly have been afraid to click on anything to comment for fear I might get some weird virus and have my credit card # stolen. Which by the happened anyway when I tried to order a Grn Bay Packer t-shirt.  ha ! so now I’m fearless.

  16. Marla says:

    They wouldn’t let me leave the hospital until with my fourth child until she was named!  grrrr.  It was very stressful, actually.  But when we FINALLY agreed on Erin, I knew it was right.  She’s Erin through and through!  But if she could pick her own name I think it would be something else.  My oldest daughter, Corinne, would also change her name if she could.  I wouldn’t be against that, actually…..mostly because she wouldn’t pick some off-the-wall name.  The boys?  They don’t care!  lol!  Austin and Max seem to like their names….and I’m glad, cuz I like their names, too!

  17. b. nikalee rath says:

    Half of my siblings weren’t named until they were several months old. One of them, for complicated reasons, got to choose his own name at 14. He chose King, and six years later still gets a kick out of hearing authority figures (in particular) call him that; though most of us call him by his middle name.

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